Monday, December 29, 2008
No one came to the rescue of Detroit and as a result they are the first NFL team to ever go OH & 16.
As a side note the Jets fired their coach Eric Mangini.
How about a former great to replace him?
I hear Brett Favre is about to become available.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
With cold above but warmth below
When rain doth follow all that snow
Where does the water have to go?
At willows base below the mound
When skies are dark and storms abound
There is a spot where can be found
Much liquid pooling on the ground
If this were Summer Spring or Fall
No touch of rain would hurt at all
But with white walls of snow so tall
The deposit left we have to call
Some warmer weather comes to tease
With leafless trees in gentle breeze
But cold returns to chill and freeze
And lo so truly my eye sees
Perhaps we'll move so far away
To temperate climes and live one day
Where wintry skies are blue not gray
What would be missed? I'd have to say
But first of all would someone please explain why a President should be allowed to hand out pardons in the first place?
Obviously those who receive pardons have done something wrong or they would not need the high level leniency. They must have also been convicted by a jury of their peers to be placed in the position from which they are pardoned.
I understand that in some cases justice is ill served by a conviction and upon further review may be appealed and repealed but to allow a pardon merely because a man has a wealthy family or connected friends flies in the face of fairness to society. In this case Mr. Toussie only donated $28,500 to the Republican National Committee. I am surprised that the President did not hold out for more.
But what makes the most recent pardons even more abhorrent is that they have been granted by a President who should be thrown in jail and never be pardoned himself for the trampling of our constitution and many other heinous acts too numerous to reiterate here.
History may condemn Mr. Bush, as well it should but the criminals he pardoned will have a clean slate upon which they may write new scams and crimes.
If we must have Presidential pardons should they not be made after a bi-partisan board has reviewed them and agreed to them in private? The verdict from a jury of their peers must not be overturned by a jury of one friend.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."
Cicero - 55 BC
We have learned very little indeed.
(Thanks Dan S.)
Monday, December 22, 2008
As the year is coming to an end I tried to clean up my club's investment portfolio by selling off or relinquishing a worthless stock. This will enable the club to take a loss, small though it may be in this years taxes.
I called the broker and asked him to take the stock off our hands and deliver a letter stating that we have in effect sold the thing as proof for the IRS.
Unfortunately I was told that while they realize what I wish to do they have to follow some governmental rules and regulations before they can do as I ask and it could take up to 30 days. This would negate any benefit for this year's filing.
By the way the loss will be $200 total.
I wonder if the government scrutinized the likes of Bernard Madoff who seems to have been able to work on a slightly higher sum.
(Old adage - If you owe the bank $100 they own you; If you owe the bank $1Billion you own them!)
Now I am all for vacations in fact I am on a forced one ever since being laid off in September. And even our illustrious leader, President Bush has been able to take several months worth of vacations during these troubling economic times.
But Mr. Paterson, you just announced your painful budget so was this really the right time to vacate the State? (I hope you flew on a hybrid!)
Safe trip home sir and next time you feel the need to travel come visit us on Long Island. We could really use your help.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
With rising unemployment due mostly to unprecedented and in many cases unwarranted amounts of layoffs our Governor is about to strike the final blow to the middle class. And he is doing it with disdain.
The budget includes but is not limited to taxing the following of our luxuries:
Haircuts (Afros anyone?)
Non-Diet sodas (Paterson has stock in Diet-Rite?)
Movies (Blockbuster stock?)
Sporting events (No jock he)
Increased registration fees for our cars (Chauffeurs included?)
Camping and other leisure activities
Television and cable
And many, many more.
He is only a step away from taxing our bodily waste
But the bottom line in all of this is that those of us considered to be in the lower and middle classes will no longer be allowed to enjoy any pleasure without paying a fee to New York State.
Notice I only mentioned the lower and middle classes? That's because Governor Paterson answers to a higher court. The higher is of course the upper class. He stated that he would not consider even a temporary tax hike on millionaires because he fears it could spark an exodus from the State.
How many of you really believe that is his reason for not asking that group to help out in this time of peril and distress?
In light of the inevitable pending rate hikes from LIPA and the MTA and our governments continued assault on the lower and middle classes this may finally be Doomsday for New York. Perhaps the Governors millionaire friends will chip in once the overtaxed classes finally move out.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
In Iraq it is considered a great insult to show the bottom of one's shoe to another individual let alone throw the entire shoe at him. One must truly hate the person to do this. I cannot figure out why any Iraq citizen would wish to do this to the man who illegally invaded his country, can you?
Perhaps it was also a symbolic way of asking the idiot to SHOO.
The Iraqi police detained the man but I understand that he is to be released so that he may seek his next position, Senator from Illinois. (Anyone know the current price?)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
However Mr. McConnell and friends already did subsidize failure by giving our taxpayer money to the banking industry. His statement is thereby reprehensible and absurd. Our leaders seem to forget their responsibilities and instead go for the quick sound-bite and 'photo op' in an attempt to show they are on our side and have a handle on things. In fact they do not and therefore nothing gets done. To gift $700 billion to institutions that squandered countless billions earlier without stipulation is irresponsible and criminal. As a result the money has not helped the economy. It sits in the pockets of greedy bankers and immoral CEOs to use as they please.
Both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress are to blame for the continued sconomic nightmare. Where is the leadership we expect? The Big Three auto makers produce cars. Lately they have done a terrible job and are in immediate danger of going into chapter 7 liquidation. Obviously they are a collective failure. But cannot the same be said of Congress?
When Mr. McConnell's party took control of the White House in 2001 they inherited a surplus of $230 billion. Since then they have produced a deficit that now totals $800 billion. As of this moment the US National Debt Clock shows a total owed of $10.6 TRILLION. That is almost $35,000 for every man woman and child in America! I would therefore consider that a huge indisputable failure and yet we continue to subsidize Congress. After all how are they paid? Their salaries come from our tax dollars! And once they are out of Congress they and their families have healthcare for life, not to mention many other taxpayer paid benefits.
