Thursday, September 28, 2017

In The News (09/28/2017)

The wheels of justice turn slowly--but they do turn
The U.S. Department Of Justice Filed A Lawsuit Against New Jersey Defense Contractors Over Alleged False Claims--"According to the complaint, Shubhada Industries described itself as a manufacturer to the Defense Logistics Agency and agreed to manufacture two light assemblies, a type of turn signal for munitions vehicles. But instead of manufacturing these assemblies, Shubhada Industries allegedly purchased them from someone else for $1,351.62, charged the military $73,842.00 for the same items—a 5400 percent markup—and pocketed the difference."

If true these guys have demonstrated far worse then some sports figures going down on one knee. Talk about disrespecting the military. Question is since this is a "civil fraud lawsuit"--if proven guilty--will any one go to jail?

Rural Police Chief Supports His Immigrant Community

Storm Lake, Iowa-- Population 14,000

More Food For Thought

There are areas in urban decline where Americans want no part of. For many of these immigrants these areas are twice as nice as those they came from. Many driven out by fighting leaving their homes and cities devastated. Some were highly educated. Others owned shops. Many who would appreciate us giving them another chance to start over. No doubt a great number who are more grateful then we who never had to endure such hardship.

I'm not advocating an open border policy. What I am suggesting is we not slam the door shut without giving this due consideration. Somewhere in between NO IMMIGRATION and TOO MUCH IMMIGRATION there is a middle ground. A commonsense policy. Not every rock contains a gem--but if one looks hard enough some can be found. Such as it with these people. Just maybe the next great research scientist or innovator may come from among them.

With good planning and policy it can benefit us all. At the very least it has to be better then continuing to let our cities buildings be abandoned left to rot If these people are willing to paint and fix them up a bit why not?

Speaking Of Left To Rot

As of 09/28/2017 1,000's of containers with aid are sitting on Puerto Rico's dock

Talk about bureaucratic screw ups!

It was also reported hundreds of volunteers are mulling around awaiting orders in an air conditioned rescue center. Somebody needs to get their shit together--fast!

Wanna Help?
Hispanic Federation has launched the UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund --"to help meet hurricane and earthquake-related needs and recovery in Puerto Rico and Mexico. 100% of your gift to UNIDOS goes to help children, friends and families recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake. In our dropdown menu below, you will be able to directly select which disaster relief effort you're giving to

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In The News (09/26/2017)

Round And Round The Blame Goes.
Where It'll Stop Nobody Knows

'The Daily Beast' reports, Team Trump Prepares the Shiv for Mitch McConnell: ‘He Needs To Go--"One senior Trump administration official told The Daily Beast that the president is “well prepared to” shovel blame onto McConnell if and when the latest Obamacare repeal effort goes down in flames later this week."

For a so-called lousy plan it sure seems replacing Obamacare is no walk in the park. Why is that? Could it be the cure is worse then the disease?

'Bloomberg'--"may get at least $18.4 million in retirement payouts"

Oh the pain, suffering and indignation. All the companies I worked for employees lost their pension rights if they were fired. I wonder if all employees of Equifax enjoy the same rights as the now former CEO?

If You Like Their Vacuums You Might Love Their Cars
'Bloomberg' reports, Dyson to Spend £1 Billion Making ‘Radical’ Electric Car--"Dyson Ltd., best-known as a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, hand driers and air filters, will build an electric car by 2020, founder James Dyson said Tuesday.

Hmmm- I wonder if they'll be as uniquely shaped as their other products having clear doors and hoods. Dyson is a privately held company based in the United Kingdom. No word yet if some will manufactured here in the United States to help MAGA. Currently the vacuums America loves to buy are made in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Football Ratings on 09/24/2017
Donald Trump Says...

"TV By The Numbers" Says They're Up...

Somebody is FOS.
Hmmm--I wonder who it might be?

What Do You Think Sean?

Oops Sorry.. He's on commercial break
Maybe later

Monday, September 25, 2017

In The News (09/25/2017)

Don't Succeed The First Time Maybe The Second Will Be The Charm
The New York Times reports the Commodity Futures Trading Commission thinks it's a swell idea to now let commodity traders report themselves for wrongdoings. In other words the CFTC is reducing oversight once imposed by the Obama administration. Keep in mind this was the same bunch that almost bankrupted the economy back in 2008 costing taxpayers billions of dollars driving up our national debt. Drain the swamp--what swamp--I don't see no swamp.

Addressing Gun Control
Reuters-- Secret Service arrests man with guns near White House on Sunday. There were a slew of charges. The one that drew my interest was having "a dangerous weapon outside of a home or business". I understand this was near the white house and all BUT what does this say about "equal protection under the law" for the rest of us? Why is it OK to for the feds to oppose gun rights they aren't willing to live with for themselves?
What am I--chopped liver?

CBS New Series ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ HERE WE GO AGAIN !
Sunday night I watched this new program on CBS. First off I think the whole story (lacking in depth) could be summed up in a sentence or two. The starship came across a Klingon beacon. and a mothership. Should they attack or not. That's when 20 other Klingon warships arrived threatening them. It's also where CBS left us hanging. Viewers will have to choke up cash for CBS all-access to see will happen.

Three problems. (1) It's lacks a story line and the humor Captain Kirk once brought to the series. (2) If writers can't wrap up a story in 1 hour they're obviously pandering to the network to get us (3) TO PAY FOR THE DAMN THING.

This is the way CBS is starting to roll. They give us one episode for a new program--for the second season in a row--what amounts to nothing more a one hour promo to buy what they're selling. You guys own 4 cable channels you're already making money off of. Let me sum this up in two words--"greedy pigs".

Today Megyn Kelly Debuted Her New Show

Check out my post on 09/23/2017
I was heightened with the people attending and speaking at the "Global Citizens" rally in New York's central park on Saturday. There are so many other things I read where people have made a positive impact. I've posted several pieces on the most amazing things some people are doing from time to time over the years. By and large I remain convinced the good deeds people do outnumbers the bad.

In the coming days I will attempt to strike a better balance commingling the negative with the more positive stories within my reporting. Upping my game--if you will. These shall also consists of more informative items I come across. Those which have little to do with the drama playing out daily along with a comment or two. Take this as one such example...

If our mind held predominance over our physical world (if it were a illusion unto itself) we would be born with the ability to walk and talk. Since we aren't I conclude it's just another organ which develops to sustain a need for our bodies to survive. Wouldn't it be great if it were otherwise?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

In The News (09/24/2017)

Revisiting Webcams In Key West, Florida
Checking out the SLOPPY JOE'S BAR WEBCAM I see they've reopened their doors for business since Friday (09/22/2017). I assume the people watching are locals since tourists still aren't being allowed back in.

HOG'S BREATH is starting to show signs of life too. I also noticed the SOUTHERNMOST TOURIST STOP is a bit banged up but it too seems otherwise to be in fine shape.

Same goes with MALLORY SQUARE and RICK'S BAR.

So it appears things are starting to return to normal for the hardy stalwarts who claim Key West as their home. No hurricane can keep the "Conch Republic" down for long. They're a unique bunch. Good for them!

