Friday, November 23, 2012

How Much is Enough?

Let’s say you had an almost unlimited supply of money that allowed you to spend $1 million a day, every day from now until the day you died.  Aside from the fact that it would be much harder than you might think bordering on impossible how much would you end up placing back in circulation to help the economy?
For the sake of this experiment I will use a man who is lucky enough to have the absurd fortune noted above at the early age of 30.
Since I am proposing that he can spend faster than a drunken sailor, apologies to the USN, he will be able to have the finest medical care known to man and his life expectancy will be therefore be higher than the average human.
If this person could live to the absurd age of 110 he would have been spending the allotted amount for roughly 29,220 days as he took his penultimate breath.
His final earthly bill could be rounded up slightly to $30 billion.
So if this lucky individual had more than 30 billion dollars in his mattress when he hit the ripe young age of 30 saving for his retirement would appear to be rather stupid.
He could literally go crazy and make every day of the year for the rest of his life Black Friday and still have enough left in his estate to make his heirs super wealthy.
I am not saying he should go on an 80 year spending bender but then again why not?
Our lives are finite and unless you really believe that life is a game to be won by the person who dies with the most cash why not enjoy yourself while you're here?
When a person of ridiculous wealth hoards his cash or spends only with thoughts of amassing more money at the expense of the well-being of others, or of the entire planet for that matter one could consider that man evil.
But if his evil ways were unintentional he may not realize he is hurting humanity.  If this is the case we must extend him some pity and try an intervention.
One might suggest he get psychiatric help but a good analyst would cost money and he might consider the return to be monetarily unattractive.
Do any such people exist at this time?  Are there any extremely wealthy people who spend only to make more without regard to the world that spawned them and allowed them to become wealthy in the first place?
Do birds fly?
Do fish swim?
Is the Pope Ital, I mean Catholic?
Keith Olbermann may choose his “Worst person in the world” on a daily basis but mine happens to hold the crown constantly.
He is the older of the two brothers with the last name of Koch.
He and his younger sibling inherited and now run Koch Industries.  The conglomerate employs over 70,000 people (20,000 outside America) in various capacities but their main source of income is from petroleum.
According to all reputable scientists not on the Koch payroll or Fox Network so-called experts, the burning of fossil fuels causes global warming, and it's doing so at an alarming rate.  If left unchecked it will eventually destroy the planet and life as we know it.
This is not a ‘Chicken Little’ statement but a logical extrapolation of historic events using records dating back hundreds if not thousands of years.
Charles Koch, through corporation is a major contributor to political causes aimed at keeping the status quo that allows the corporation to continue its path of destruction.
To be fair his younger brother David has donated money to the arts, most notably having his name appear on a theater in Lincoln Center, New York.  He is considered a quiet philanthropist of sorts.
As a Libertarian David naturally supports legalizing marijuana dude and gay marriage so he is not completely without reason or compassion.  But his political views, along with his older brother Charles tend to negate much of the good he seems to do.
Can you believe how
much money we have?
I mean, DAMN!
Charles de Ganahl Koch naturally wishes to repeal all taxes.  He says he wants smaller government with no oversight or regulations as they tend to get in the way of profits.
Of course larger more constricting government would be okay as long as it is on his terms and only places shackles on the little people.
Charles’ only donations and efforts go to Conservative causes aimed at squeezing every last penny out of the hands of the average American.
He is a major contributor to such right wing leaning anti-social groups as the Heritage Foundation, the fear mongering Cato Institute and the absurdly named Americans for Prosperity.  He has said that he considers President Obama to be the worst kind of Socialist out to attack prosperity and economic freedom.  He considers Warren Buffet and George Soros to be idiots for giving to causes that promote the public welfare.  Helping the little people?  What idiots!
These 2 gentlemen have donated large sums of money
to help the needy and are therefore considered
morons by Charles Koch & company
Charles Koch is 77 years old and has a net worth of just under $38,000,000,000.  Instead of funding Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker and others in their efforts to destroy unions and ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of American citizens in his quest for more money what if he were to start spending like that drunken sailor we spoke of earlier?
The elder Mr. Koch could spend twice our example tossing out 2 million dollars a day while living to the incredible age of 120 and still die with $7 billion unused cash in his custom built mahogany coffin.