As a citizen I would hope for a more intelligent approach to our problems than having the pot call the kettle black. In this environment that is incredibly unproductive.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The Senate Republicans do not like organized labor. They do not like the poor or working class. As any intelligent person knows they are and have always been elitists. They know that for a much smaller effort they can woo one or two billionaires and reap huge benefits for themselves and their friends and families that will make their futures bright. In order to get the same monetary reward out of the middle class they would have to ask for kick backs from millions and let's face it that is just not going to happen.
Today these, for lack of a better term self-serving bastards turned down the congressional bill aimed at keeping the Big Three auto companies in business. Now if you have ever read my blog or talked to me I am very passionate about my feeling for or rather against the CEOs and board members of those Big Three companies. I did not want the bill passed as it was laid out since it did not require anything from top management.
So what's my problem?
The Republicans voted it down because they wish to break the back of the United Auto Workers' union. If the Senate elitists have their way there will be three million more workers on unemployment. The CEOs and top management scum will survive, especially after they count the money they have socked away all these years in obscene bonuses.
By trying to get the companies to declare Chapter 11 and liquidate the Repugnant Republicans (RRs) hope to get rid of the union and allow the companies to come back under different terms.
To see the glaring difference in their stance look no further than the bailout of the banking industry which was handed money, OUR MONEY to hoard and to hide till death do us part. There were no demanded stipulations by the RRs. There was no attempt to block the deal by the RRs. And there is no outcry from the RRs now that it has become clear that the banks have no intention of loaning the money out to jump start the economy.
It is abundantly clear that the RRs agenda was to break the unions but White House and the Democrats will try to stop them from doing so. The rest of the government will grant the auto industry billions from the TARP fund and thus keep them going, but once again without stipulations.
The RRs will thus not only lose their bid to rid us of unions but also lose whatever face they ever had in doing so. In other words they are doing the right thing but in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Here is a short list of our modern day criminals and their crimes against the taxpayer.
1. On top of the outrageous claim noted above LIPA wishes to add late charges to the bills of delinquent payers. So if you could not afford to pay the original bill you will now not be able to pay a larger one. This will allow LIPA to show a bigger gap between invoiced amounts and collections and afford them a better chance at a rate hike.
What a fantastic strategy!
I believe such creative thinking deserves to be rewarded. Top LIPA management should receive free room and board for around 10 to 20 with time off for good behavior.
2. The heads of the 3 families met with Congress in DC again this week to plead their case for more of our money. They need this gift to continue the same practices they used in squandering all their money over the past few decades. They claim they are trying to save the jobs of the auto workers. Such sincerity is touching and I believe we should listen to them and save the industry. However the first step in curing a sick patient is to rid the body of the virus causing the problem, namely the three heads and their familes. In order for the taxpayer to LOAN more money to the auto industry we must include certain stipulations.
a.Top management must be gone and without a parachute. They should be fined a small percentage of their salaries and bonuses over the last 2 years to defray costs.
b. The new management is given a timetable to turn around their company and begin paying back the loan.
c. Last and most importantly they must hire American citizens and immediately start working on alternative fuel vehicles; more hybrids and electric cars that use no foreign oil at all. And they must report any attempted interference by 'Big Oil' when doing so.
3. The MTA is asking for a huge rate increase to cover their needs. I also have needs and one of them is to not pay more money to an organization that is run as ineptly as the MTA. How long have we been reading about tunnels for a second avenue subway or an LIRR link to Grand Central Station? The only thing in those holes is our wasted money. If a house is a money pit then I say the MTA should fix their own house before coming into mine for more cash. (Remember when we were told that tolls were put in place to pay for their respective bridge or tunnel and when paid for the tolls would stop? Well? Now they want to add tolls to the as yet free East River bridges.)
The two things all of these groups have in common are bad management and huge cojones. Unfortunately we need these companies and organizations in order to have a well run country.
Long Island needs power and since LIPA is the only game in town we need them. But they must be under steadfast scrutiny.
All of us in the area need a well run MTA with the key words being 'well run' to keep our local economy going and stop businesses and resdients from moving out. But again we must demand better scrutiny and accountability.
And the country unfortunately needs an auto industry if for no other reason than to keep 3 million names off the unemployment roll call. There are already millions of Americans on that list who for no reason of their own were recently laid off and are not receiving bailouts. In fact they are being hit with higher rates and fares at a time when they can barely afford to heat their homes!
These companies exhibit true Chutzpah which is best described in the story of the boy who killed his parents and then requested leniency from the judge because he was an orphan! They beg us to forgive them their earlier discretions and grant absolution so that they may start over but they give us no guarantee that they will change their repugnant behavior. The jails are filled with individuals who made similar statements.
And throughout this crisis our government who sat idly by wasting their own share of our money is deciding which of their friends shall receive bailouts. Nearly one trillion of our taxpayer dollars have been given to Wall Street firms and nearly bankrupt banks with no accountability asked for or received for past failures or future promises.
As a recently and unfairly laid off unemployed taxpayer I ask where is the leadership, both local and national to turn this thing around and when will they do so?
Monday, December 1, 2008
LIPA chief Kevin Law claims that more money is needed to cover future operating expenses even though fuel prices have recently plummeted. Expecting increased demand for energy LIPA contracted for more power generation than they will now need and they are stuck with the bill. Mr. Law sees a 4.8% increase as the only way to go. He is not looking hard enough!
Businesses everywhere are blaming and using higher costs and lower revenues as reasons to trim their staff (believe me, I know.) Many are laying off loyal workers in an effort to keep more money in their own pockets but some human and humane CEOs are looking first to cut costs and upper management compensation in an effort to hold onto their people.