Temporary Inconvenience--Permanent Improvement
TPM--The border between San Diego is closed this weekend to vehicles as part of a $741 million expansion expected to be completed by 2019. Rather then making it harder the project is designed to make it easier for 40,000 vehicles to cross daily. Ssssh--don't tell Donald.

Not Everything Attached To The Obama Name Being Taken Away
TPM reports on Friday --"The red plaid shirt, jeans and sneaker-wearing first lady was venturing out into the South Lawn garden made famous by her predecessor, Michelle Obama, as part of her “Let’s Move!” campaign against childhood obesity. Mrs. Trump had said she intends to keep the garden going."
Ssssh--don't tell Donald about this either :-)

I Noticed This On My Credit Card Bill
Lucky for me I've never been late.

If this ever happened they should enclose a note telling me how much they appreciate giving me the business. Hell I'd be better off using a check cashing agency then these guys. One thing is for sure--it would make a cash user out of me PDQ. I'd sooner take my chances getting my pocket picked by a stranger. One who couldn't mess up my credit score.

Donald Trump Thinks Some Football Players Are SOB's

Wonder how many players are going to sit it out for a different reason?

Does Trump actually believe he will receive respect in return for calling them SOB's?
Wonder how many athletes in future days will accept invitations to the Whitehouse?

What if at every future event Donald attends we do this...

Hey--why go half way ?

I was against this mixing up politics with sports. I didn't approve when they sat it out--but when the President calls them SOB's--well that puts a whole other spin on it. It's human nature to feel challenged when called a SOB. Yeah this guy is a real champ when it comes to de-escalation. I'm sure players--competitive in nature--will see the error of their ways. Question is how many more groups of people can Donald insult before it bites him in the ass?

Problem With Credit Agencies Like Equifax Is...
They never seem to gather enough data on people who are unaware nor approved them for doing so.

'New York Times'--"From birth to death... Decades’ worth of addresses and identifying information, including drivers’ licenses and Social Security numbers. Utility accounts like telephone and cable subscriptions. Criminal records, medical debt, as well as rental and eviction histories. Equifax’s records on any given individual, scattered throughout dozens of databases, typically stretch across hundreds or thousands of pages... Equifax persuaded more than 7,000 employers to hand over salary details for an income verification system that now encompasses nearly half of American workers."
[Underscore is mine]

For years we've been told to protect our information. In short--what a load of BULLSHIT.

I don't know why anyone needs them anyway. If someone buys a car, a home or rents--each should require a certain amount of money upfront to cover the lender's loss if it becomes necessary. ZERO DOWN is reckless. It makes no business sense Nobody would have done it this way years ago. If I were lending money or renting I'd require whatever I felt necessary to cover my possible loses. Thus I wouldn't need some damn credit agency. Why would I care if someone stiffed the last guy They might have had good reasons.

If I felt it was appropriate to collect three payments ahead of time before a initiating a transaction so-be-it. Anyone willing to loan or rent w/o assuming the possible risks involved for doing so without the proper amount of upfront money deserves what they get. It's just bad business. Hence I see no need for these credit agencies.

On the consumer end--they're not your friend. They exist only to benefit companies willing to allow people to buy things they aren't able to afford. Companies who overcharge customers who shouldn't be charging in the first place making them poorer then they already are.

North Korea--Seismic Activity Detected
There's been seismic activity reported near where N.K. recently tested a hydrogen bomb. No one knows for sure whether it was an after effect of the test--additional tunneling they were doing for another--or a natural occurrence. Maybe it's just me but if I were Kim Jung-un I'd be cautious I wasn't undermining the tectonic plates beneath my own country. Who knows how things could turn out.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Global Citizen Festival LIVE STREAMING VIDEO

60,000 In Attendance @ Central Park NYC

REPLAY From 09/23/2017
(Pennsylvania's U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent speaks at the 3:09:13 minute mark)

Saturday Music Break

I came across this cool tune by a group who calls themselves Scott Bradlee's "Postmodern Jukebox Band".

Check Out Their Tour Dates HERE

In The News (09/23/2017)

Behind The Scenes Of Work Going Into this Blog
Wandering around for news gets more time consuming. Last week '' put up a paywall after three articles. 'Lehigh Valley' discontinued their RSS feeds. 'The Morning Call' never did one single RSS feed for all the stories they publish and also uses a similar paywall. RSS feeds makes it easier for me to go through hundreds of stories each day without having to visit dozens of cluttered sites. Websites tend to get cranky with my AdBlocker, initialize popups halfway through reading or some auto-running video.

I can understand why each want visitors. So they can generate revenue from their advertisers. But I can honestly say I never ever once clicked or bought anything on one of them. So too 90% of the news content itself is useless to me. I like RSS feeds because I can choose from a list of headlines. I need only click on those of interest. Over a third are repeats of what others have already written. As RSS feeds start disappearing it's is taking up more and more of my time unnecessarily.

As a result of the ever increasing complexity of numerous sites I committed myself to making this blog as simple as possible. I'm attempting to get to the point short and concise as possible throwing in some humor alongside my opinions. Hell even this explanation became too windy. I'll try to do better. I'm still working on it :-)

These Are Suppose To Be Our Examples Of Leadership?
New York Post reports a legislative representative in Texas showed up for work hopped up on morphine. That ain't all. She has 19 other accusations being made against her. Check out the article. Texas voters seem to like what she's doing. She's serving her 12th term in office. Goes to show you can never underestimate the intelligence of voters. Wonder if she voted against legalization of marijuana?

James Comey Gets A Toast
Not in a good way. Reuters--Protesters chant, boo through Comey university address. Republicans or Democrats-- does it matter? Who doesn't like a good ole trashing of a present or former public figure? This is America's pastime, These speeches for many are more fun then paying the cost of admittance to the fair...

Yup--that's what it feels like for those who get involved with the public

It's like deja vu all over again.

People thrive on this kind of stuff for some reason

Senator McCain Ain't Going Along With It
Friday Sen. John McCain said he won't vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal repealing and replacing Obamacare. "“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried." Same goes with Rand Paul for a different reason. He wants a 100% repeal of Obamacare in it's entirely Well this ought to go over like a lead balloon since they may not have the votes. Let the name calling begin by Donald Trump and his supporters. BUT BEFORE they do let us remember what Trump promised people who voted for him--he'd have a much better cheaper healthcare plan that will completely cover everyone.

Prosecutors' Criminal Lab Chemist FOS reports a lab chemist used by prosecutors in Massachusetts might have fudged some 18,000 lab results. She's accused of not only fudging lab results but also was a user herself stealing seized drugs sent to her lab. It shouldn't be any wonder then why I have so little faith questioning everything. Sometimes I ponder whether this world was created similar to a hologram by the "Gods" for their amusement in such foolishness.

Ye Gads--I have so many stories yet to get to
Check back later when I have time to get to them.