Quietly trying to help
America, Americans
and the world. In other
words another moron
per Charles Koch

I don’t expect to change anyone’s beliefs nor do I claim to have all the answers but I do know that in order for all of us to have a wonderful life the Mr. Potters of the world must not be revered as Gods.  They must be pointed out for what they are, greedy self-serving spiders weaving webs of woe for all who oppose their agenda.
I know this post will not cause Koch Industries to change their ways but if more of us point out that these self-proclaimed emperors are wearing no clothes perhaps our government will start to act in a more responsible way.  And hey, you never know, Charles might even start spending.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Divine Error Forgiveness

To err is human; to forgive divine.
Or is it?
On the face of it this should be good news since we, as humans all make mistakes.  But not all mistakes are forgiven lightly nor should they be.
For example mistakes that harm others or considered crimes are rarely if ever forgiven no matter how divine the guilty party feels it would be.  Do the crime – Do the time.
To many, debt forgiveness sounds like a way for people who lived above their means to get away without paying for that which they bought.  They feel it would be a crime if these people were forgiven for living recklessly; buying expensive cars on credit then claiming a hardship that stops them from being able to make the payments.
Obviously the outcome must be payback the debt or lose the car.  But suppose instead of a car it was your home?
In effect loan forgiveness sounds like theft of goods and services after the fact allowing you to live in the home debt free.
But what about the people or institutions that loaned you the money or gave you the credit to buy that stuff in the first place?
If they knew the borrower was incapable of paying back the loan should they be held accountable as accessories to the crime?
After all they created the vehicle for your debt if you will.
When the economy turned and we entered the recent depression these credit givers and debt creators were bailed out by our government!
(Some on the ‘right’ might like to change the name to the GIVErment but that’s another story.)
The money lenders were given tax-payer cash to become whole again.
And our government allowed them to live and prosper debt free by forgiving their evil ways.
But now those evil people and corporations are back using the same tactics that nearly killed our economy again AND demanding the public pay back THEIR debt.
Our debt was paid back by our government with our money!
Look at it this way, say you bought a large screen television but as you were loading it into your car your mother in law paid for the thing.  A month goes by and the store sends you a bill for the entire amount!
You would complain that the TV was paid for and the store would respond, “But not by you!”
This crime reeks of the same double dealing done behind the closed doors of DC all the time and it must stop.
I do not propose that everyone who bought stuff over the last five years be forgiven their debt.  But if the banks, institutions or corporations from whom the people took out student loans or a mortgage on their primary residence were bailed out with public money because the debt turned out to be bad then those loans should be considered paid!
I recently heard someone say that corporations are people my friend.  Well corporations were bailed out without any strings attached so how about making people corporations, my friend?
It’s goose – gander time guys!!!
Of course we would all like to have it both ways but realize that there really is no free lunch.
So why did the bailed out institutions get away scot-free?
Why are the middle class and poor being vilified?
Why do the wealthiest get more tax breaks than the average guy or gal on the street who actually work for a living?
Basically the question is what makes them better than us?
The answer should be a divine – nothing, my friend, not a blessed thing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Addendum to LIPA Grade of F