I believe LIPA should look to their own top executives and the salaries they are receiving for such stupid management and inept planning. Reduce their compensation first, bring in an independant observor or accountant to cut other unnecessary costs, and reach out to other communites to sell off your so-called future excess energy. Perhaps an executive should be laid off and in the spirit of "The Buck Stops Here" possibly Mr. Law himself.
As a utility LIPA has been grossly mismanaged since the days of robust Mr. Kessel but this needs to change and change soon. If not then taxes and LIPA will surely be the death of LI.
David Tyree, who arguably made the greatest catch in Super Bowl history is out for the year due to a lack of luck. He sustained an unfortunate injury that impeded his play.
Plaxico Burress, who caught the winning touchdown pass in the Super Bowl is also out for the year (and beyond?) due to a lack of brains. He sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound from his own illegal and concealed weapon while out clubbing one night.
Thankfully Eli Manning is still playing with the same boyish grin and on-field intensity that has marked his recent success.
There are reports that one or more other Giant players were present at the trigger pulling party and if so they may also face charges. Hopefully they will be found to be innocent bystanders and the team will only lose the soon to be former wide receiver.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many professional athletes crash and burn. Many of them have nothing if not for sports and yet given the obscene and as far as I am concerned undeserved sums of money they get they reach for the self destruct button.
Most of us would almost kill to have their money if not talent to play a game and get paid to do so. But too many of them just don't understand that with the fame and fortune comes the responsibility to walk the line and follow the rules.
In New York we know of the sad tales of Darryl and Dwight but if you wish to add all the 'roid users to your list of idiots you would need a longer blog.
I naively hope that this will be the last time the headlines have to report a stupid act by an athlete.
So the Giants only have one out of those three players left from their championship game. In baseball one out of three is not bad but...
Nevertheless I miss Tyree and the chance to hear the fans cheer him once more for that catch. I will also miss Plaxico, at least the on-field version we knew. Perhaps he can open up a canine obedience school with Michael Vick. As for Eli I really think another ring would balance out his hand beautifully.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Do they not read the papers? I would say the LIRR personnel are doing a pretty bang up job (sorry about that) themselves without any outside help.
Times are tough for everyone these days. Al and his Qaeida friends should just sit back in their caves and enjoy the chaos without the expense.
(After writing this I learned of the latest cowardly attack by the lower than scum of the Earth so-called terrorists. India was attacked and any human being is upset by that. Obviously the attackers are jealous of and do not like any civilized beings. I trust I did not offend anyone with my flip remarks about the LIRR but if so it was unintentional.)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
And taken retirement completely out of me
His buddies are given green lights and free passes
To drill where they like and to damn all the masses
The endangered species list continues to grow
Conservationists cry foul but have no place to go
The stock markets drop when he mumbles his speeches
He stutters and stammers and basically screeches
How many have died or are living in Hell
With no valuable research on embryonic stem cell
Katrina, Al Qaeida, and WMD
No executive handle on these things had he
This meek-minded moron was Commander-In-Chief?
Charlie Brown said it best with a hearty, "Good Grief!"
But lo he'll be gone not a moment too soon
Then maybe the world will come out of its swoon
So many Americans are now out of work
At a barbecue what would they say to this jerk?
"One last statement to you Mr. W Bush
Before you leave office please kiss my big tush!"
These days when you pick up the sports section you see someone spouting the phrase Subway Series. This obviously stems from Baseball games played between the New York Mets from Queens and that other team that plays in the Bronx.
But for the record the moniker should not be used for any meeting between the two football franchises for many simple reasons. First and foremost is the fact that even though they both have New York in their names and on their uniforms and on their helmets and on those invoices for vastly over-proced tickets and unfair PSLs NEITHER TEAM PLAYS IN NEW YORK. Their home field is, currently Giant's Stadium in beautiful downtown East Rutherford, New Jersey. Did this piece of information escape the brains of the sports writers?
But if you wish to ignore that blatant error how about the fact that there is no subway in New Jersey and even if there were one the TWO TEAMS PLAY IN THE STADIUM.
Sorry, I don't mean to yell but really!
The last problem with calling a meeting in Super Bowl XLIII between the Giants and the Jets a Subway Series is that the game is to be played in Tampa! Does Tampa have a subway? I think not.
Of course the two teams will have to get there somehow and since they will both be starting from the Meadowlands how about giving it the nickname, "The Turnpike to I-95 Series?"
Don't like that?
Well then since so many New Yorkers seem to spend their last days in the Sunshine State how about "The New York Retirement Preview Bowl?" Too long? Well we all like acronyms so just call it the NYRP Bowl.
I think I have the best idea. Let's wait to see who gets inand then call it, are you ready for this SUPER BOWL XLIII. Radical! And may the best team in the AFC play the Giants.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Let's see how the last bail out worked.
We gave money to the banks who had gone into ridiculously risky mortgages given without income or background checks to people who had a hard time buying bread. Then when the mortgages went into default and they couldn't collect they were stumped as to why. So they stopped loaning money altogether. Their errors were hard to hide and pretty soon they showed terrible losses. Then one by one all of the once great financial giants toppled and took our economy and retirement funds with them. Most of the hard working tax paying Americans are now hurting tremendously. Many of them have lost their jobs and many more are about to.
The financial brain trust asked Congress for help and they got billions to the industry to jump start the economy. All the banks had to do was start loaning money again and the economy would not stagnate. The problem was that Congress fell into the trap of answering the proverbial e-mail from Nicaragua. they sent our money out without any stipulations attached.
The banks could not believe their good fortune, literally. Here was money they could use to hide their debt and make the books look good again, almost. And with the money they had left they were able to buy up weaker institutions making it even harder for normal people to get loans in the future.
Two officers (sic) come to mind. The first is for Congress and the second for Detroit.
