Saturday, October 29, 2011

Top 10 Things No Intelligent American Human Being Should Expect:

10. The wealthy actually hiring more workers at decent wages after receiving yet another tax gift from Congress

9. Truth and fairness in any way, shape or form anywhere anytime from a Fox Network so-called news show

8. Narcissistic sub-humans such as Ann Coulter actually caring about anyone but themselves

7. The liberal media NOT kowtowing to conservatives’ charges that they are liberal

6. Anything but hypocrisy out of the mouths of Republican Congressmen & women, especially if campaigning

5. Sarah Palin’s voice to be soothing

4. The 'religious right' understanding facts based in actual science such as evolution, gravity or climate change

3. Corporations hiring Americans while there are still unemployed Asians overseas

2. Republicans to be in favor of anything that helps the middle class or appears to give Obama a ‘win’

And the number one thing no sane individual who has been alive and awake for at least the past few years should expect:

1. The wealthiest 1% of Americans giving up their ownership of Congress and control of the country

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Random Baseball Thought

I saw a letter about Roger Maris and the Hall of Fame and I just had to respond.
But with so many Yankee fans in New York (I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!!!) my letter was not published.
However this is my blog and as such I control what gets on and what does not so:

Should Roger Maris be in the Hall of Fame?
Mr. Maris is famous whether or not he is inducted into that hall.
He was a gentle man and a good ball player who never complained about how unfairly he was treated for having the nerve to break a revered baseball record.
Oddly enough that record has since been broken again and again. And it was broken mostly by players using drugs!
I am no fan of the Yankee organization for starting and continuing the trend that ruined baseball as a game. They subverted all that was wholesome and good about America’s pastime by turning it into a heartless business of profit at any cost.
But Mr. Maris had heart and he went about his job as a ball player with the same diligence and modesty as did Lou Gherig years before him and many honest ballplayers since.
Roger Maris deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, even if they place him there with an asterisk!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Insurance for Peace of Mind – Whose?

Nassau County just announced they caught many individuals who defrauded Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars! The money will have to be covered by those of us who have not broken the law since the bills must be paid.
In discussing the case County Department of Social Services Commissioner John Imhof stated that “It’s unconscionable that individuals try to cheat the system and try to jeopardize benefits intended for the truly needy.”
He’s right, that’s purview of big business and large corporations!
In this case the people who committed the crimes were caught and will hopefully be prosecuted to recoup the agency’s losses. At that time the County may be paid back although I am not going to hold my breath.
But this brings up an interesting issue.
When an insurance company sells a policy to a customer they do so with the understanding that they may have to pay a claim at some time in the future.
Naturally they are in the business of making profits so they try to only insure customers against nearly impossible happenings.
Occasionally they screw up and lose.
Or do they?
Whether the payments are for legitimate claims or for fraudulent ones the companies will increase their premiums across the board to cover them, thus ensuring them an equal if not larger profit year after year.
In America we have the free enterprise system.  Companies are allowed to do business any way they see fit as long as they don’t break the law. So it is up to the individual to decide with whom they wish to deal when it comes to insurance.
But much insurance is utility-like in nature while some are even mandated such as auto insurance.
When the government declares that you must have insurance they also must regulate the companies that offer that insurance lest greed take over and the captive customer be fleeced.
But the truth is no matter how large a profit these companies report if they are hit with a claim they will raise their rates in order to recoup those losses.
And if those companies are defrauded out of money by a falsified claim they will raise the rates on all of their customers so as to not lose one dime!
Do not get me wrong, I am against those who knowingly break the law to defraud any individual or company, even insurance companies.
But I do not condone spreading the pain among the innocent bystanders!
If an insurance company writes a policy with a customer they are essentially making a bet that they will not have to pay out any claims. It behooves them to turn down any claims or at the very least fight them and demand more and more proof of validity in the hopes the customer will give up and go away.
In the event the insurance company loses the fight and must pay they should be forced to do so out of their own pocket and not the pockets of the people who had absolutely nothing to do with the entire process in the first place.
We the people do not receive gifts or bonuses from big insurance companies who report obscene large yearly profits.
We do not reap the benefits of all those claims they deny.
So why do we receive a bill when those profits don’t meet their desired number?
Auto insurance companies are not the only ones who spend fortunes on ad campaigns aimed at brainwashing the public into believing that insurance fraud must be paid for by the innocent among us.
You pays your money
And you takes your chances
If I gamble in a casino and lose from whom may I claim that money back?
If an insurance company is defrauded they should go after the person or persons who committed the crime. It is not only their right it is their duty.
I would even offer to help them, for a price. But I am not nor should I be held accountable for their losses!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We Disagree - Agreed? Now Move On!