Friday, September 22, 2017

In The News (09/22/2017)

What Happens In Allentown, Stays In Allentown
No it's not the name of a new movie--although there's sure to be a bunch of cameras rolling. Reports are Mayor Pawlowski's trial will be held only a few hundreds yards from his office. However guest invitations for those lucky enough to be selected for jury duty will still be required to report to Philadelphia to see if they won an opportunity to experience the friendly people of Allentown up close and personal. No need to pack a lunch. We have a fine selection of dinning experiences to choose from. Well that's one way to attract visitors who might not otherwise come here.

More To Come After This Short Musical Interlude :-)

Ya Gotta Take A Look At This Kid's Twitter Account
He calls people names. They call him all kinds of stuff back. Then load the thing up with all kinds of nasty memes. This kid is targeting another particular kid right now who threatens to detonate an atomic bomb over the Pacific. Yeah as if the huge garbage patch--bigger then the state of Texas--in the Pacific weren't bad enough--this other kid is looking to make fish radioactive Hope his math skills are up to par. Setting one off too low could send a EMF wave out taking down electric to anyone around there. I'm not particularly fond of being down wind either. This kid's Twitter handle is "realDonaldTrump".. Yeah it's all fun and games--till somebody gets hurt.

Kim Jong-un's Word Of The Day-- "Dotard"
So between Trump and Jong-un who has better insults? After all was said between them do you think either would be willing to kiss and make up no matter what compromised was presented to either one? I doubt it. Things look like they're headed in only one direction. Better stock up on water, food and batteries. Hurricanes and earthquakes may not be the only things we need them for.

Never Shoot An Armed Robber If You Work Here
New York Post, Gas station clerk suspended for shooting armed robber-- "“He pointed the gun at my face, I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it and I shot."

In this case the armed robber wasn't killed. I find it difficult to fathom why I'd allow myself to be shot--possibly killed--just so I could stay in the clear. Question is--does her employer provide medical insurance? I'm fairly certain this wouldn't fall under workman's comp. I always enjoy a good story when some criminal's activity ends up going sideways. You know--like when a would-be mugger gets the crap beaten out of them.

Or Like this store robber
when it went sideways real quick!

Perhaps he should seek another line of work less risky

Thursday, September 21, 2017

In The News (09/21/2017)

I'm All For Bringing Back Manufacturing BUT...
TPM--"Wisconsin’s push to attract a factory from Foxconn, the Taiwan-based company... in addition to agreeing to pay Foxconn up to $2.85 billion the bill currently being considered would actually change the state’s legal system specifically for suits tied to Foxconn... The legislation would exempt the Foxconn project from a state environmental impact statement and from some state rules to protect wetlands and waterways... To head off delays from that potential litigation, GOP lawmakers and Walker added special requirements on the courts system for handling any Foxconn lawsuits."

To my way of thinking if Wisconsin taxpayers are investing $2.85 billion shouldn't they get shares of stock in the company? I could understand a nation with a socialist form of government doing something like this. Hell even in they--government maintains a stake in the business. In the old days when a Vanderbilt or Rockafeller wanted to become wealthy they had to go out seeking investors. These days it seems all you have to do is get a few politicians to go along with forced financing from taxpayers pockets. Call me old fashion but if this were such a great deal why aren't investors or this company itself jumping on board without taxpayer bribes?

Jerry Lewis Left His 6 Kids Out Of Will
'New York Daily News'--"He made tearful pleas for "Jerry's Kids" during his telethons — but in the end, Jerry Lewis left all six kids from his first marriage out of his will.

What the article left out is why? I certainly have no way of knowing his relationship--but I can tell you from experience. Just because one family member hit the jackpot doesn't entitle every family member to a slice of the pie. The way this story was presented it made Jerry look like a heel. Without knowing all the details I hesitate to think badly of him. I have certain exclusions written in my own will for good reasons. Certain members in my close family are very wealthy. Not for one moment do I feel entitled or resentful of them. As such I tend not to judge Jerry (or anyone else) too harshly.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Should Be Commended
'New York Daily News'--"The secretary neither seeks, nor accepts, any reimbursement for her flights, nor for any additional official travel-related expenses.."

Unlike the rest of the bunch she's picking up the entire tab for her private jet travels. Although many of us may disagree with her work I think we all should agree the woman has integrity by not trying to fleece taxpayers. Obviously for whatever reason she took the job--it wasn't to game the system. She deserves credit for that.

How Many Traffic Lanes Is It Gonna Take?
'Reuters'--"Maryland Governor Larry Hogan a Republican, said his administration plans to add four new lanes to the Capital Beltway (I-495), a ring highway around Washington, and four new lanes on Interstate-270."

Build it and they will come. Anyone's who has had the pleasure of cruising the beltway has a story. From my own experience I had one hellva time trying to get into the right lane to exit. I ended up taking two exits off and back onto the beltway to get where I wanted to go. I cannot even begin to imagine four more lanes unless you know miles ahead which lane you need to be. As far as I'm concerned the governor could add ten more and it would be even a greater mess.

Yeah-- sumting like that!

Shoot First. Ask Questions Later, Deaf Man Shot Dead by Oklahoma City Police Who Yelled Commands at Him--"Julio Rayos, a neighbor who lives a few homes away and knew the man was deaf, said he saw the confrontation unfold and sensed trouble. He said that he ran toward the officer with his wife and his 12-year-old daughter, all three of them screaming that the man could not understand the officer. “Don’t kill him, he’s deaf,” his daughter yelled. “Don’t do it!” About six other neighbors joined in, frantically trying to get the officer’s attention. But less than a minute after the episode began, a second officer arrived and immediately pulled out his handgun, Mr. Rayos said. While people continued to scream, the first officer fired his Taser at Mr. Sanchez, while the second fired his handgun, the police said.

Yeah I get it. Nine out of ten times when someone doesn't comply they end up dead. The simple solution is to always comply. My daddy always taught me to argue with a judge--not a cop. My daddy received state police training in the 40's. Looks like he knew these guys responses all too well both back then as well as until this day.

Healthcare--Conservatives Know Very Well What They're Doing
Health Bill Would Shift Funds From States That Expanded Medicaid

In simple terms this would shift the money in liberal leaning states--who are not their voting base--to those who are. Nothing more then playing politics with peoples lives. How nice!

After Thoughts
These are some of the tons of stories I come across. It's crazy trying to create a whole bunch of separate posts for each. Hence why I've taken to this bundled kind of format. There's simply too many I thought worth mentioning. This rather then trying to come up with only one or two of the top stories. Hopefully this will yield useful information to some who might have missed these along with a comment or two.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

In The News (09/20/2017) PART 2

*** Computer programmers will always do what they do
It's becoming increasingly difficult to navigate the web. One of my utility companies changed their website and account numbers making it impossible to log on. I had to re-register. When I attempted to do so they required a temporary pass key they'd send via email. I never got it. So I went to my Hotmail account. There Hotmail presented me with two more hoops to jump through before I could even check my inbox. Having obtained the temp pass code for my utility it required that I go paperless whether I like it or not. Yeah well that's gonna work out just swell--I'll never get them. DUH! Next step was to change my online banking information for the utility. If it's an account number--fine. But a address change requires deleting the old account info and creating an entirely new one. Talk about a pain in the butt.