Amid all the hardship and heartfelt prayers and good wishes for those who lost so much as a result of Super Storm Sandy sits one remaining fact - 2 full weeks after the storm hundreds of thousands are still without power.  And many will not have it  back by Thanksgiving!
On Long Island where we can boast the highest power rate in the country there are still ONE EIGHTH OF A MILLION CUSTOMERS  WITHOUT POWER!
Seaside Heights Boardwalk
and CUSTOMERS ruined by
Sandy & insulted by LIPA
Understand that 125,000 customers means on average four times that many humans are without heat or electricity since power companies consider the house to be the customer and not the actual family that resides within.
And that is an important distinction because it points to the fact that large corporations such as LIPA (Long Island Power Authority for those lucky enough to NOT know who this is) don't care about people nearly as much as they do about the money they receive from a customer!  And that customer could be a robot as long as it pays the bill.
But here is the key point I must make:
Before during and just after the storm started its massive take down of the entire northeast corridor of America LIPA realized it was in trouble.
They made calls for help from out of State crews which is the right thing to do in an emergency.
LIPA's union demanded that the crew members join the union before coming to help.
The particulars to the LIPA demands are in many papers and I will not bother to repeat them here but I provide this link to view them.
I have one question - What would have happened if New York City demanded that all 'First Responders' stop at the border of Manhattan to show their union cards or citizenship cards or any ID card before rushing to the World Trade Center on 911????  These heroes risked and many lost their lives without thinking about anything other than helping those in need.
I am all for unions as we need them to counterbalance the greediest owners of large corporations who use any excuse to squeeze workers for more cash but when self serving stupidity clouds your agenda perhaps you must sit back and agree that you have seen the enemy, AND HE IS YOU!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Mayor Ed Koch was famous for walking around the city of New York asking anyone he could stop, "How'm I doing?"
He usually received favorable reviews but occasionally got a more typical New Yorker to tell him a thing or two.
Nobody ever asks that question anymore but after, or rather while the disaster that is Super Storm Sandy still has so many of us in the cold and dark I decided to grade a bunch of people and groups intimately involved in the aftermath.
Let me know what you think.

With full knowledge of an approaching Super Storm the CEO of this now British owned former American utility I like to call LIPASUCTION did nothing to prepare for it.  In fact he even had the nerve to say that LIPA was, "Grossly undermanned" at the time of the storm.
Power outages started Monday night but the storm did not abate enough for clean-up until Wednesday.
But instead of calling in for extra crews many LIPA workers bickered with local tree removal services to determine jurisdiction.
Did someone say, While Rome burned?
Over a half a million customers or maybe 2 million humans were still in the dark for the weekend.  And a cold weekend it was with temperatures dipping below freezing.
All this from a utility company that charges the highest rates in the nation!
I wonder if that CEO had power in his home?

Con Ed:
Far more damage was done to the Con Ed infrastructure than its inept cousin on Long Island.  Tunnels and relay stations were flooded under record amounts of water yet that company was able to repair and restart power much faster.
Con Ed will still come under scrutiny for pre-storm preparedness but should not be punished for the effort and results.

Home phone service was of course at the mercy of the power companies but Cell Phones were another story.  Some texts were getting through while most were not.  And if you were silly enough to try to call someone during the furst day or two you were treated to an "Emergency calls only" message.  After a week cell service is still spotty.
But to their credit they did send all customers a text of apology and kept us informed as to progress or the lack thereof.  Something the CEO of that foreign company fron Great Britain never even thought of doing.

Gas Stations:
This group gets a mixed grade.  While many tried to do their est during a tough situation others saw an opportunity to make a fast buck.  At several stations I observed the price jump 30 to 40¢ in one day while lines were as long as half a mile.  I understand that we have a supply and demand economy but gouging is gouging and these criminals should suffer some proper pump pain from the authorities when the smoke clears.  Anyone affected please keep records and let the public know when the power returns.

State & Local Officials:
These slap happy back slapping phonies spent so much time praising one another at every news conference concerning the storm I nearly threw up! And after telling the public what a great job Joe Blow did and getting the praise right back all they really did was pander and threaten the utility companies with future scrutiny and fines if they don't get the job done.
I realize they could not do everything but I would have rather had them work behind the scenes to get the power companies working and have their subordinates relay any messages of progress to the public.

President Obama:
He seems to have done what he could and exerted pressure where it needed to exerted to make sure we did not have another "Heck of a job Brownie" type situation.  He even received praise from that big New Jersey body in the Governor's office.  I forget his name but I think hje was on the "Sopranos" at some point in the past.

