Friday, October 29, 2021

Allentown Looking To Get Into Broadband
Allentown is looking to close the ‘digital divide’ by getting in the broadband business
"The program would make high speed fiber optic broadband available throughout Allentown and at a subsidized price or free for low-income residents. Lightner says the program could eventually become a revenue source for the city through the income generated from those paying full price, as well as attract jobs and companies to Allentown."

* Well I'll tell you what jobs it won't attract Those who presently work at SETV and RCN. The competition could very well drive up prices for whatever remaining customers would use their services. That is if it even meant cable companies could continue being squeezed from all sides.

* Subsidized or free for low-income residents: I don't see how they reason it will attract jobs or companies. Seems to me it will be another incentive for none working families to plant their roots here. So called poor people living in Allentown already have available subsidized housing, free school lunches and community church meals, daycare at schools, food stamps, grocery handouts, free backpacks and jackets, help with utilities, cell phones, reduced or free medical care, so on and so forth. This just adds another incentive for not going to work if they be losing their poor status. Seems to me these freebies could end up costing a couple thousand dollars or more for a family if they had to pay for them from their wages. Almost foolish for someone to even try getting off the public dole.

* No matter what the city does it will be paying a for-profit private contractor to do this. In other words force working people (through their taxes) to enrich whatever company the city so chooses. In so doing denying fair marketplace competition while encroaching on present providers. At the same time forcing those who are not "low-income" having to pay full price for services they won't be receiving through the use of their tax dollars.

Here's the strong message we're sending. If you're living off social programs and services, Allentown is the number one place you wanna be. If you're working and paying taxes... not so much since you'd have to then pay "full price" to the city for this broadband service of theirs.

Then there's the "NIZ" handouts only available in Allentown  No other one like it in the state. That's a whole other topic.

When it comes to Allentown we ought to change our logo to "Allentown where everyday is TRICK or TREAT".

Cancelled TV Shows For The 2021-22 Seasons
30 Ending or Cancelled TV Shows for the 2021-22 Season
"Here’s a list of TV shows that aired (or are expected to air) during the 2021-22 season (roughly September 2021 through August 2022) but won’t be back for the 2022-23 season."

I can honestly say except for 'Frankie Drake Mysteries' {PBS} we've not watched any of those anyway. I also see 'The Orville' season 3 returns unexpectedly on HULU in March 2022 after a two year absence.

Which brings me to another beef I have. Networks are starting to air 2 or 3 episodes then move them to their streaming services. Tell ya what it ain't gonna happen in this household. I used to complain cable should be able to afford offering channels à la carte. However networks made that impossible for them by requiring they buy all their channels or none at all. It's gotten even worse. Some of the networks now own the cable companies themselves.

Keep screwing around and they'll make a book reader out of me once again. This is such BS!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Fake Job Ads To Steal People’s Identities
Scammers Are Using Fake Job Ads to Steal People’s Identities
"From Facebook to LinkedIn to Indeed, ads are popping up that promise well-paying jobs — if applicants provide their Social Security numbers and other details up front. Scammers then use the information to apply for unemployment benefits."

How long can a country survive with all this violence, lies and corruption?

Monday, October 25, 2021

Electric Light Orchestra- All Over The World

Flash mobs from all over the world synced up to this 1980 classic from ELO. Proving once again the 80's had some of the best music ever!

From 2013 Mr. Blue Sky (Live at Wembley Stadium)

It takes a super talent to create a masterpriece like this.
It puts many of today's recording artists to shame.

Pennsylvania Lingo Take The Test

Reposted from September 29, 2018

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Death Threats Creating Exodus Of Election Officials

This can be blamed almost entirely on Donald Trump. He has a way of amplifying the intellectually challenged crazies among us. This makes him a dangerous threat to U.S. democracy. What's the matter with people that they can't see him for what he is?

Color Fun Fact From Neil deGrasse Tyson

Just another way at looking at things.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

One Of The Most Significant Roles On Star Trek

Here's why

Nichelle Nichols discusses how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
who was a fan of Star Trek convinced her to remain on the series.

Sometimes we don't think about things that really should matter. This is one of those that did. I was quite surprised looking back they were right. Blacks were never featured in SciFi's up until that time.

Nichelle Nichols on filming the first interracial kiss on American television.

