Sunday, January 27, 2013

Arms or Life?

The second amendment to the constitution says we may not infringe upon the right to bear arms in a well regulated militia.
But what constitutes a militia?
Is it a bunch of guys getting together to take on people they don't like?
Is it a neighborhood watch that goes after anyone wearing a hoodie?
Is it a mentally ill bunch of people hell bent on killing anyone they consider to be an illegal alien?
Or is it a police force?
And the arms of which the founders, who died 200 years ago and knew only of single shot rifles and muskets, are they multiple shot magazines or surface to air missiles?
If you are going to follow the exact word of the Constitution or the Bible for that matter, because it seems as though many who blindly believe in one think the other is THE authority then how can you condone what is going on today?
So which of the following did the founding fathers mean when they said bear arms: 

My kind of bare arms!
Take that!

Surely they never envisioned babies having to run for their lives because another crazy got his hands on another LEGAL weapon of mass destruction!
If we cannot stop the NRA
this scene WILL be repeated!

Surely they never thought a gun in every home or a gun in the hands of every idiot the country could produce!

When will cooler heads and brains prevail?
Of course I am dissing members of the NRA on purpose because they surely don't care about the lives of any human being in the world.
They only care about making money!
We should only care about getting rid of evil greedy bastards like that!
Violence is not the answer!
Legislate against concealed weapons
Legislate against multi-clip magazines
Legislate FOR humans!
You and we the people
will sleep better at night!
This is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  But that does not mean we should all be carrying guns with hundreds of bullets to kill anyone we don't like!
When will the murders end?
When will Americans finally get our leaders to understand, WE LIKE OUR CHILDREN!
The Republican Party which has recently not only earned their title of the party of no says that they wish to bring every pregnancy to full term no matter how the woman was impregnated, be it rape or incest etc.
But as soon as the child is born they have no problem with it being gunned down as long as the rights of the gun owner is not impeded!
We must defeat this insanity if we are to continue being the most admired country in the world.
We must stop war mongering groups like the NRA and rip from their cold dead hands the money they bribe Congressmen and women with.
We must vote out of office any legislator with an "A" or "B" rating from that disgusting low-life animalistic group of so-called human beings!
Stop the wanton loss of life for once and for all!
Our founding fathers would want that and would have it no other way!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Just Another Day

The archdiocese of Milwaukee may seek governmental help in the form of bankruptcy protection so that it does not have to pay the money they owe to the people they hired to do work for them. These takers are the likes of consultants and attorneys.
First of all I wish to know how much money the archdiocese has paid in taxes over the course of its existence to that government from which it seeks to garner bankruptcy protection.
What did you say?
You don’t pay taxes?
I see.
And why is that?
Important to
have faith but
more important
to donate money?
Oh, you are the hand of God and provide dissemination of his, or her, word on Earth and should therefore not be encumbered by man’s petty laws.
And you feel the people and the government should actually pay you for your advice and help entering the next world?
Got it.
How about you and your colleagues go forth and multiply yourselves, by yourselves?
Perhaps you should use some of the money you saved by not paying taxes as you hid behind religion to pay the people you used and who DO pay taxes from their income.
If we are ever to have true separation of Church and State we will have to separate Churches from some of the vast wealth they hide from the IRS.

LIPA is going after a man who bilked the agency out of $40K and I applaud the prosecution.
I feel that any person or entity that steals, robs or scams others should be brought to justice.
And that brings us back to LIPA.
You see LIPA has never been brought to justice for bilking Long Islanders out of more than 100 times the amount they lost to that guy!
This inept group of greedy scheming do-nothings should first pay back all the money they basically stole by lying through the years that they were in any way nearly competent enough to run a gas station let alone an entire energy concern.
Workers from out of state had to be
called in to do the work our local
inept management couldn't get done
Long Island pays either the highest rates in the country for its energy or damn close to it and gets nothing extra in return except excuses whenever the power fails or rates must go higher.
Rule Britannia!
And anyone wishing to find out if they are managed well need look no further back in time than to how they and their parent National Grid, a British Company, handled the aftermath of super storm Sandy.
Nothing like absentee ownership for a local utility.