YouTube made a bunch of changes too. The notifications I receive in email no longer display a thumbnail of the video correctly (if at all) nor it's description. They like others are very interested in my security wanting my cell phone number. First off I don't have one. If I did I would never agree to the terms. If one looks carefully by doing so you are giving permission to call it. Ain't never gonna happen. So far I'm able to circumvent these for who knows how long.

Then there's the online banking that also thought it was a great idea to ask me secret questions after they changed. Problem is no matter what answers I gave they were not accepted. Apparently I also needed to have a temporary pass code either via email or phone. Then re-update my "secret questions" all over again.

Nearly every site I visit has pop ups of all kinds I refuse to click on. By clicking on them users are giving permissions for things they'd never would if they knew what they were giving permission for. Plain and simple you guys are F*&k'd up-- it ain't me. Things don't have to be this difficult. I thought computers were suppose to make life simpler. Guess not!

*** Danger, moron behind the wheel reports Wrong-way 18-wheel rig takes trip down Boardwalk-- "Police found an 18-wheeler cruising along the Ventnor Boardwalk early Wednesday morning after it tried to make a u-turn and was directed onto the famous wooden way in Atlantic City, reportedly by the driver’s GPS."

Anyone who can't tell the difference between a "wooden boardwalk" and a street is a complete idiot who doesn't belong behind a wheel. Goodness sake if GPS told someone to drive into a canal--would they? Never mind--some drivers already have. I'd expect this from some robot driven vehicle but human drivers? This guy's making a great pitch for robot replacements, no? Way to go ace!

*** The
Russian Facebook Account Reportedly Organized Florida Trump Rallies During Election-- "Russian Facebook accounts attempted to organize more than a dozen Florida Trump rallies during the election, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday:"

Oh my--looks like even Russia wants to MAGA. Who would have thunk it?

*** New York Daily News (video)
Police officer detains boy with autism after mistaking him for druggie-- "A police officer in Arizona mistook a 14-year-old boy who has autism for a drug user and detained the teen... That’s when *** took ***l to the ground."

Well at least he didn't shoot him. Unfortunately in this country most people with mental conditions or addictions end up being jailed as a form of treatment. Fortunately for this kid he wasn't one of them.

*** New York Post
$338M Powerball winner busted for child sex assault--"Nearly $30,000 of that was used at the time to make child support payments that he had owed since 2009."

Yeah this guy sounds like a real winner.

*** Borrowing is going to cost Pennsylvania more
Reuters, S&P downgrades Pennsylvania credit to A-plus, cites budget problems

There's been some talk of borrowing money to plug the budget gap. Yeah that ought to work out just fine. Let the next bunch of elected politicians figure out a way to deal with this. No problem :-(

*** Dem toddlers are such a threat these days
New York Post, 5-year-old suspended for making ‘terroristic threats’ against school--"Great Valley Academy officials said that the ordeal unfolded when little Jackson Riley was asked to take off his backpack, but the 5-year-old boy refused. The child then told his teacher that a bomb inside would explode.."

Damn when I was in kindergarten I never even had a backpack. All I ever thought about was if I'd be allowed the marching sticks or triangle or when a carton of milk would be served. . My how things have changed. They grow up so fast these days. Wonder if this kid will end up on the Homeland security list?

In The News (09/20/2017) PART 1

*** The Morning Call reported on a Allentown plan to limit Muhlenberg College student housing debate-- " Muhlenberg College students who recently returned to campus may face a crackdown on their living arrangements thanks to a proposed expansion of the zoning district around the school."

I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs. Rather how people responded on social media. In the past I've read over and again those who blamed oldsters leaving the city (white flight) for the decay Allentown now is forced to deal with. Accordingly they are criticized for not staying and fighting to maintain their neighborhoods. Ah but now when something like this comes along the residents in the West End are called snobs and elitists for doing just that. Ya just gotta love social media. No matter which side you're on--it's always the wrong one :-)

*** Speaking of ending up on the wrong side of things. ‘Horse’s Ass!’ Mike Francesa Shreds Penn State Coach For Calling a Timeout Up 56-0--"With 11 seconds remaining in his team’s game against Georgia State Saturday, Penn State coach James Franklin called a timeout just as Georgia State was set to attempt a field goal. The problem? Penn State was leading the game 56-0."

Let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe one of the defense players had to pee and couldn't hold it. OR the broadcaster notified the coach they needed to get in a few more ads. Either way seemed like a way over reaction to the play.

*** Which brings me to another "over reaction". Today I stopped for gasoline. I charged $42 to my credit card. The next stop I made was at a beer distributor where a $55 charge was declined. Two hours later I received an automated message a fraud might have been conducted. I responded both were legitimate purchases by pressing 1 for each. OMG now this is where things start to go off the rails. When my card was declined at the beer distributor I used a different credit card. OH, OH looks like I'm gonna get double charged. Gotta make some calls. OMG after funneling down dozens of recorded messages it says there' a 1 hour hold time-- WTF!!! Who needs a credit freeze--looks like card companies are doing it on their own. Damn--life is so much easier for hackers.

*** Huffington Post reports, Fentanyl Seized In Record NYC Bust Was Enough To Kill 32 Million-- "Authorities confiscated more than 200 pounds of the potent synthetic opioid from a Queens apartment last month."

Ye gads--as if nukes and outside enemies weren't enough to worry about. The way we're going all our enemies need to do is stand down and wait for us to wreck ourselves.

*** Ours tax dollars HARDLY at work. According to Mediaite--"Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has been using private jets to fly across America... Just last week Price, who often touts the virtues of fiscal responsibility in health policy, “took private jets on five separate flights for official business... One flight Price chartered last week, from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, cost roughly $25,000 — while commercial flights at the same time cost a few hundred, and an Amtrak train just $72."

This while we're being told government sponsored healthcare is too expensive.

*** U.S. Attorney General, Philadelphia Man Charged with Social Security Fraud--"The defendant’s alleged actions resulted in a loss to the government of approximately $148,526...If convicted, the defendant faces a term of imprisonment, a 3‑year period of supervised release, restitution to the government of $148,526, a $1,250,000 fine, and a $500 special assessment."

There take that you A-hole!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In The News (09/19/2017)

*** 12 days after hurricane Irma hit Key West, Florida it looks like today the SLOPPY JOE WEBCAMS are back up and running. I been checking on them for days. This is the first day they came back online. The place looks like it was never hit. Good looking as ever. It appears the ERNEST HEMINGWAY HOME & MUSEUM also faired well. The WEBCAM AT MALLORY SQUARE also came back online. The cruise ship dock is looking good too.

However Key West still isn't ready for visitors. According to The Monroe Tourist Development Council... Tuesday, Sept. 19 • 9:00 a.m.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma impacting the Florida Keys, infrastructure repairs and restoration efforts continue, according to Keys officials.

While residents and business owners were permitted back into the Upper Keys on Tuesday and remaining Keys areas Sunday, visitors have been asked to postpone any near-term plans to vacation in the island chain. Some areas of the Keys are likely to be ready to accommodate visitors before others. An exact reopening date for all regions is not yet known, but Key West city officials expect their island will open by Fantasy Fest, the annual costume and masking festival that is set to start Friday, Oct. 20.