A really big deal at the time!

"Person Of Interest"

Another series we used to enjoy.
Why The Show Was Cancelled
"Here's why Person of Interest was cancelled after season 5 and what season 6's story could've been about. The action-thriller series was based on the concept of an artificial intelligence called The Machine that could predict murders before they happen."

Show Opening Season 1 (2011)

Knowing today there's facial recognition software, cellphone tracking, trojan virus malware, etc. this program was not as far fetched as some may believe it once was. Who knows what the government (and others) may have at their disposal.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Bring This Show Back!

It was more informative then watching what people now consider cable news. All of it based on real events at the time. They pointed out on many occassions what's wrong with main stream news many of us are deluded by.

As far as I'm concerned people could learn more from that show then on any of the cable news networks. Sure the show was biased. So is cable news but a whole lot less entertaining. Sometimes this show was more factual.

Best Congress Money Can Buy
Senator Joe Manchin Wants the “Most Important Climate Policy” Out of Biden’s Budget
"The program is designed to reward utilities that shut down their older coal and natural gas plants and switch to cleaner solar, wind or nuclear options—it would also punish utilities that don’t make the switch...

Manchin, like many powerful people in the state, is personally heavily invested in the industry. Before joining the Senate, Manchin founded a coal brokerage firm, which he has handed over control of but still profits from. By one estimate he has earned about $45 million from the business since joining the Senate."

The total number of coal miners in his state (14,000) represent only 2.4% the total number of 2018 voters. (Less then 1%  of the total population). And here you thought he was unselfishly worried about those coal workers in his state.

One thing I can say with certainty...
No U.S. congressional member comes out poorer then they went in.
Millionaire Members of Congress and Their Taxpayer-Funded Pensions
March 16, 2021: "In 2018, the latest year available, 617 retired members of Congress received federal pensions: 318 at an average of $75,528, under the older (CSRS) retirement program, and 299 at an average of $41,208 under the current (FERS) system...

Last year, at Forbes, we calculated that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 
(with an estimated net worth of $114.7 million) earned $5.7 million in salary during her 35-year congressional career... Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (with an estimated net worth of $35 million) earned $5.5 million in salary over 37 years."
Top 50 U.S. millionaire congress members (in 2018)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Why the Dutch Wait Less at Traffic Lights

This more efficient flow not only creates improved  safety but so too benefits a city's economy. More deliveries can be made in a certain span of time. Less accidents means less costs for emergency services. Less stress for pedestrians, riders and drivers. Greater fuel efficiency. Less traffic of all kinds within a certain time span because many arrive at their destinations before things become backed up.

Every year the United States falls further behind other nations newest innovations.
Why is that?

Social Security Increase For 2022
Social Security Announces 5.9 Percent Benefit Increase for 2022
"The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022... The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000."

This is the first time I will be seeing a decent increase. Hopefully it will be enough to carry me through 2022's increasing costs of inflation.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Either Commit Perjury Or Get Fired

As if most cases aren't stacked against a defendant in the first place. DA's have at their disposal a team of lawyers, legal research assistants, detectives, forensic specialists, lab work and a budget not with their own money to spend. Most defendants have none of those. I've always said throughout my life, he who has the most money usually wins. Hence why the system is stacked against the least wealthy.

Hung juries can result in possibly several expensive retrials Even if someone feels wrongly convicted they can run out of money for appeals. Thus ending up on the losing end. This doesn't make "justice" necessarily fair does it?

Monday, October 11, 2021

Brush Up On Your Mandarin
Pentagon’s first software chief quit because China has already won global tech war
"The Pentagon’s former software chief said he quit because China has already won the tech war guaranteeing global dominance — with some US government systems mere “kindergarten level” in comparison."

Given the fact..
Over 70% of our electronic chips used in the country are imported from China
76 cargo ships with 10,000's of containers await unloading Chinese imports.
China is using those profits buying up U.S. companies (reducing their production).
Chinese military and land expansions are at a ever growing rate.
China is making inroads with foreign countries because the U.S. is losing it's economic leverage 

Pay Attention: 
We hardly make anything like we once did. When we do, we rely nearly 50% on the parts coming from other countries including much of the machinery to assemble those parts.