First Sting who I would like to paraphrase here:
Every move you make - Every breath you take - Every dollar of ours you spend - Every rule you bend - You'll be screwing us.
But since the latest farce is about to take place by helping the auto industry I believe the real policeman I would like to have is Robo Cop.
The incredible, unprecedented, unregulated greed that signaled the end of our current banking industry is well documented and it is not necessary to repeat it here. But I wish to caution against moving forward on the highway of help for Detroit without a GPS (Governmental Planning System.) Of course there is no such thing and the last two words could never fit with the first one but...
So now let's review the auto industry.
Back in the 70's we had a small gas shortage. The disgusting smelly rag-heads of OPEC decided to see if they could screw the world and turned off the pipelines. This caused long lines at any open gas station. I witnessed a scam when a man wearing an apron sold tickets to all the cars on a gas line for $5 each. The tickets were to be handed to the gas attendant to save time at the pump. He left with over $100. I'll bet today he is either a bank CEO or working in congress.
So how did the Big Three react to the gas shortage?
Did they promote fuel efficient cars?
Did they start working on better and safer vehicles?
Did they even notice the pain at the pump?
The best answer comes from the now defunct American Motors Corp. (AMC) Their stable of vehicle was the Nash, the Hudson, the Ramble, and the Gremlin. The last one looked like a half a car and had the best gas mileage of probably any car in the country.
So AMC went out and made more of them and promoted them and advertised them, right?
AMC ignored the car and instead went whole hog for their other product , the gas guzzling Jeep. And AMC was bought at a next to nothing price back in 1987 by Chrysler.
Since that time Detroit forgot about things. Actually they didn't gforget since they never really understood what happened.
But Japan sure did.
The Toyota Prius is the best selling hybrid in America and has been on the road for 8 years. General Motors is touting their "Volt" to be ready ina few years, assuming GM is still around. Eight years ago I had an electric car but we all know how hard Detroit, Exxon, and the Saudis fought against those vehicles.
So Japan and other foreign companies got it right and Detroit could not. So why reward them? The currently structured auto industry that teams the grubby, greedy, grabby hands of both the CEOS of Detroit and the auto-worker's union in a waltz of immense ineptitude is seeking a bailout. Okay let me be careful and clear about my opinion and answer with a well thought out, OVER MY DEAD BODY!
If we just hand more money to morons such as these then we are the true idiots. Lets instead help the auto workers by getting them jobs with the new Big Three, uh Four. Let proven winners take over our auto making for a while. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Kia and the like should be allowed to move in and take over with the restriction that they build their factories and therefore their cars here in America. They must hire the skilled American workers first and continue to make vehicles as safe and efficient as they have been doing for oh so long.
As for the big wigs of the big 2½ Congress should not only not give them a handout but rather ask them for some of their bonuses and parahutes back to be used by hard working Americans as, you know, gas money.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
With apologies to Edgar Allan -
Once upon a nation dreary
Whilst I sat laid-off and weary
Watching shrinking funds and leery
That my retirement's nevermore
Workless days are slowly mounting
My family is upon me counting
To pay the bills that are surmounting
All our savings as ne'er before
Winter looms as the year now gets old
Expect a snowy one I've been told
All those co-pay bills for one cold?
I need a job to pay healthcare for
Pounding pavement on weak ankles
All the 'No thanks' Boy they rankle
And to get my nerves back tranquill
I have another drink and more
Many calls I made to old friends
Many smiles and sighs and dead ends
Can't we just reverse the sad trends?
And return our haven as before?
I've one question and it's haunting
Is this problem just too daunting
Help from the wealthy, their money flaunting?
Quote stock markets, Nevermore?
Cost of living ever rising
Those at fault not apologizing
Banks are hoarding, not surprising
We can't take it anymore!
Please fix things and set the world free
Then from this nightmare come and wake me
Cure this ailing economy
Say yes we can - Not nevermore
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The Nixon Presidency was an interesting one but I will not recount the failures or successes here. You may easily find all you need to know on line or in libraries, with the possible exception of the Nixon Presidential library.
While Bush 43 did not resign the office (would that he had) he nevertheless quit being our President years ago. At least in the true definition of the word and as far as the United States is concerned. It is no solace that he will go down in history as the worst President we ever had and that is not in doubt. What is in doubt is how long it will take for America to recover and return to greatness in the eyes of the world.
Whether or not you like the results of the 2008 election we have duly and legally elected a new President for the first time since 1996. The king is dead, long live the king.
President Obama has a tremendous task ahead of him. He must guide the nation out of the credit crisis; the worrisome unwarranted war; our economic inefficiencies and inequities; and overcome our OPEC oil dependency just to name a few of the many items on his agenda.
He ascended to the national stage with unbelievably beautiful and inspiring rhetoric and captured the imagination of the majority of the electorate. He garnered more campaign donations by using modern technology and a remarkable talent for management that we can only hope will take him through his first term and beyond.
But can his administration hold our admiration once the chips are down? He answers, "Yes we can." Can they turn the rhetoric into action? Again his answer is, "Yes we can." Time will tell but we owe it to him and ourselves to allow him the chance to try.
After our country was attacked by the scum of the Earth (Terrorist is too good a label for them) on September 11, 2001 the nation rallied around "W" in a totally bi-partisan fashion that swelled his approval rating to historic proportions. He had the political and emotional capital to do great things but chose instead to secure money and power for his inner circle of friends and sick brain-dead morons who hung around his office seeking favors. History will also show what a "heck of a job" that group did.
As we all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately the nation is sick and we have infected the world, not with the deadly 'e-bola' but with the new deadlier 'w-bush' virus. The pound of cure now needed is going to cost some long and hard commitments on our part. The road ahead is a long one but at least we are headed in the right direction.