Both Keys airports’ runways are available for aircraft, but commercial service to Key West International Airport has been suspended until electricity and water have been restored. General aviation operations have resumed at both airports. The airports are currently being used as incoming staging areas for relief supplies and personnel.
check out the link above for more information

*** Trump spoke to the U.N. this morning. One headline read, ‘Rocket Man is on a Suicide Mission’: Trump Threatens to ‘Totally Destroy North Korea’--" The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”. Although that may go without saying--I'm not sure why he felt the need to say it. Some of the other stuff he said wasn't framed kindly either. Some may find it refreshing. I don't. Got to remember there are a bunch of other nations sitting there unfriendly with us who won't take his bulling too well. Many have egos as big as his. I expect strong responses in the days ahead. Not the best way to win friends and influence enemies over to our side.

*** The Senate passed $700b for defense spending in 2018. In 2017 the budget request was for $582.7. In 2016 we spent $580.3b on defense. In other words this year's will be a 20% increase over last year. Course if you're gonna threaten to "totally destroy North Korea" you might wanna be prepared, right?

*** Meanwhile congressional conservatives lament we can't continue paying for these so-called "entitlements". I suppose that's true if we're gonna spend more money wrecking other peoples stuff with our military. Not to worry. There's another plan afoot. It's called "tax reform". 'Bloomberg News says, Here’s How Tax Reform Could Squeeze the Middle Class-- "Upper-middle-class taxpayers in particular could face a triple whammy. On the table are limits on—or even the elimination of—three of their favorite tax perks: deductions for mortgage interest and for state and local taxes and the ability to make pre-tax 401(k) retirement contributions.". Hey we got our priorities--you just don't happen to be one of them.

*** Speaking of entitlements-- what's with that gang over there in Norway? Turns out their pension fund is now worth $1,000,000,000,000. According to CNN--"The fund's value works out to over $190,000 for each of Norway's 5.2 million citizens.". Yeah but they don't sure don't have all the fancy military equipment we do with their Norwegian Armed Forces. Who's da' man!

*** In Pennsylvania the cost of tree trimming is about to rise dramatically. The U.S. Justice Department charged-- Asplundh, headquartered in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, is an industry leader in tree trimming and brush clearance for power and gas lines. The information alleges that in or about 2010 to on or about December 2014, Asplundh managers... directed their personnel to accept false identification from prospective employees. The acceptance of these false documents facilitated the re-hiring of Asplundh employees who had been determined previously by Homeland Security Investigations to be aliens unauthorized to work in the United States. This is good news for all you job seekers looking to get in on this exciting growing industry. No more picking apples for you. Line forms at the end.

*** Oh the horror. A free 16 day cruise. 'The New York Daily News-- "A five-day pleasure cruise turned into a 16-day "experience of a lifetime" for some Royal Caribbean travelers this month. The luxurious Majesty of the Seas was transformed into a rescue and supply ship to help victims of Hurricane Irma... Many passengers stayed on board the ship even when given a chance to disembark in Florida after a few days." Although many of the amenities like booze, unlimited food and casinos were cut off I'd still take it. Looks to me like most of the Eastern Caribbean cruises will be a washout for sometime. I suspect for many months these cruise ships will ply the Western and Southernmost areas of Caribbean instead, Visiting the Eastern & Northern Caribbean islands will not be the same for sometime. Hearts go out to Puerto Rico who looks like it will be next to be hit hard.

*** I'm extremely uninterested in awards shows for three reasons (1) They're all composed of self congratulating people full of one another patting each other on the back. (2) None of them can rein in themselves. Either they do something really stupid of shock value to get noticed OR can't refrain from politics. (3) Who cares what those voting inside their own industry think. People know what they like. They don't have to be told.

Gosh I have so much more to say. but that ought to do it for now. I've gone on too long already.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Some Trumpsters Not Enamored With 1st Amendment

'The New York Daily News'
TV viewers keep asking the FCC to punish CNN for Trump coverage even though it can't
"Since late June, viewers have filed more than 1,100 FCC complaints about news coverage of Trump. No other topic has consumed them as overwhelmingly as CNN, the news channel Trump has trashed more than any other.

Out of the complaints, about 750 call for CNN to be taken off the air or lose its broadcasting license, which the FCC cannot do. Nearly a dozen accuse CNN of broadcasting "illegal" content and committing "treason" or "crimes against America."
They need to be taken off the air. Along with ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC. Also NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST...DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!"

Hypocrisy Much?
Conservative media has been squawking for months complaining about how their speakers are being suppressed on college campuses and elsewhere in public. Most of the focus has been on the conservative speakers' rights to first amendment speech.

Yeah well--looks like nobody is satisfied these days
Here's what I suggest. Everybody stick a sock in it--whether it be on the right or left--don't like something--don't protest, attend, read or watch it. The more either side gets worked up the harder the other side will dig in their heels.

Speeches and rallies are practically useless. They accomplish nothing. Who cares what a bunch of blowhards who make a living off this kind of stuff at rallies, on TV, in the newspapers and on websites have to say. Nine out of ten times they only attract their own brand of followers influencing no one beyond them anyway.

Rather then worrying so much about what someone else is saying we should pay more attention to the things that really matter. Things like our commonalities rather then what divides us. No better examples were set then what happened in Houston or Florida. No one gave a damn if their neighbor was Republican, Democrat, gay or no matter what--they felt the commonality between themselves.

It seems to me unless there's a catastrophe we become bored and start playing these mindless games. Why can't we always have a mindset like this? To work towards the betterment of each another without these horrible attitudes focusing on those which we pretend makes us separate.

Yep--still works for me today.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Some Quick Thoughts I Have

*** FOX News and it's business channel constantly whine about the mainstream media. Here's a flash--they are part of mainstream media. They along with such well-known websites as Breitbart, National Review, HotAir, Red State, The Daily Caller Drudge Report among dozens of others. Same goes for the bloviators on conservative talk radio programs. The cast includes Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, O'Reilly and Savage--to name a few. I don't know how much more mainstream any of them could get.

*** All we ever hear is how broke government is getting. It doesn't matter whether it's at the federal, state, county, school districts or local level--they all claim the same. Could the reason be the largest segment of taxpayers--the middle class--has experienced a steady decline in earnings year after year. Even more so when adjusted for inflation. In about every part of the country we are seeing a explosion in the number of warehouse and service jobs paying $11-$15 an hour. Gone are the vast numbers of well paying industrial jobs. We could debate all day why this is so--but it won't change the fact less pay means less revenue for government.

*** Unfunded mandates--When the government receives less revenue it comes up with all kinds of creative schemes. One of the ugliest are these unfunded mandates. To put it simply--when the government wants to do things it can't afford it forces someone else to come up with a way to pay for it. And if they don't--imposes fines. Agencies seeing their budgets cut come up with a all kinds of new unfunded mandates. Ones which require permits along with the accompanying payment of fees for them to offset their declining incomes..