The majority of the vehicle brands sold here are owned by foreign corporations with parts largely made outside our borders. Same goes with importing pharmaceuticals, lumber, aluminum and dozens upon dozens of more items totaling $2.1 trillion of imported goods each year. In fact the United States runs a trade deficit with all its five major trading partners: China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, and Canada. China being the largest.

Congress and most of this country's people can't agree on most any damn thing. Too busy confronting one another to pay attention to the real threat. Companies looking to cut corners. Congress obsessed trying to take out their political opponents to the degree everything else gets ignored. Not to mention currently we have some of the least intelligent human beings to walk the planet filling those seats. Many of which couldn't hold a job more then a few weeks if they worked in the private sector. Quite a bunch of bullshitters actually. 

Pathetically there's little you or I can do about the situation Change has to come through federal legislation. Quite frankly I'm little confidant anything will change to make that happen. A nation cannot became a great world leader by relentlessly kicking each and other in the ass. This while other nations are getting their act together aligning themselves with other countries just  chomping at the bit to overtake us. This unfortunately is where things stand as I see it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

One Of My Pet Peeves

I remember very clearly in 9th grade when my English teacher lambasted a kid for saying it wrong. "What are you, a baby?... goo goo dada. You're in 9th grad now. Say it right!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Roots Of Christianity

And you think the Talban are tough!

Not sure Bible study for kids would be a good thing in schools as some would have us believe. If it were, which parts should or should not be taught and who'd get to decide? 

How about none of it just to be on the safe side.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans

I have a Medicare supplemental 'F' plan. Always did even though it's much more expensive. These so-called advantage plans are a nightmare in my opinion. Years ago our employer had one of these and it was one of the worst experiences the wife and I ever had. We had to navigate a complicated maze with a very limited amount of newly minted doctors available. The worse scenario being a visit to the ER. It would not be paid for unless we jumped through hoops. Even if approved there was no assurance every doctor in the ER was a in-network member. Horrible. Absolutely frightening.

Yes it costs the wife and I combined nearly $368 a month, but just one visit to the ER could cost multiple times that amount under one of these so-called advantage plans. Plus it picks up my very expensive prescription cost nearly equal to what I pay in. The plan covers the full 20% Medicare does not pay every time without question.

You'd be surprised how many times these advantage plans refuse a request to visit the ER without complicated prior approval from them. Or raise questions about  paying for certain medications that regular Medicare does for in-home medical treatment devices.

Medicare Supplemental 2020 Plans

The wife and I both have 'F Plans'

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Allentown Circa 1828 to 1985 (Repost)

Reposted From Jan 17, 2013

"These postcards were from the private collection of the John Stopp family from Allentown, Pennsylvania, whose ancestors pioneered near the Jordan Creek prior to the Revolutionary War, later built civic and commercial buildings in Allentown, and were involved with several of the institutions depicted in the postcards."

Video Courtesy jmackel

"Sheila Evans of the Allentown Symphony Association gives the
history of Symphony Hall and its influence on the surrounding area."

History & Tour by ViaCastTV

A BRIEF TIMELINEMarch 12, 1867- Allentown was officially "incorporated".

July 4, 1828- The first documented performance by the "Allentown Band"

1832- M.S. Young & Co. 724 Hamilton Street (later 740 Hamilton) (Mark Young & Stephen Barber). Stephen died in 1860. The store was huge. It's 5 story building was connected by tunnels and an overhead bridge to it's other buildings at 11,13 & 15 S. 8th Street.

June 1, 1848- Allentown had a population of 3,700 people living in 619 houses (6 per home).Today 118,032 are living in 45,960 houses (2.56 per home)
1847- Appel Jewelry, originally opened on E. Hamilton street. It relocated to the 600 block on Hamilton in 1860. In 1930 Carl W. Appel then became owner after his father passed away. Carl passed away at 94 years old on June 24, 1997.

1850- Henry Leh (an Allentown native). At 20 years old started H. Leh & Co at 626 W. Hamilton St.

1887- Allentown Steam Heat Company (23 S. Hall Street) was founded by Harry C. Trexler (his 1st business venture). It ceased operations in 1968

July 1, 1891- Electric trolley car service began in Allentown on Hamilton Street by the Allentown and Bethlehem Rapid Transit Company.