And today’s last story of note concerns the good old Long Island Railroad.
The LIRR had weather related delays this week due to the extreme cold conditions on Long Island.
Note to the incredibly inept management: Next winter will also be cold so start actually planning for it NOW!
It's cold out. Now what?
And while you are at it I wish to let you in on another secret, it will be very hot this summer!
Some of you may think it’s not fair to go after the LIRR for what I call their innate inbred intolerable lack of intelligence but let’s look at the facts; they have no obvious contingency plans set for any unforeseen problem; and cannot handle any emergency because they have never learned from the same emergencies they faced in the past!
A perfect example of top to bottom lack of basic intelligence happened a few years ago on an express train I was riding.
An announcement informed us that we were being taken out of service due to a problem with the brakes.
No one can argue with safety issues so we gathered our coats and got ready to detrain.
But the train was supposed to stop at Merrick, Bellmore and its last stop Wantagh only!  However, in the rain, we stopped in Freeport, the station before Merrick and were told to exit.
I found myself in the middle of a drizzled upon crowd with the conductor next to me.
I asked him why we were thrown off at Freeport.
He said they were afraid the brakes weren’t going to work and wanted everyone off as soon as possible.
“But,” I said “we stopped here and 100% of the riders will now have to crowd onto the next train in order to get home.  However if we made the one necessary stop in Merrick then one third of these people would be going home now leaving far fewer of us to board the next trains.”
His response was priceless. He blinked twice and shook his head then merely said, “Hah!”
I had handed him a revelation!
I have so many more such stories but they will all point out one fact; this is a very poorly run entity.
This is not the first ever cold winter we’ve lived through and the summer heat will not be the first time the thermometer rises above 90 for a while!  But I guarantee we will have so-called weather related delays in July and August just as sure as I was stuck waiting for my delayed morning train on cold, windy below zero wind chill mornings this past week.
The railroad claims that they are using industry standard rails that should hold up through all temperatures so there should not be a problem.
But these rails continue to crack in the cold and buckle in the heat so perhaps they should rethink that last statement.
Sorry, I said Rethink as if they had thought in the first place!
It reminds me of a woman I worked with many years ago who was ten minutes late every day.  I asked her why and she told me that the first day she started the job the bus she took got her there five minutes early so she’s been taking that bus ever since and it wasn’t her fault it’s been late thereafter!
I asked if it was possible the bus was early that one time and the later schedule is the normal one, especially since it’s been late for years now?
She got mad, walked away and kept coming in late.
But I digress.
In one respect the LIRR management does think.
They think about the rates we sheep pay for the horrid service they offer.
And once again the fares will be rising while service is dropping or at best remaining poor.
We are constantly told that costs are going up but who is getting the increased money generated by this rape of the consumer?
Certainly not the vast group known as the middle class as I assure you none are being inundated with raises at work so why the increase in all costs?
Are the increased prices going to management?
When and where do we draw the line?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reschzoo's photostream

Last night - Moon over X-Mas lit treesDinner at Red SaltOn the way to our last dinner - Not ominousWater Spout on KauaiWater SpoutWater Spout on Kauai
Just another fountainBeautiful!DittoWaves crashing on the volcanic outcroppingthe volcanic outParadise continuedcroppingthe volcanic outcropping
Waters meetScenery to die forScenery to die forNapali Coast line from the helicopterNapali Coast line from the helicopterNapali Coast line from the helicopter
Secluded beaches reachable by helicopter or boat onlyHills & CanyonsWe came within 10 feet of the side of this mountainGreat formationsSecluded beachAnother of the many waterfalls
Hawaii = Paradise
Click on a photo and maneuver through all the photos we uploaded. It's less than half we took - gotta love digital!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The More Things Change - Sometimes the Worse They Get

I have some wonderful photos taken on our last vacation, for which the company I work for docked me extra vacation days but that's another story for another time.
Sadly I cannot upload these photos because the wonderful people who run WEBSHOTS have decided to change the way they do business in an effort ot make more money I guess.
When I enter my user name and password their asinine website says my entries are wrong.
I believe I know them better than you do assholes!
Stay tuned and I will find a less moronic way to post these wonderful photos and when I do I will kiss the morons of Webshots and their new attempt at making more money a fond farewell.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

You Don't Play the Game...