*** Tax cuts--ain't no such beast. Currently the United States is over $20 trillion in the hole. I often said I can't afford any more tax breaks. No truer will it be with whatever scheme they come up with in Washington. Whatever they come up with you best believe it will amount to little more the rearranging the deck chairs on the 'Titanic'. According to 'Pew Research' as of August 2017 this fiscal year it is projected to cost $474.5 billion on interest alone by the end of this month.

*** Pennsylvania legislators couldn't agree on how to plug a $2 billion shortfall. On Friday the state stop cutting checks for $1.7 billion intended for 2.2 million enrolled under Medicaid insurers and to the state's obligation towards school districts' pension funds. So suck it up buttercup--the checks ain't in the mail.

No worries--legislators are still getting paid on time.

*** Protests, Protests and more protests. Ain't seen nothing like em. You name it--somebody's gotta a problem with it. Rather exhausting. Kinda makes me tune out at this point.

In Local News
Allentown and Easton. Storm water rain run off fees may be imposed next year Hope the future fish tank in Easton planned ahead.

Speaking of Easton-- mayor Sal Panto is upset after he was shot down by the planning commission. They rejected imposing $700,000 in fees and permits on Lafayette College. He said he needed these to balance the budget. As we all should know--you can't impose taxes on nonprofits--but you sure as hell can squeeze them for fees

Back to Allentown. This year's upcoming election will be a replay of the primaries. Nearly a half dozen candidates announced intentions of running for mayor. Short story is Pawlowski is a sure winner. Allentown voters always pull the big 'D" lever. Not that it matters anyways. No matter who wins Hess's, Western Electric nor GE is coming back. Neither will couples with kids restore single home ownership like it once use to be. It is what it is.

The best we can hope for--whoever is elected will attend council meetings and be a lot more receptive then what we've seen in the past. In other words a lot less political. Far more engaged with the peons. There's no reason why--with all the media we have available--someone in a leadership position couldn't interact more then they have in the past. This could be done through a well organized weekly/monthly town hall style program either on PBS39. WFMZ, either cable TV service or even a Q&A piece in the Morning Call. Why not all five?

Well that's about all on my mind for now. As I look back over this maybe these weren't "Quick Thoughts" after all. Sorry bout that. I'm sure there will be more to follow. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Allentown's Propsed Stormwater Fee Worse Then I Thought

Two posts prior I spoke about this. It's gets crazier the more I learn.

Morning Call reporter Emily Opilo FILED THIS REPORT...For the school district, which has 22 schools and owns several more properties in the city, the burden would be much larger than just the bill for Dieruff. School board member Robert Smith said he was shocked by the proposal. The district’s budget for 2017-2018 has already been set, and it doesn’t include any money for stormwater, he said. “This is the most ridiculous thing,” he said. “We’re barely making it as is. Our fund balance is almost depleted, and now this.”

The fee presents an additional financial burden for some of the city’s largest properties.... The Allentown Fairgrounds at 17th Street occupies an entire city block and is one of the largest taxable properties in the city. It’s also covered almost entirely with pavement... Allentown as a city will also be impacted by the fee. The city must pay into the stormwater fund for all eligible city properties,

Nobody gets out of this. Not hospitals, colleges, schools, churches, county or city streets and owned properties, old folks homes, sports venues, home owners or apartments. Everyone's gonna get screwed layer upon layer as each pass along their expenses. I can't imagine how the fairgrounds will be able to sustain such an increase. I also would surmise hospitals will unload some of their properties along with dozens of businesses operating on a shoestring. I expect to see more shuttered properties then there already are. PPL plaza is already in trouble.

OMG if this goes down like they say this city is gonna go down the toilet and begin to look like Detroit.

The only reason it hasn't so far, nobody pushed the handle. This could very well be it my friend.

Welcome to the club
Now it's our turn
Denver 02/11/2013

Underage Drinking Arrests At Lehigh U.

Lehigh Valley Live (09/13/2017)
About 80 underage drinking arrests at Lehigh in 3 weeks
Police charged 20 Lehigh University students with underage drinking last weekend, bringing the total arrests this year up to around 80...Five Lehigh students had to be hospitalized the weekend of Sept. 9-10 with dangerously high alcohol levels, according to Lehigh police Chief Edward Shupp. Their blood-alcohol contents were around 0.26 to 0.29, which is more than three times the legal limit to drive...Bethlehem police charged 56 people with underage drinking over the weekend of Sept. 2-3, many of whom were in two homes near campus.
Some may look upon this as a negative story regarding Lehigh University. I don't see it that way. They are doing the right thing. Kudos to the university for taking on this problem. I see few other colleges, universities or police departments meeting the challenge. If so, I'm not hearing about it publicly. Both the police and university should be commended for their efforts. Few others seem willing to admit they have a problem within their midst.

Part of educators' responsibility should be to teach students how important it is to be accountable for their actions. A skill they will need both in future employment as well as becoming better citizens. The actions being taken by the university in cooperation with the Bethlehem police contribute towards meeting such goals. When police or colleges let students slide--like they do in too many other communities--they're not doing students a service.

My attitude is this. There nothing wrong with drinking and whooping it up a bit. BUT getting snockered for four years is not why they are suppose to be there. Someone(s) who instigates and continually encourages such by their own behavior needs to be dealt with. This can be accomplished by notifying parents, arrest and expulsion if necessary.

The movie "Animal House" might have been funny as hell, but there's nothing funny about being stupid every week for four years.

This kind of behavior encourages other students who obviously can't think for themselves.

We seen this time and again. It's only a matter of time until another student gets killed somewhere this year. I seen these kind of parties myself-50 or a 100 kids raising hell partying it up in a single house. My fear is nothing will be done until a floor collapses, some kid dies or there is a fire revelers can't escape. In each of these campus security (these weren't Lehigh U parties) came escorted by the police chuckling it off as students (who knows if they all were) had been "asked" to leave. No one was carded. You damn well know most wouldn't be 21 till their 3rd or 4th year. Who's kidding who? Sometimes the worse that happened they were issued a noise citation. Hey what mom and pop don't know, right? Talk about a lawsuit just waiting to happen!

Once again-I couldn't be more supportive of Lehigh University and the Bethlehem police for what they are initiating. Both are doing a job that many other education institutions try to sweep under the carpet.

They are setting a good example. Question is--will others follow?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Allentown Taxes Going Up Next Year

In case you missed it Allentown property owners are about to get hosed in 2018.

Video of the meeting can be found HERE
Fees Were Discussed At 22:24 Minute Mark

Call it a "fee" or by any other name-- it's still a tax. Anyone who believes for one minute school property taxes aren't going to reflect these increased costs to the ASD are delusional. I realize a bunch of other cities have already taken advantage of this new way of raising revenue. But to my way of thinking storm water drainage should always be part of the city budget. Itemizing city expenses like they are some bill from the hospital stinks.

How long before we start charging extra fees for specific streets swept by machines, extra for pickups on tree lined streets, repaving and a host of others I can think of?

Once we start divvying up city services--once considered the overall costs of running a city--we begin down a never ending slippery slope. This is all about politicians being able to claim they haven't raised taxes when in fact they did. I call bullshit on this kind of nonsense. This is a tax increase--plain and simple.