Romney and his Party:
Using the disaster to vilify the President for a supposed poor response and then asking common folk to open their pockets to help disaster victims because "It's the private sector that must help out their neighbors" he once again shows his hand. This is the man who wants to privatize FEMA and make the States pay for their own clean up.  I wonder what the Governor of Jersey thinks about that.
Of course the useless flip flopping anti-human corporate hack could not do anything to help with the clean up and repair of the north east anyway so I cannot completely fail the jackass.

Fox News:
Seizing on every aspect of the disaster this filth ridden phony news service blamed everything that went wrong during the storm on President Obama.  This sad bunch of American terrorists is, however the only voice listened to by many under educated Americans who believe the Kenyan high school drop-out living in the White House should be deported.

Mayor Mike:
Billionaire Bloomberg possibly fearing a failing grade from yours truly finally came to his senses and called off the NYC Marathon a day before it was set to take place.
Having runners jog by devastated neighborhoods with homeless hungry cold New Yorkers was probably not the picture he wanted seen by the world.
And taking Police and generators away from the recovery effort would have been a brainless thing to do as well.
But the Mayor has been visible and on top of the clean-up effort in the city and for that and not claiming he was the greatest as did some silly 9-11 guy a while back gives him a boost in my rating system.

Governor Cuomo:
Promising to go after the inept LIPA and their board members after the blackouts are repaired is mere pandering and typical of every politician since time began. But the jury is still out as to whether or not he will do as he promises and perhaps place these criminally negligent morons in jail - preferably on the Green Mile.

Firemen, Cops, First Responders:
Constantly running against the tide and into harms way to protect and serve and search and rescue these true heroes do a job that boggles the mind. Surely they deserve salaries higher than any idiot useless third baseman for a baseball team!

Irealize the scope of the disaster made service impossible but once it started and they were able to get one line up and running I wish they had placed more than one train per hour into the city. It would have given many more people a feeling of progress and hope and kept many more off the roads so the inept utility companies could have done more work.
Still they did get service up faster than I thought they would and for that I thank them.

Regular New Yorkers and others:
I salute all of the volunteers and regular folk who came to the aid of their neighbors.  Anyone who helped someone else is a hero in my estimation.

And Finally:
Whoever invented Daylight Savings:
Just what we needed - an extra hour to sit in the cold and dark while the power never cam back in the North East!
Thanks guys!!

My Letter to Newsday

Dear Newsday,
I am a 28 year subscriber to Newsday.
I have had many letters published and seen one of my "Expressway" op eds appear in the paper.
I was part of the 1969 remembrance issues and was proud to see my ugly puss in the paper talking about the Amazins of '69.
That is what makes the following so hard to say and do.
I would never tell others who to support or vote for but I expect the same in return.  I cannot support Willard Mitt Romney or anyone in the party that ruined America for the middle class and threatens to take us back to the dark ages before science proved awful things such as evolution and global warming - Not just climate change!
Anyone sitting in the dark after yet another record breaking storm waiting for FEMA to help get their ives back knows what a disaster Romney's 'privatize FEMA' stance will be should he get control of our government.
My current salary is half what I was earning before the Bush debacle ruined the World economy and must be frugal with what I have left.
So for this and many other reasons I cannot support the Republican Party of 'NO' and refuse to spend money on a subscription knowing that some of that money is going toward his campaign.
I will miss Newsday but I would miss my freedom more.

I cannot understand how the Republican candidate is within 30 points of a real, caring President but then many in the country are deluded and terrible misinformed.  The man's policies will take us back to the awful days of the Bush era.
You remember that time, right?  The time when corporations were allowed to run rampant and ruin the world?
But the ill-informed people who sit in front of their televisions or listen to the radio and only hear Fox or Rush are one thing.  How can a supposedly well-informed newspaper be so ffoled as to believe any of Mitt's lies?
And that is why I can no longer read that rag.  I never called it that before but they have shown me the error of my ways.
I'm done with them and I hope all caring intelligent people will join me in dropping them.