If we cannot agree that we will all disagree on at least as many issues as we agree upon then may we agree that we are all fooling ourselves?
We will never have only one national opinion on any one issue.
For example, I commute to and from work on public transportation every day.
I sit (hopefully) on generally late, somewhat dirty and unfortunately unreliable Long Island Railroad trains upon which I catch a few extra and heartily needed minutes of restless sleep.
But I have worked with people who insist on sitting in traffic driving to and from work every day.
Aside from the fact that hopefully those people do not catch 40 winks while on the road they are creating and breathing in pollution while adding to our nation’s dependence upon and usage thereof foreign oil. (I am assuming they do not use electric vehicles as the ones of whom I speak do not.)
But I am smart enough to know that I can not change their ways when it comes to this particular behavior so I will not try.
I also realize that their choice, as dumb and expensive as it is does not affect my life, at least not in a day to day way and not in the near future.
I do not believe the issue between driving to work vs. commuting should be a campaign issue and luckily it is not.
But different personal choices have become campaign issues. These choices are more invasive than open heart surgery in that they affect our lives every day and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives!
I am speaking about religion and its pervasive effect on our entire political system.
Recently a deluded self-serving so-called pastor named Jeffress, not surprisingly from Texas claimed that Willard Mitt Romney is not a Christian since he is a Mormon and Mormonism is a cult.
Hey pastor, so is Christianity!
So is Judaism!
And by definition so is every religion that ever was, is, or will be practiced on this Earth!
When a “man of God” claims that another “man of God” is a member of a cult he is truly invoking the kettle/pot analogy and making himself out to be a small minded inconsequential moron. (That’s moron, without the second M.)
Clearly there is no way to dissuade someone from their belief as long as that person is at peace and comfortable with it, nor should we try as long as it does not affect others.
However when belief in that cult becomes part and parcel of their ideas on how to rule over others we must be wary of electing them to any position of power.
Think of Ayatollahs or Mullahs.
It's really not a complex issue but when someone gets a God complex they become dangerous. (Unless of course they do so while actually walking on water and then, uh well sorry about that and by the way when may I expect that pony we spoke of?)
Naturally the whole separating religion from government idea is not solely mine nor is it new. It was the general thought of General George Washington of First President of these United States fame!
In several statements made by that prominent figure and founding father of our founding days Mr. Washington decried the use of religion as a process that stagnated progress.
When people who are allowed to speak to a crowd or on television spout ideologies as though they were the key foundation for electing a President their statements should come with loud disclaimers or be stopped by a 5 second delay and relegated to Fox Non-News channels only.
For years we have been languishing with a stagnant economy continued by a do-nothing Republican led agenda whose only stated job is to remove President Obama from their sight!
Rather than addressing issues such as:
High unemployment;
Wealthy people who pay little or no tax;
Corporations that sit on obscene amounts of cash refusing to invest in the country that made them wealthy;
The same corporations trading American jobs to workers overseas;
The ruination of our once great infrastructure and;
The calculated murder of the middle class that used to be the envy of the entire world
The Republican majority in the House continues to call anything brought forth by the President as, “Dead on arrival!”
Instead of looking for ways out of our terrible mess, brought on by a Republican President and his cronies they are content to change the subject and allow debates over who has the better religion and who follows the teachings of that Jewish guy from the year one!
Truth is if we look at the actions rather than the words most Republicans choose to ignore the phrase WWJD.
So listen closely and you may hear the sound of our founding fathers spinning mightily in their graves!
Americans may not be able to agree on much these days but one thing is clear and without dispute; Republicans have not done one thing to create jobs since they took over the majority in the House of Representatives by claiming they had a jobs plan and that it would be Job Number One for them.
We must remove that man
before he helps the little
people and makes my master
pay another penny in taxes.
The only job plan they have pursued was the one laid forth by that large jowled Senator from Kentucky, Mitchell McConnell who only wants to get rid of Obama. And toward that end he would not mind seeing America go down the toilet.
And no matter what side of any argument you find yourself on that last statement is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Paying to use Your Money!