Federal Budget- Something Gotta Give

'Associated Press'
"The Republican-led House on Thursday passed a sweeping $1.2 trillion spending bill that provides billions more dollars for the military while sparing medical research and popular community development programs from deep cuts sought by President Donald Trump."Logic dictates the federal government cannot create tax cuts at the same time spending billion$ more. The United States is $20 trillion in debt.

Anyone else see how long it will be before this all blows up?

I'm sure like many other of Americans say--no matter which party they subscribe to--don't come knocking on my door. We're in a heap of trouble.

Never Ending Monetizing

'' joined the ranks of 'The Morning Call' and dozens of others who limit their views per month. Nearly every site I visit imposes popups blocking my view of their articles. In each case I "refresh" my browser and erase cookies. If that doesn't take care of the problem I leave--it's not worth it to me. Who knows what these popups do when you click on them.

Today I've been confronted with something entirely new. Norton Antivirus (which I pay for) has begun trolling me with popups for their products--even when I'm not on the internet.

I get at least four telephone calls per day. Unless I recognize the caller I let the answer machine handle it. 100% of the time they disconnect.

When I watch TV they too do a whole bunch of popups and overlays on top of what I'm watching. Cable news channels are the worst. On top of their chyrons and crawls sometimes these take up 30% of the screen. Not to mention five or six bloviators in a box.

More and more YouTube posters are self promoting or pushing some product they are being paid to hype.

I'm going to try and put this nicely as I can-- stick it up your ass-- I'm not interested. This is something I felt the need to get off my chest.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bernie Sanders On Medicare For All Campaign

The Politics
Of course I'm 100% certain it'll never get to the floor on either side of the capital dome for consideration. Hell it's lucky if committee members would even allow it to be brought up in their meetings. It's far more likely to end up in the no-can-do pile gathering dust in a closet somewhere. That said-- for some time now conservatives accused liberals of having no plan for healthcare. That the Democratic party is in disarray. Ought to be interesting to see just how true that is.

There are 192 Democrats in the House. Another 44 in the Senate plus two more Independents who caucus with the Democrats. Just what if Senator Sanders is able to round up a hundred or so who were willing to publicly support such a bill. Sure they may not be able to pry it out of committee, but it could make the upcoming election very interesting.

Is It Practical Financially?
Well if it's done right I think so. The first argument right out of the box goes something like this--"I don't want to be forced to pay for someone else". Here's a flash-- we already do. What do they think, hospitals and aging homes provide services for free? No they get reimbursed from somewhere. Guess were that is. Us in the form of higher premiums and co pays.

The biggest problem we have right now is workers are getting hit three ways. One through reduced wages because companies factor in their medical costs. The second paying higher premiums and co pays for those who refuse to buy insurance then stiff the system once the bills become to high. The third is all workers are already paying through wage deductions for Medicare without getting any it's benefits until they're 65-- if they make it that far. Otherwise they don't get diddly squat.

One of the biggest faults with Medicare is it only covers those 65 years old and up. Obviously a very unsound business practice by any measure. Imagine if you will instead bringing in three times more mostly healthy middle aged and younger people contributing into the program. Imagine those employers who provide healthcare being relieved of such a burden. In most cases they could provide increased pay to cover an employees increased Medicare deduction (if there were to be one). Companies might even be able to pocket a little bit of extra loot left over for themselves.

I'd even go far as to bet for many people what they spend on co pays alone totals up more then what Medicare would cost. Possibly even some left over to get supplemental coverage.

Dem Is Just My Opinions
Them and a buck won't get you a cup of coffee. However I still think it's worth our time to take a serious look into it. We haven't done it before. The idea has been tossed around like a political football for years. Let some of our congress members hash it out and see what kind of bill they can come up with. Then run it past the CBO. No harm no foul. If critics want to shut Bernie up for once and all this would be the way to go about it. Course on the other hand-- just what if?

Republicans had their chance to come up with a better plan then Obamacare and failed to either improve it or eliminate it. Would it be so crazy to consider Bernie Sanders may be onto something. Why not--- congress wasted the last 8 years--what's 1 more?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I Disagree Qualified Workers Are In Short Supply

Reuters News Service reports,
U.S. job openings at record high; qualified workers scarce"
"Employers need skilled labor and experienced workers are in short supply,"

Generally speaking it may be so in the medical, pharmaceutical, scientific community, electronic design industries. Overall I dispute this oft repeated mantra for several reasons. Here's why. (1) It's a matter of money-- the bottom line. For years companies have been pushing out 50 some year old "experienced" fulltime employees for a number of reasons. They can be replaced by cheaper more desperate workers. Many of them working for a 3rd party. Others part time and/or on call. Still others replaced by visiting foreign workers. As a group of employees age healthcare costs increase. So do their vested rights. Ask any person over 50 how easy it is to find a job irregardless of their experience.

(2) Companies always throw in the "experienced" tag right after skilled. Reality is we're pumping out more educated graduate students then ever before in our history. Throwing in the "experienced" line gives companies leverage over new hires. Thus instilling a fear of asking for wages they might deserve. It implies we'll take a chance on hiring you against some of the competition, but you're going to have to work really hard to prove your worth since we went out on a limb by hiring you. This tactic is much like the car salesman who says, yeah you aren't getting the best deal but if you don't take my offer I have two more lined up so you'll lose out.

(3) I have another issue with this "experience" BS. Not all, but more then plenty of companies have specialized equipment custom manufactured for the specific product they are producing. I can't speak towards all jobs, but from my own "experience" there's not a college or trade school who could teach me on the equipment I was trained to use or the processes. Because of the companies trade secrets visitors or photography was never allowed. Previous to this job I was referencing I worked in the field of electronics. If you think for one second electronics manufacturing is all the same you're very much mistaken. Without company provided training no one would be able to do any of them. Throw in the company giving me some training in software design (something I had no training in) I'd be lost. As would anyone else unless they had two or three degrees involving each.

(4) At this point many companies are exploiting employee interns as an excuse for cheap labor. More then a few of our younger workers are paying thousand$ to attend a institute of higher learning. These educational schools then force require some of their attendees to intern before they allow students to earn their degrees. The advantage to companies should be obvious. In some cases (not all) these fine institutes of higher learning are compensated. The deal is many of these students are agreeing to intern hoping it will buy them some leverage to get hired by these companies after graduation. I'm here to tell you, with the companies I worked for, it did not.

Upon graduating in 1966 none us knew how to build a Mack truck, assemble Bell telephones or make steel in Bethlehem. These companies took us on fulltime teaching us the "skills" needed. They didn't hide behind the excuses when hiring. I'm certain many will argue greater skills are required then back then. Perhaps so for some occupations. But for most of today's jobs (like back then) consist of repetitive tasks which require less "experience" and "skills" then companies are willing to admit just so they can increase their profit margins.

This constant berating of American workers' skills is a disingenuous talking point. Anyone applying for such a job is best off avoiding such a company. Those who act like they are doing a favor hiring someone are not to be trusted. Do yourself a favor, walk away. Find another willing to invest their time training. It's a partnership. Companies need good workers as much as good workers need them. To think otherwise is a fallacy.