The 8 year long National disaster and nightmare that was the Bush administration is almost over and for that we must all be grateful.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The story is terrible in the first person but quite amusing to the rest of us especially due to the continuing headlines:
MY HUSBAND'S BRAIN IS MISSING
(What woman hasn't said that once in a while?)
HUSBAND'S BRAIN IN LIMBO
(Now she's getting personal!)
My only real question is why would she want it back AFTER 2 YEARS? Perhaps they should search for hers at the same time?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We should take a page out of our court system when it comes to bastards such as these people who do nothing but think of ways to steal our taxes and ruin our lives. When a suspected murderer is tried for a crime and acquitted he is free to go without worry of being arrested a second time for the same crime. This is known as double jeopardy and is only allowed if your name is Alex Trebec. HOWEVER if it comes to light that he ‘got off’ due to jury tampering or perjury (lying under oath) he may in fact be brought back to face the charges.
The union members of the LIRR who took advantage of such a loophole by claiming injuries in their last year before retirement in order to get disability benefits they do not deserve fall into the category of common criminals as far as I am concerned.
But the worst types are the little nothings who are appointed to sit on state boards a few of meetings a year for New York State and then claim pension benefits in the state retirement system for their time. According to Newsday Assemblywoman Ginny Fields of Oakdale, naturally a Democrat is attempting to seal off this particular type of loophole.
Read this Newsday article and see your money stolen!
As far as I am concerned when a criminal commits a crime they are knowingly thumbing their noses at society. Society owes it to law abiding citizens to not only bring these criminals to justice but to also see to it that they never gain by their crime. And that gain should be found by including a retroactive search for ill–gotten fortunes.
In other words the people who claimed disability when they clearly knew they were not entitled to any should not only lose their rights to it but they should return any and all of the money they received as a result of their false claim. They should also be made to pay a fine equal to at least the amount of money needed to bring them to justice and pay a penalty on top of that.
There is currently no deterrent to loophole surfing even though we all know that the intent of the law was to stop the abuse in the first place. We must begin to treat these criminals the same way we would treat murderers who tampered with their duly appointed juries of their peers; with the distain and disgust they so rightly deserve.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
That help came in the form of the Works Progress Administration later known as the Work Projects Administration and then simply the WPA. This largest agency of the New Deal was the work of Franklin Roosevelt and his administration and while it was plagued with the usual amount of D.C. graft and favoritism it nevertheless got the nation moving again. It was around for only eight years and was terminated midway through 1943 but it was an overall success.
There were many small sections of the WPA that may seem trivial to some such as helping artists by paying them to beautify post offices and other public buildings or funding actors and their repertory companies performing in communities nationwide but the main function of the agency was to stimulate the economy.
The WPA worked back then and I believe it could work again now.
There are many projects that need doing across America and what better way to get them done than by putting Americans to work doing them? Our workforce is facing massive layoffs and too many good people are out of work. Unemployment is demeaning and can only go so far. Our infrastructure is crumbling as was evidenced by the bridge collapse in Minnesota. And aside from the obvious repairs to our highways and cities we could start new ambitious projects like clearing the way for alternative energy sites such as solar panel farms or wind turbine fields or electricity from the natural wave action of the oceans.
I would like to propose another project that could easily take decades to complete but could greatly affect millions of Americans in a positive way. We could build a network of pipes across the nation to channel and funnel water from place to place. With such a network in place if there was a serious flood in the nations mid section we could merely turn the switch and direct the water to a needy region, perhaps one experiencing a drought. This would definitely be a tremendous project and would take a tremendous amount of time, energy, and talent but who better than the innovative people of America to get the job done?
Our leaders are grappling with ways to turn around the current economic problems but whatever they decide will only be a quick fix. I believe we need a long range plan that should not be ‘party’ specific. Fix the credit crisis but also help those of us here on the ground and save our country at the same time. What could be better for America?
Please feel free to pass this along to your congressmen. And look up the WPA yourself to see how well it worked.
I’m Bruce Resch and I approved this message!!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
According to the article "Late on LIPA bills" [News, Oct. 8], more customers have been unable to fully pay their energy costs now than in recent history and the Long Island Power Authority is short $155 million. Taken within the context of the current economic disaster, this phenomenon, while not condoned, is understandable.
But LIPA's solution to make up the shortage in its budget by increasing rates on Long Island is almost too contemptible for words. We are already among the highest-taxed regions in the country and our energy costs have increased unabated for years. To ask customers who can hardly afford to pay their bills now to pay more because LIPA wants more money is absurd.
When will our elected officials start helping the citizens of Long Island instead of blindly backing LIPA and their ilk?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
On every level and in so many ways these evil people have robbed us of our once great country and its prosperity. And just like those Arab children who were caught on camera dancing as the Twin Towers fell these greedy criminals dance, dine, and drink in $600 per night exclusive resorts; enjoying obscenely expensive spa treatments once reserved for the super rich while our once great towering economy is crumbling. These current Bin Ladens are laughing to themselves and at hard working citizens who are being thrown into the depths of poverty.
Congress has called these home-grown evil-doers into hearings so that they may slap them on their wrists and demand that they never do those things again, at least not until the new Congress takes over. And of course we can trust Congress to be on our side; after all didn't they just pass a bill allowing these same culprits billions of dollars to help them back on their feet? So who can blame them for celebrating even if it did cost the tax payers almost a half a million dollars for the weekend getaway? The sad part is these men are only the ones we caught! How many more of them used their "Golden Parachutes" to take hundreds of millions of dollars off shore?
So who should we be tracking down for a one way ticket to Guantanamo? It seems that the canyons of Wall Street and the caves of Afghanistan have more in common than first meets the eye.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Still out of work and upset about our economy and my soon to be useless life savings I wondered what was next.
Well thank goodness for that blight of the internet and scourge of our brains SPAM.
I just received an e-mail asking if I needed a lift. The new product promised great things but only a snippet of the item appeared in my inbox.