Remember when there was such a thing as a bank giveaway?
Ah the good old days when businesses treated customers as important. Well, important to their bottom line at least. They tried to make the customer feel wanted and good about doing business with them.
One could even get a toaster for a qualifying deposit. (Certain fees and restrictions apply and requirements must be followed and met. Early withdrawal will be met with disapproval and demands that any items received as a result of the offer must be returned and/or paid for with fees and charges equal to at least seven times the value of the gift received through the offer and the customer assumes all responsibility for his or her actions in attempting to defraud the innocent bank out of whatever he or she received as a gift through the program. The customer will then be ostracized for a period of no less than one year and be forbidden from receiving or entering into any new offers from this or any other bank within the confines of these United States. Complaints about the penalties will be met with sinister looks threats against family and loved ones and possible jail time or death depending upon what state the culprit resided at time of his or her willful fraud against the poor bank. Have a nice day.)
A Solid Institution built with your money
And when the banks held your money for at least a month or so you received interest.
This interest was never anything to write home about mainly because it was at such a low rate that a stamp cost more but at least you got something in return. And speaking of return, no matter how much the banks begrudging gave you for holding your money they received far more by loaning your money out to other people.
Banks have always been a middle man of sorts making money by taking from the poor and middle class and loaning it out at ridiculously unfair rates to other poor and middle class people.
Banks also got together and decided on fees for everything under the sun including the absurd notion that an ATM would give you back your own money. Oh you got the money but you also got a fee for doing so.
After we the people complained the banks were forced to remove the fees as long as you used your own banks' ATM.
They then offered credit cards which are essentially a plastic doorway to a loan.
The angle here was that even though you were not charged for using the credit card, the retailer with whom you used it was and he naturally passed along that fee to you!
And if you did not pay your bill in full at the end of your cycle you were subject to usury rates of up to 30%!
Were these rates unfair?
Well loan sharks were jealous so you decide.
Of course if you could not pay your bill at the end of the cycle you should have to pay an additional charge but then you should not have had such a high credit limit in the first place.
Should we forget about personal responsibility?
Well banks do!
In fact they, well bank on it!
They make fortunes on the inability of the user to pay his bill. And in the same week a delinquent user gets a notice that he owes more than he ever thought he may also get an increase in his credit line!
Other fun fees include but are not limited to:
Fees if you take YOUR money out of a savings account too many times in a month. (Note you are not charged for depositing too many times.)
Using another bank’s ATM. (Total no-no.)
Insufficient funds to cover a check (this one is legitimate.)
But they take the fee out of the account that did not have sufficient funds to cover the check in the first place thus automatically forcing another charge.
Or they could also take the money from your savings account thus putting you over the 6 per month rule - More fees!
Want to know if they count on these fees to make billions? Just note that they hire people whose only job is to find new and exciting ones!
But I have left the best for last.
Debit cards may be used to pay for anything by instantly taking money out of your account at time of purchase. This way you will never bounce a check.  Don't have the cash in the bank - no purchase allowed.
But how can a bank make money if you do the responsible thing?
No problemo!
Bank of America is now charging $5 per month just for the pleasure of using a debit card.
In other words they will now charge you to use your own money.
Who the hell are these crooks?
How can we allow such scams to continue?
Maybe we should threaten them to not bail them out the next time they screw up?
Well we could stop it by giving Congress larger bribes than they currently receive from bank lobbyists but that would be hard to coordinate.
We could vote out the corrupt members of Congress and try to vote in honest ‘untouchable’ law makers but they have not been born yet.
We could promote anarchy and burn the banks with their board members still inside but that could be messy and besides we may lose our safe deposit box contents.
Or we could stop using banks that offend us.
If all of us chose to use credit unions or smaller banks who do not play the games these con artists do we could make a dent in their profit margin.
Put them out of business by removing every penny.
Take a page out of Bedford Falls’ good old Bailey Building & Loan; only deal with people in your community.
Banks say they cannot help those of us drowning in a terrible economy because of uncertainty.
But truthfully, the only uncertainty banks have these days is how many people to invite to their next toga party in Crete.

We've Been Railroaded Again!

The Long Island Rail Road had to suspend service again during the thunderstorm that hit us last week.
What was different about this suspension?
We can't get answers just yet because, well uh, the brain trust at the Railroad hasn't had enough time to come up with a good story.
The LIRR says it needs time to figure out what went wrong with their $56M new system THAT WE THE RIDERS PAID FOR.
For years those of us on Long Island have been complaining about how inept the LIRR management is but we were wrong. We never realized the full extent of management’s stupidity.
After our rail system has been knocked out by repeated lightning strikes through the years wouldn’t it be a simple thing to place key elements of any expensive and new one underground?
LIRR - On the wrong track for years!
Riders of the inept rail can now expect to pay more for improvements that will be necessitated by this latest round of poor planning.
Sound familiar?
We in New York are used to idiocy when it comes to planning of that kind.
Remember the moronic move by America’s Mayor Rudolpho Giuliani placing the bombed out NYC command center back in the WTC after that first attack?  This was done even though the towers were known to be a target of terrorists the world over?
Who suggested the Mayor do so, his three advisors, Larry Curly & Moe?
We do not need a commission to find out what went wrong with the LIRR; all we need is a list of the people in charge.