February 19, 1897- Hess's (9th & Hamilton) founded by Charles and Max Hess. Max died in 1922. Charles ran the store between then and 1932. Max Hess, Jr., from 1932 through 1968.

Oct. 19, 1899- The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Center Square in Allentown was unveiled

Sept. 17, 1908- The Bandshell in West Park was dedicated (The Allentown Band performed at the dedication)

1910- Zollinger-Harned replaced the hardware store (W.R. Lawfer & Co.) at 605 W. Hamilton St.

November 17, 1913- 8th Street toll bridge opened for traffic (5 cents). The plans for the bridge were started in 1911 by the "Allentown Bridge Company" (formed by the "The Lehigh Valley Transit Company"). In 1906 Harry C. Trexler bought the forerunner to what became the LVT.

1912- Benioff Furs opened. The store was later run by his son, Abraham J. Benioff who at 91 passed away on Nov. 27, 1997. The store at 10th & Hamilton along with it's storage locker at 410 N. 6th Street closed on Friday, Feb 2, 1996.

1914- Harry C. Trexler started "Romper Day"

1897- Harry J. Trexler (lumber dealer), George Ormrod (coal/iron-like in Ormrod, Pa.) and Col. Edward M. Young (hardware) formed the Lehigh Portland Cement Company. On April 23, 1919 Lehigh Portland Cement Company' became reincorporated.

1922- Yoccos (Liberty Grill) founded by Theodore Iacocca (uncle of Lee Iacocca). Currently being run by the 3rd & 4th generation.

1923- Kern's Restaurant (Stooges) founded by Charles and Arlene Kern.

1926 to 1928- The PPL building was built.

1931- The Brass Rail opened it's first stand. It was started by Philip Sorrentino. Later, in 1933 it's location moved to 1137 W. Hamilton Street (since then closed). In 1961 a second store was opened at 3015 Lehigh Street where it is now run by his grandson.

1933-1934- The Allentown post office was built.

Other misc. businesses:The Allentown National Bank
The Lehigh Valley Trust and Safe Deposit Co.
The Second National Bank
Allentown Boiler Works
Shafer's Popular Book Store
Allentown Brewing Co.
Daufer & Co., 16 South 8th St.
Arbogast & Bastian, 7-23 Hamilton St.
Koch Bros (Clothiers) 7th & Hamilton
The Vulcan Brass Works, 716 N 4th St
Lehigh Knitting Mills, Court and Hall Sts.
Allen Steam Laundry, S 7th St.
Eastern Light
Allen Stamp and Stencil Co., 104-106 N 7th St.
Kramer's Music House, 544 Hamilton St.
Good's Pharmacy, 803 Hamilton St
Dolly Madison (soda/ice cream)
Adelaide Silk Mills
Wolfe Shoe Mfg. Co., Hall and Court Sts.,
McCrory's Five & Ten
Woolworths Five & Ten
A&P Food Store
Mohican Market
Movie Theaters:
The Boyd, The Towne, The Jeanette, The Rialto, The Colonial, The Earle, The Capri, The Eric, The Strand (12 N. 8th circa 1917), Orpheum Theatre (6th St. and Linden St.), Boulevard Drive-In, Westend Drive-In
The Rialto Theatre was built from 1918 to 1921.
Fire severely damaged it 1946.
It reopened and remained open till it's closure in 1979.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Detailed Past History Of Allentown (Repost)

Reposted From: June 16, 2011

Excerpts from the book "Past, Present And Future of the City of Allentown" published under the Auspices of the "Board Of Trade" in 1886. The book is housed at 'Columbia University's School of Business NY, NY.

Drawing some parallels from history
In Chapter 1, on the very first page, I found it interesting to note that in 1886, "All new industries are exempted from taxation for ten years." About all I can say the more things change, the more the stay the same. Today's city planners aren't doing anything more orginal then what Allentown was doing 125 years ago. Not exactly cutting edge is it?

Difference is, Allentown wasn't cutting NIZ checks to them !

Chapter 2 began with addressing urban sprawl. Course they were seeking farms back then rather then McMansions. "Every human tide, since the first human wave, began flowing westward, has followed the course of streams in search of fertile acres."

Originally in 1761 James Allen (son of William Allen) laid out plans for the town, "He laid it out from Fourth to Tenth streets, but concentrated nearly all his architectural efforts around the present Lehigh Street."