An old joke, when the Pope was Italian was made every time he made a statement about marriage: “You don’t play the game; you don’t make the rules!”  Of course it was made with a derogatory Italian accent but I’ll let that go here since even if I wanted to convey it it would be a bit hard in print.
However the same can and should be said about Congress and their controllers in the vastly wealthy “K” Street world of lobbyists.
When Congress tinkers with our taxes or even our healthcare they are doing so from outside the sphere of reality.  They can raise or lower our costs at will and not be affected one cent by their actions.
But every time a politician says, “We ought to do…” or “What we need to have done is…” he ends up taking another tiny bit out of the middle class’ pocket books.
Their can be no denying the fact that the income and wealth gap has been widening at an alarming rate over the last 3 decades and continues to do so even as I write this.
And I do believe that I can state without fear of successful contradiction that the wealthiest among us have a strangle hold on Congress while the poor and middle class (the real middle class and not those in the $400,000 and up income per year bracket) have no champion whispering in the ears of our legislators.
Utter obscene profits are routinely reported by oil giants who pay essentially no taxes and even get subsidies from our wallets.
A pollution filled gas wasting so called sport known as Nascar gets a tax break.  Just how is this essential waste of tax payer dollars justified when so many are unemployed?
Congress raised the estate tax threshold to $5 million and indexed it to the cost of living so the wealthy not only get to hide more money but have the promise of even higher stashes as time goes by!  (Just like your salaries, right?)
Can this trend be changed?
Of course it can.
Will it be changed?
Absolutely not, or at the very least doubtful.  And even if it is it won’t happen in our lifetime.
At least not the way things are going now!
Our tax laws are as clear as the “No Parking” signs that clutter Manhattan.  You know the ones that are placed on poles every few feet to clarify the rules?
From top to bottom they may read:
No Parking: M – W – F – 8 am – 11 am
No Parking: T – Th – Sat – 11 am – 1 pm
No Parking Between Signs
No Parking: Mon – Fri – 2 pm – 5 pm
And finally at the very bottom:
No Standing Anytime!
Clearly you need a legal degree or a limo driver to live ‘ticket free’ in the Big Apple.
And just as clearly you need an accountant to even try to get through our tax laws.
What you don’t need is a PhD to understand that all the laws are made and enacted to help the wealthy remain so and to keep the rest of us working well past normal retirement age so they have a pool from which to select the most appropriate laborer.
But the most glaring fact in every bit of legislation handed down by Congress and signed by presidents since Ronald Reagan (I’ll pause to give my conservative readers a chance to genuflect) is that they are singularly not affected.
Your company just canceled their pension plan (as mine did two days before I would have been vested – talk about scum of the earth!) well Congress has no worries there!
Your company implemented their yearly increase in your health insurance premiums?  No worries for Congress there!
Your children are thrown off coverage even though the economy has not allowed them to find a job?
Congressional offspring have no idea about that hardship either!
I could go on and on but why bother?  The people who must make the changes we need are the ones religiously protecting the status quo.
The bottom line is if you are not part of the game you have no right to decide its rules. And anyone who wonders why the approval rate for that body of hypocrites is at an all time low need look no further than that!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kick the Can; Kick the Middle Class

Kick the can was a simple game played by children who generally had nothing else with which to play.  It didn't cost anything and unless you fell and skinned your knee or accidentally lifted the can through a window, was harmless.  (Personal experience on that one, sadly.)
Other children's games were equally harmless and just as inexpensive but all had one thing in common, fair play and fun with friends.
But unfortunately as with just about everything else these days the phrase 'kick the can' has been usurped and altered by our bizarre and dysfunctional political world.
Kicking the can down the road is no longer enjoyable, in fact it's downright ominous.
It sets our sights on some day in the future and causes constant tension until that deadline is dealt with.
It also hints at continued can kicking since agreements are so hard to come by that no one can be sure they will happen even then!
So how did we get to this point?
Well for one thing it has not happened overnight.  We have been heading toward a 'me first' mentality for decades.
And just like the virtual fiscal cliff that has flooded the news media for months there is a tipping point from beyond which it is hard to return.
The ever widening gap between the so called 'haves' and 'have nots' does not help as it provides frustration among the working class.
An honest days pay for an honest days work is merely a phrase without meaning today.  Too many companies see their workers as inventory to be dealt with by accountants.
If your business is doing well it is because the boss implemented a good plan but if it's suffering then the inventory must be cut and that includes the work force.
The false sense that only wealthy people create jobs has been propagated for too long and it is simply not true!  Of course many of them do hire workers but they do so out of necessity, not the goodness of their hearts.
What creates jobs is the demand for what businesses produce and a strong enough economy that allows people the wherewithal to pay for those products.
If no one is buying then no one will produce.
If no one will produce then no workers are needed.
If no workers are needed then no workers will be hired and current ones may be let go.
The fuel needed to drive an economic car is cash in the hands of those who spend and in America that is the middle class.
A strong middle class equals a strong economy.
The middle class is the REAL 'too big to fail' entity!
And until Congress and all our elected officials understand that we will continue to wander aimlessly through the desert of a fruitless economy.
I do not propose to hurt the wealthiest among us nor do I wish them to fail.  I only want Congress to understand that they are not the only ones living in this country and they are not the only ones who close the proverbial curtain before pulling that lever every November.  In fact they are the minority!
If Congress, and in particular the Republicans these days continue to insist on kicking the can down the road while so many of us are suffering then we must remember to kick their can the heck out of office as soon as possible.  And they must be made to understand that we can!
The world has enough misery in it.  Let's not take away every last bit of fun.  Let's return games such as the 'tug of war' and 'kick the can' back to the playground where they belong!