Weary of opening SPAM I made the preview window larger so that I could at least find out who or what company was promising to get me out of my doldrums and back into the land of the living.
"Need a lift? Try the new AirLift product brought to you by Maidenform."
Thanks for the laugh guys, but I'll stick to my T shirt and pass.
Monday, October 6, 2008
When you get laid off you have to ask yourself what you did wrong or why don't they like you. Deep inside me I realize I did nothing wrong and if they don't like me after all the years I slaved making them money then it's their loss.
But the simple fact remains and that is this - they own the place and you cannot argue with the judgment of the owner. I had a long run that I feel should have been longer but the real culprit in this tragedy is our economy. Perhaps someone can take care of getting it back on track. As for me, I have a trip to the unemployment line hoping for a paycheck!
Reality sets in fairly fast when you are close to sixty years old and you go from panic to resign to anger to resolve. I don't know where I am now but it is not in a good place.
I am trying not to be bitter but if you read many of the posts I entered in the recent past you will know that I lost the battle for a while.
To those of you who read my earlier rants about the company that hired me originally back in 1971 I apologize for my digressions.
In the words of Emily Litella, "Never Mind." Now someone please get me some ice for my Grey Goose and tonic.
Friday, October 3, 2008
The above phrase has been repeated more in the past few months and certainly over then entire tenure of our current President than anyone would have believed possible back in 1999. In fact I am willing to bet that more people have lost their jobs while Dubya has been in charge than in any other eight year period this side of the Great Depression.
And depression is a perfect word for what is going on in our minds and our country. The economy is depressed and the stock market has tumbled, taking much of our retirement money with it. Gasoline, while down a bit is at unprecedented levels and the general cost of living is staggering, especially for those out of work.
So am I depressed?
But am I to be blamed?
In my case I feel as though I am going through a death. I worked in the textile industry for almost 40 years. I did not start out to be ‘rag’ man. My chosen profession in college offered no placement when I graduated.
I was an electrical engineer with a side of and science.
Soon I may be working at a fast food place offering a side of fries!
In my born religion of Judaism we have a period after the initial shock of a death known as the Shiva. The parallels are intriguing. Without delving too deeply at this point into the ritual I will say that Shiva is a good thing developed to get the bereaved back into life in a healthy way after a necessary period of aloneness, mourning, and respect for the deceased.
After the loved one has been interred (that's buried for you heathens) those left behind return home for a period of between three and six days to mourn, reminisce, and receive friends and loved ones wishing to pay their respects. These visitors offer food and assistance in any way they can. Aside from tradition they realize that one day they themselves may very well be on the receiving end of a Shiva call or worse, the reason for that Shiva call.
After the Shiva period is the Shloshim which is Hebrew for thirty. This is the continuation of the Shiva and appropriately lasts until thirty days have passed. During this period the bereaved is allowed out of the house on a journey back into society. It is traditional that there be no great festivities or music or partying during the remaining twenty three days of this second stage of mourning. The more religious don’t even shave (applies to men only.)
My name is Bruce and I was laid off.
During the first few minutes after the death or more accurately the murder of my career I was in shock. But in keeping with another tradition of quick burial I immediately informed everyone I knew of the tragedy.
As in a real life death where the funeral home tries to milk as much money out of the bereaved family members before they come to their senses my old company is in the process of trying hard to screw me out of my earned severance and back vacation pay. But while this drama is being played out the Shiva portion of my ordeal continues unabated with friends and family e-mailing; calling; and visiting me.
These friends and family members are wonderful and keep me moving forward despite my underlying desire to either do some well deserved harm to the murderers or merely curl up and sleep, drink, or watch a movie or ten.
Today I had lunch with a good friend. This was the second day in a row that I had lunch with a good friend. They are both concerned and as perplexed as I with the circumstances that necessitated the noon repast but nevertheless joined me to pay for and break bread in the true Shiva spirit.
With a weekend on the immediate horizon I am now faced with the end of the lunches and the reality of stage two. In my case the Shloshim will involve a job search. I will enter it with solemn determination and no glee, but I will shave.
Yizkor or remembrance is a prayer and a way of keeping our lost loved ones in our hearts and minds. While the religious perform this act in a Synagogue I will occasionally remember my days at the old place in a different way and at various times, most likely while on the toilet.
The final stage of the bereavement is the unveiling of a stone at the grave site. This commemorates the one year anniversary of the loss. Life officially returns to normal.
While I will most likely not get stoned on this date in 2009 I do believe I will commemorate it with a drink or two.
And if there is any justice in this world perhaps, just perhaps I will be able to repay the favor and pay a Shiva call to the location of and in honor of my former company.
And let us all say, “Amen.”
Monday, September 29, 2008
Chain saw Al Dunlop did similar things to Sunbeam in 1997.
Remember that company?
Sunbeam axed Al in 1998 but it was too late. They couldn't recover and they went bankrupt. You see he got rid of so many so-called low-end workers that when the business turned around Wall St. realized that Sunbeam would not be able to handle new orders and the investors ran.
Where was congress back then?
Where are they now?
The same bunch of morons who gave you the Iraq War are now trying to hash out an agreement on how to save the CEO's of Wall Street. It appears that they think the only way to save us poor idiots who elected these bastards in the first place is to throw more money to the Corporations who caused this current meltdown.
While the logic in incredibly flawed it is way too late to argue. In order for our hard earned IRAs and 401Ks to survive we will have to bail out the scum of the earth. These people made an average of 40 million dollars per year while they took down our financial system and now they are hurting. They cannot afford to fly to Paris for dinner anymore and need us to loan them a few hundred billion dollars for fuel and spending money. If we cannot find a way to appease their obscene hunger for all of our remaining cash they will continue to offer their companies to the highest foreign bidders and we will continue to watch our country go down the toilet.