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Gut Response To The Equifax Breach

First off-- let me explain this response comes from a thick headed curmudgeon who is in no way an expert. Take it for what it's worth.

(1) Ain't no way I'm going to pay for anything these guys screwed up. If some thief steals my ID from them and takes them for a ride why should I be on the hook? This puts victims in an impossible situation. How are we suppose to come up with evidence for something that never occurred? This whole thing throws justice on it's rear. Guilty until proved innocent is totally unacceptable.

(2) If you think I'm going to sign up with you guys for protection you've gotta be nuts. You couldn't even protect yourselves with my information Why should I trust you with even more?

(3) If Equifax and other agencies really cared they'd "freeze" everyone's credit applications on their own. Why should we have to? All future applications should be "frozen" until they come up with a better way of verifying them. It's not that hard. When it comes to in-person, online mortgage/credit applications and the IRS nobody gets nothing till they FAX, email photocopies or mail various documents only they have in their possession. Crooks may have information, but in no way have hard documentation.

(4) Receivers of Social Security shouldn't feel threatened if the SS administration takes the time to mail or call beneficiaries before making changes to their direct deposits. Will they?

(5) Everyone is assuming the hackers were after money. Just what if it were a foreign country looking to screw with our elections instead? They could change elections registrations to a different party or unregistered them completely. Thus making a certain select group ineligible to vote. Then there are those who cast votes via absentee ballot. Ever think of that possibility?

No Such Thing As Being Hack Proof
The DNC, pentagon, email, social media accounts and dozens of banking sites have been hacked proving there's no such thing as being 100% secure. The best we hope it doesn't screw with our finances and proof of ownership. About all we can do is-- (1) Insist on paper documentation whenever possible. (2) Not allow companies to force us to prove our innocence through no fault of our own. (3) Deal in cash whenever possible. (4) Check online our voter registrations, financial accounts and all the others challenging them whenever something seems fishy.

Most importantly, we shouldn't allow any company or government agency to get away with putting the burden of proof for our innocence on us because of their screw ups.

Course if ya wanna take more main stream advice and views then my own check out 'Forbes" on "How To Protect Yourself. They're far less curmudgeon.

In case I didn't give you enough to worry about...

Renters-- You Aren't Off The Hook

Landlords May Be No Better Off Either

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What Hurricane Victims Can Look Forward To

2 Years After Hurricane Sandy Struck in 2012

10 years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005

Katrina and Sandy came years apart. Irma & Harvey came within days of each other. Already bankrupt Puerto Rico faces a crisis worse then before the storm. The Caribbean islands so too will face a crisis whose economies depend almost entirely on tourists. Every week about eight cruise ships carrying 2,000 or more passengers ply the waters between the Caribbean islands along with their hundreds of onboard workers on each. Dozens more of airplane flights bringing guests into the islands. I consider myself fortunate to have visited these islands in the Caribbean. By doing so I realize how fragile their economics are. How dependant their people are on visitors who expect quality accommodations. Much the same goes with tourist visitors in those previously hit by hurricanes in our own country.

We'd all like to believe somehow it'll work out and everything will be as it was before. History proves otherwise. So many lives impacted will be changed forever. No matter how you slice it, once a hurricane hits things are never the same again.

Two Weeks After Hurricane Harvey

Footage From St.Martin After Hurricane Irma

Sad, just so sad. I have no idea how I'd deal with this--hope I never have to.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Facebook Memes The Russians Used

'The Daily Beast'-- "Facebook finally admitted that the Russians tried to weaponize the social network to sway the election. Here are some of the arms in that propaganda arsenal.

I can't tell you the amount of times I seen those on various posts. I can honestly say I found by far the greatest number of these were posted right on DT's Twitter account by those commenting. Even DT himself got in on the act retweeting one of the memes someone posted allegedly created by the Russians

Maybe some of DT's followers might want to reconsider before posting these.

I wonder how many thinking they are being all-American cheerleaders for Trump realize instead being used to help spread Russian propaganda. Course if someone likes what they say who cares if it's Putin poison, eh?

Of course I fully expect the hardened to be in denial accusing this being more leftie propaganda. Russians-- what Russians-- ain't no Russians. The whole thing is nothing but a "witch hunt". All them memes hating on snowflakes is American as apple pie. Certainly Putin wouldn't want drive a wedge between Americans. Why would he? He's not that kind of guy, right?

In the old days during war each nation used radio broadcast and dropped leaflets and continued to do so years after. Why is accepting each and every nation continue to do so up onto this very day via social media so difficult to admit?

We do it. They do it. Terrorists do it. Everybody does it. If it's done well enough some dupes will fall for it.

A Few Yucks I Came Across

What A Way To Travel !

'The Sun' (UK)

Check it out on 'The Sun'. They have a cool video and bunch of pictures I'll tell you why I was drawn to this article. I have a story which relates to it.

Years ago my former boss and his brothers took an RV out west into the woods of Oregon. Like everyone else they dragged their car behind it on a trailer. They decided to go deep into the woods using back roads to camp. Most of them unpaved. They thinking nothing of it. When they finally arrived many miles later they got out and walked around to the back. Yeah you probably guessed it?

The car they had in tow was battered to the hilt. The windshield and hood looked like they came under machine gun fire. The side mirrors were hanging. Stones penetrated under the hood puncturing the radiator causing it to leak out completely. Needless to say how stupid they looked to other drivers on the way home towing a piece of junk looking like it was shot up. So not cool.

In An Unrelated Travel Story
A coworker of mine once flew out west for vacation. When he got there he rented a car to see the sights up close and personal. These were the days before GPS so he wanted to get a tourist map at the filling station before he set out across the Mojave desert. The attendant told him he didn't have one, but if he continued down the road and made his first right there would be an official tourist office. What he didn't tell him the first right down the road was 40 miles away. He made the right and about mile in came across a shack marked travel office. He parked walked up knocked on the door for several minutes till some scraggly looking old guy around 80 years old answered the weathered beaten door. Once inside the old timer told him he's the first he's seen in about a month. He then proceeded to scrounge around yellow boxes and finally produced a map for him. Not what he was expecting. Neither is what came next.

Returning to the main road in his rental, one horrific sand storm came up. Well he finally made it to his destination where he could return the rental. What he encountered next was one pissed off rental agent. Apparently the agent wasn't too pleased with him returning a car which had it's paint nearly all sand blasted off and the air filter clogged with sand.

So what have we learned kids?
(1) Never tow a car on stone roads behind an RV.
(2) Never use your own car if you can avoid it.
(3) Vacations can be filled with lots of unexpected adventure. Especially for those who decide to take a fun filled Caribbean cruise during hurricane season. And for those cruise passengers who end up in a airport during a snowstorm before making it to the ship. What a bummer, eh?

Huge Credit Agency Data Breach

Equifax computers were hacked exposing some 143 million Americans credit records. Information including their names, addresses, social security numbers and other personal information.

Experts remind people once again why it's important to change one's name, address, birth date, social security number and gender frequently.