Chapter 3 discusses, amongst other things, the naming of the streets. "Hamilton Street was called after Governor Andrew Hamilton whose daughter you will remember, was James Allen's mother."

"The road from Easton to Reading.. Union and Jackson streets"

"The other ran from Bake-Oven Knob out through the present Seventh street past Helfrich's Springs."
The rest of the chapter describes the calamities that befell Allentown, devastating fires and floods around 1848. The fires woke Allentown up for a need for a fire department as contributions poured in from as far a way as New Orleans to help Allentown rebuild.

Chapter 4 Begins by talking about Allentown's 'inns" (bars).. "the father crowding in a tavern in every nook and corner where one would fit. Indeed , in the morning of our civic existence tavern-keeping was the chief local industry.... six taverns of the early village with it's 350 inhabitants in 1776..."

The book spoke nothing of 'nuisance bars'. :-)

~~ At this point I'm going to just skip a whole lot ~~.

The first store traded in "miscellaneous wares" in 1794. By trade, I mean "trade". "It wasn't considered the correct thing to pay cash... The transaction usually was a ridged exchange."

The first Mayor of Allentown was elected May 1, 1867, a Republican candidate Samuel McHose. Chapter 6 goes into detail describing each of the first several Mayors.

Chapter 8 goes into length discussing the ethic makeup of Allentown in the 1800's.

"Prior to 1802 we used to be obliged to journey to Bethlehem for our mail." It turns out an enterprising tavern owner saw an opportunity. People would then come to his tavern (bar) to pick up their mail

It can be argued that Allentown's first newspaper was the "Unabhaengiger Republikaner" ("Adjudicator Republican") published July 1810. Chapter 14 details Allentown numerous early press journalists and other papers.

Chapter 16 says The city of Allentown owed on it's debt $385,990.04 on Jan. 1, 1886. In 1886 Lehigh County was 100% debt free. Allentown's tax rates on homes was 6.5 mills. Today Allentown's is 50.38 on the land your house sits on and 10.72 mills on your house.

The richest ward in 1886 was the 5th ward and the poorest was the 8th ward. Kind of like a flip flop over what it is today.

Today's 5th ward is around the 6th street area between Hamilton and Liberty streets. Today's 8th ward is one of the biggest. It's in the area to the West of Mauch Chunk Road to 17th street. Downward past Highland Cemetery to Gordon Street. Then East to 7th Street bordered by Sumner Ave.

Rent was about $7.50 a month for a two story 5 room house. Most residents paid rent no higher then $18 a month.Good for today's landlords that Allentown, unlike today's New York, didn't put rent control in at that time. :-)The homes themselves were worth between $2,000 and $4,000.

The Allentown Bank came into existence on August 27, 1855. It had $100,000 of capital on hand. By 1886 it had $500,000 with a contingency fund of $100,000. The 'Lehigh Valley Trust And Safe Deposit Company' opened for business on Sept. 20, 1886. It started out with a capital of $250,000.

It was from that point forward, because of these banks, that Allentown headed into it's glory years of manufacturing. This was a departure from depending entirely on farming and mining up until that time.

Chapter 14 begins the many manufacturing companies that followed after 1855 (establishment of the Allentown Bank) till Chapter 56 (the end of the book ). It extensively names them with a great many details up until 1886 (the date of the book's publication).

All 168 pages can be read here on Google books
Published in 1886 by the "Daily Chronicle And News", 638 Hamilton Street.

School Boards Across Country Request Federal Protection
School Board Group Asks White House For Federal Protection
[CNN video report]
""The National School Board Association is asking the White House and the Education Department to help ensure the security of its members"

Too many nuts attend public meetings.
My suggestion would be to host all public attendees in an adjoining room connected LIVE via big screen video and audio feeds in both directions. It would also eliminate those who refuse to give up their allotted time for public comment simply by disconnecting them. This would satisfy the requirement of public participation while at the same time insuring the safety of all concerned. This would apply to all public meetings. Not just those of school boards.

Shame it's come to this but I see little choice. Otherwise what rational person would ever want to become a government member knowing at any time they could be physically accosted.

How To Wreck Postal Service

Up the price
Slow the service
Sometimes no deliveries for days

In other words drive customers away.

Another example of government hardly at work for you.