You see the simple fact of the matter is our country is run by Wall Street and the lobbyists and the 'behind the scenes' wealthy individuals, many of whom wear turbans and other accoutrement of Arab royalty when going to state dinners. So we must face the fact that Messers Bush, Cheney and friends have ruined this once great nation and give Wall Street what they want. (By the way - MS Spell check wanted to change Messers which is a general term of politeness when talking about more than one Mr. to messes. Pretty smart, no?)
So what is the problem? Do it and let the rest of us go on with our lives.
NOT THESE ASSHOLES!
Congress can not even agree on how to give away money anymore. Perhaps they are trying to find a way to keep some for themselves.
These grenadiers of DC who have never had to earn their pay do not see the need to help those of us who are drowning in debt. They pay no Social Security. They do not have health care deductions to worry about. They have pensions most of us would die for. And between the money they have stolen and hidden and will still receive when they give speeches after retiring they are more than set for life.
I say we should lay the lot of them off and Nationalize the failed corporations. Make the CEO's and board members work for minimum wage in the stock rooms unless and until they can buy the companies back. We should give them five years to do so and at the end of that time if they have not satisfied our demands we seize any and all of their property and sell it off for the public good.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter. I have just had it with the rich getting richer and the poor getting, well let's just say it's hard for us to sit down anymore.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As you may guess from the title of the blog it is about football but that is merely the Mac Guffin. Okay, this is getting too involved so link here to find out what the heck a MacGuffin is. You may have also guessed that he is my son. But being my son has nothing to do with my praise, okay maybe a little. And the acorn and the tree simile is not completely accurate. This is a case of TWO trees.
However the bottom line and the real reason to read the blog is that he knows his sports and is genuinely hilarious!
And make sure to read the comments other people have written in response to his pieces.
Rich is only a contributor for now so you will have to scroll to find his work but try to do it now so that you may say you knew him when. Trust me, would I lie?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
First there is McCain who after being vilified by that piece of crap aka Karl Rove and his awful puppet W awkwardly hugged Bush a few years ago at a political rally. Now he is grappling with the reality of having to quietly ask W not to campaign for him.
Then we come to Mr. Small Change. BO claimed to be above all the infighting and back-stabbing that has become American politics and yet he has done everything he has to to get where he is including the proverbial flip-flop on almost every issue. He joined a church to get elected in Chicago and then quit it when the country heard what the leader of the church was actually spewing from his racist pulpit. Expedience always trumps beliefs in DC.
But now as we approach an anniversary of note in our country that is symbolized by the phrase “Ground Zero” the two candidates are united in a pandering event. For seven years they ignored the World Trade Center site, at least it appeared as such since they never visited the area. But suddenly they are running for the highest office in the land and lo and behold they have both been bitten by the “be there” bug.
On September 11th they will both put down their respective campaign hats and hang their heads solemnly as they view the footprint of the former Trade Center. Where were they last year, or the year before? In fact where were they for the past six years? They’re not campaigning? Do us all a favor and stay the hell away from New York this week. We have enough problems.
As BO ill-advisedly put it, “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.” And you can say you are a candidate of change or a maverick but…
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
And in a fitting and incredibly ironic way the team that has benefitted unbelievably by not having replays in the past was involved in it's first ever decision. That's right the Bronx Bastards AKA Yankees to those of you who for some reason still insist on rooting for them watched the umpires confirm that a ball hit by the current third baseman for the team was a home run.
You may recall the other home / not home runs in the past that all involved this same team and how all the rulings went in their favor and all those rulings were proven wrong by the then unused replay cameras.
One can only hope the pendulum will eventually swing the other way.
Irony lives in the Bronx
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I have always loved the way words can and are used to convey feelings and bring about desired reactions but unfortunately this has changed. While the change has been gradual it has not stopped and the result is frightening. I hear words being used in the wrong context and without thought. Some would say it brings tears to their ears. Of course they would be wrong on so many levels.
Semantics or the study of words and their development is a fascinating field. William Safire’s second career was spent writing about our language in a humorous and thought-provoking manner. The retired NY Times Magazine columnist will turn 80 next year and I am sure he could write several books on the subject. Unfortunately the people who need to read them would most likely not.
Some use words to deflect criticism of their actions and are constantly and consciously conspiring to confuse. These people are generally called Politicians. But businessmen also practice pragmatic paraphrasing.
For example there are many service station owners on Long Island these days who desire to deceive when it comes to the price of their product. In large numbers they promise one price but when you fill up your tank you find that the noted price was for cash only. Using a credit card will cost quite a bit extra per gallon. These retailers explain away complaints of credit card surcharges with a tongue in cheek offering of an opposing view, “discounts for cash!”
But my problem is not with these self-serving sons of bitches but rather the teaming masses of logophobics with verbophobia. Okay they may not actually have a fear of words but they most certainly don’t know how to use them properly. They will say something to you that causes a momentary shake of the head to take it in. You know there’s something odd about it but you cannot put your finger on it right away.
I am certain you can cite many of these on your own and I look forward to yours but here are a few of those situations I have come across recently. If you do not see or sense anything odd about them then perhaps you are a practicing anti-semantic.
Recently a friend told me that I must try a new restaurant he found because it was “great and the food was to die from.” I think I’ll pass.
Another man, and this unfortunately is common these days, told me that he has a problem with his prostrate. I suggested he lay down.
Someone, I’ll bet you know who said a while back that he wanted all of us to be able to put food on our family. I guess it was a kinky new way of eating dinner. The problem with that guy is that most of what he said was moronic so choosing one bon mot is ludicrous. He is most certainly anti-semantic.
I have run into many folks who don’t seem to understand that nukular is not a word. They insist on confusion (sorry.) I just don’t feel like expending any more energy to change their ways.
