Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Say What?

All week long there has been a story running in Newsday about a man who died 2 years ago. It seems his wife may or may not have given her permission for scientists to take and experiment on her late husband's brain. She is now suing for 4 million dollars because it seems the geniuses have misplaced the gray matter.
The story is terrible in the first person but quite amusing to the rest of us especially due to the continuing headlines:
(What woman hasn't said that once in a while?)
(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

Loopholes Make Me (Us) Sick

It seems that every day another scandal is reported in the papers about a politician or some other group of quasi-criminals who found a way to scam the system using a loophole in the law. Technically a loophole is a legal way around the letter but not the spirit of the law. And that makes matters worse because we do not have any recourse against these thieves other than closing the current loophole to future users and mentioning the bad guys’ names in the papers. No criminal action is brought against them and they do not have to repay the ill-gotten fortunes.
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.

Another Google OOPS

Once again I posted something that Google's Blog Gods decided to mess up. I was forced to write it over and since I cannot delete anything once it has been written I had to put this nonsense in it's place.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The WPA Could Work Today

Back in the 1930s the stock market had just crashed and our nation was plunged into a deep and far reaching depression. Things were tough all over and jobs were scarce. The nation looked to the government for help and lo and behold it came.
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!!!


For some reason the post I tried to place here did not work so as they sometimes say in legal documents, "This space left intentionally blank."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

LIPA, don't take it out on us

This is a reprint of my most recent published "Letter to the Editor" at Newsday. I am willing to bet you will all agree on this point. If you do not agree, Mr Kessler please let me hear your side. I'm dying to hear this one!

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

The Real Terrorists

Step aside Bin Laden you have been replaced by a far more insidious criminal. Your brand of bombing and instilling fear into the hearts and minds of Americans is old hat. It just doesn't scare us anymore. The true terrorists have emerged from their hiding places and are finishing the job you started way back when. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the real Evil-Doers namely the CEOs of corporate America and their allies in the financial institutions of the world.
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

"No Humor" Addendum

So after I got all the bitterness off my chest and directed it at the most convenient people I started to calm down and realized that I was wrong. But to just go say it was hard so I didn't.
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

No Humor Left at this Time

To say that I'm down would be one of the greatest understatements of all time along with, "Who ordered a little ice?" on the Titanic.
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

I've been Laid Off (Viewing Below)

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.

(Hi Bruce.)

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.”