And speaking of energy if you wish to help our current crisis you might want to look into getting a hybrid vehicle such as the one I drive. Unfortunately many people I know will never be able to purchase them since the dealer will not understand their request. You see there is no such thing as a high-bred car nor is there a high-bird vehicle. The first would mean it was born to royalty and the second would, I guess be an eagle.
A celebrity on television recently claimed that he had to answer to the powers to be. Well to be or not to be may be a question but ‘the powers that be’ is the answer to his problem.
I enjoy playing around with words as I find semantics to be fun and I do so intentionally. But every time an anti-semantic speaks I cringe and have to bite the inside of my cheek. I am tired of the taste that action leaves. I feel I must turn the tide and start to defend our way of speaking. I am against the anti-semantics of our country and hereby state that when it comes to our language I have Pride and Prejudice. I axe you, should I not?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Okay, so I have a question. We all seem to allow something absurd to be said without question as long as the ‘say-er’ seems like an authority. For example I have worn glasses for years but not all the time. So occasionally I will put them on and someone will say, “Oh, you wear glasses?” And my response is usually a very matter of factly spoken, “Yeah, but only for vision.” And no one ever calls me on the answer!
Well I am currently fighting several rounds with an annoying and painful stomach virus. After a week of doing nothing to treat it I finally gave in and visited the doctor. He ran a few tests in order to keep his billing figures up but diagnosed either diverticulitis or a lower abdominal bug without waiting for the results.
Trust me he actually said it was one or the other. And since doctors are Gods, or so their mothers think I had to go along with him. I listened attentively to the word of God and noted the required changes to my diet for the next week or so. I committed to memory all I had to do to get better and felt relieved to have gotten the word.
But aside from the warm and fuzzy feeling I got from his definitive prognosis of a cure even though he knew not what I had I also received TWO prescriptions for TWO different drugs to cure either or both of my ailments.
And that leads me to my current thought. Have you ever read the labels and warnings listed on the bottles of prescription drugs? They are so long nowadays that most plastic pill containers aren't large enough and come with a booklet of facts and caveats. These are akin to those wonderful and speedy words you can almost hear on commercials and act as disclaimer for the drug companies as well as absolution just in case.
You really have to read these “advice” sheets that come with prescriptions because they are funnier than a Woody Allen film. Okay I mean back when his films were funny.
One of mine has a tiny print paragraph telling you that the elderly could be more susceptible to the side effects than the young. BUT EVEN I NEEDED A MAGNIFYING GLASS TO READ THAT PART so you know the elderly aren’t going to see it!
Or you may be taking a pill for some silly recently made-up disease such as restless leg syndrome, or RLS (not to be confused with Steve Martin’s Happy Feet) and notice that the possible side effects could include high blood pressure; incontinence; and death. I am not saying that they do but give me the restless feet please.
Now in my case I went to the resident genius of the digestive track because I was experiencing lower stomach or abdominal pain and cramping as well as, I am sorry to say a somewhat loose stomach if you get my drift. I was also having more frequent headaches but I wasn’t sure if those were connected so I made light of that fact.
Each of the drugs I am committed to taking for ten days lists the following as possible side effects:
Dizziness, HEADACHE, DIARRHEA, NAUSEA, STOMACH PAIN, loss of appetite (yeah, well who wants to eat when you have the runs?) and get this – constipation and dry mouth. I am still working on the diarrhea / constipation dilemma. (I'll take Contradictions for 2000 please Alex.)
So after taking the drugs religiously for six days I was asked if I am feeling better.
HOW THE HELL DO I KNOW? I may be cured but the cure consists of the same damn symptoms I shelled out my deductible to get rid of! And here I am one doctor visit; one lab visit; and two drug payments later still cramping.
Anyway, that's all for now. I would like to write a little more but the cure is acting up.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Of a lady who likes not a fuss
So giving the Devil his undeserved due
She will hereby remain anonymous
It is almost midnight and the young lady will probably not return home until 3 or 4 am.
This has not been her week.
Five days ago her purse was stolen out of her pocket book in her locked office at her supposedly secure workplace at a Long Island Hospital. Aside from the terrible inconvenience that goes along with such an invasion of personal property and space she now has the unenviable task of stopping and replacing credit cards as well as personal documents. The thirty dollars the bastard stole is truly the least of her worries and one can only hope he uses it to buy an overdose of drugs and die.
Naturally hospital security is tremendously helpful. Sort of like the proverbial teats on a bull.
"File a report and I guess you could make a claim with your insurance company. Have a nice day."
But life goes on and so did she.
Her next encounter with the medical profession was a visit to the dentist. This normally annoying task that many fear like the plague would have been like rolling off a log for our heroin if not for a small sidetrip into the Twilight Zone. Years ago you could sit fairly straight up when you visited the DDS but nowadays it's all about the comfort of the guy in control. So you are basically lying down while he does his dirty work. It was while she was in this position that the dentist decided to drop his little mirror down her throat causing her to gag. In pulling the thing out he bruised her epiglottis, that flap of tissue that sits at the base of the tongue and keeps food from going into the trachea, or windpipe, during swallowing. "No, don't pay me now, we'll submit our bill to your insurance carrier. Have a nice day."
So now, two days later, two days of a sore throat she checks out the good old epiglottis on the web and finds out that if it is scratched it could become inflamed and if that happens it could get infected and if that occurs it could swell and block the airway and you could die. The odds are against this Rube Goldberg scenario but when it is you the odds tend to go up, don't they?
So she is now in the emergency room trying to get past the barrier set up to stop anyone this side of crazy from wanting in, the front desk clerk. And since some scumbag addict has her purse she does not have her insurance card. Those clerks live for this type of situation.
"We can't look at you until we see your insurance is paid up."
Hopefully everything will turn out alright (it did) so she can plan her next step in this week from hell, a trip to a lawyer. Hey, doctors have insurance also.
Have a nice day!