Wednesday, September 20, 2017

In The News (09/20/2017)

*** The Morning Call reported on a Allentown plan to limit Muhlenberg College student housing debate-- " Muhlenberg College students who recently returned to campus may face a crackdown on their living arrangements thanks to a proposed expansion of the zoning district around the school."

I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs. Rather how people responded on social media. In the past I've read over and again those who blamed oldsters leaving the city (white flight) for the decay Allentown now is forced to deal with. Accordingly they are criticized for not staying and fighting to maintain their neighborhoods. Ah but now when something like this comes along the residents in the West End are called snobs and elitists for doing just that. Ya just gotta love social media. No matter which side you're on--it's always the wrong one :-)

*** Speaking of ending up on the wrong side of things. ‘Horse’s Ass!’ Mike Francesa Shreds Penn State Coach For Calling a Timeout Up 56-0--"With 11 seconds remaining in his team’s game against Georgia State Saturday, Penn State coach James Franklin called a timeout just as Georgia State was set to attempt a field goal. The problem? Penn State was leading the game 56-0."

Let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe one of the defense players had to pee and couldn't hold it. OR the broadcaster notified the coach they needed to get in a few more ads. Either way seemed like a way over reaction to the play.

*** Which brings me to another "over reaction". Today I stopped for gasoline. I charged $42 to my credit card. The next stop I made was at a beer distributor where a $55 charge was declined. Two hours later I received an automated message a fraud might have been conducted. I responded both were legitimate purchases by pressing 1 for each. OMG now this is where things start to go off the rails. When my card was declined at the beer distributor I used a different credit card. OH, OH looks like I'm gonna get double charged. Gotta make some calls. OMG after funneling down dozens of recorded messages it says there' a 1 hour hold time-- WTF!!! Who needs a credit freeze--looks like card companies are doing it on their own. Damn--life is so much easier for hackers.

*** Huffington Post reports, Fentanyl Seized In Record NYC Bust Was Enough To Kill 32 Million-- "Authorities confiscated more than 200 pounds of the potent synthetic opioid from a Queens apartment last month."

Ye gads--as if nukes and outside enemies weren't enough to worry about. The way we're going all our enemies need to do is stand down and wait for us to wreck ourselves.

*** Ours tax dollars HARDLY at work. According to Mediaite--"Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has been using private jets to fly across America... Just last week Price, who often touts the virtues of fiscal responsibility in health policy, “took private jets on five separate flights for official business... One flight Price chartered last week, from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, cost roughly $25,000 — while commercial flights at the same time cost a few hundred, and an Amtrak train just $72."

This while we're being told government sponsored healthcare is too expensive.

*** U.S. Attorney General, Philadelphia Man Charged with Social Security Fraud--"The defendant’s alleged actions resulted in a loss to the government of approximately $148,526...If convicted, the defendant faces a term of imprisonment, a 3‑year period of supervised release, restitution to the government of $148,526, a $1,250,000 fine, and a $500 special assessment."

There take that you A-hole!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In The News (09/19/2017)

*** 12 days after hurricane Irma hit Key West, Florida it looks like today the SLOPPY JOE WEBCAMS are back up and running. I been checking on them for days. This is the first day they came back online. The place looks like it was never hit. Good looking as ever. It appears the ERNEST HEMINGWAY HOME & MUSEUM also faired well. The WEBCAM AT MALLORY SQUARE also came back online. The cruise ship dock is looking good too.

However Key West still isn't ready for visitors. According to The Monroe Tourist Development Council... Tuesday, Sept. 19 • 9:00 a.m.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma impacting the Florida Keys, infrastructure repairs and restoration efforts continue, according to Keys officials.

While residents and business owners were permitted back into the Upper Keys on Tuesday and remaining Keys areas Sunday, visitors have been asked to postpone any near-term plans to vacation in the island chain. Some areas of the Keys are likely to be ready to accommodate visitors before others. An exact reopening date for all regions is not yet known, but Key West city officials expect their island will open by Fantasy Fest, the annual costume and masking festival that is set to start Friday, Oct. 20.

Both Keys airports’ runways are available for aircraft, but commercial service to Key West International Airport has been suspended until electricity and water have been restored. General aviation operations have resumed at both airports. The airports are currently being used as incoming staging areas for relief supplies and personnel.
check out the link above for more information

*** Trump spoke to the U.N. this morning. One headline read, ‘Rocket Man is on a Suicide Mission’: Trump Threatens to ‘Totally Destroy North Korea’--" The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”. Although that may go without saying--I'm not sure why he felt the need to say it. Some of the other stuff he said wasn't framed kindly either. Some may find it refreshing. I don't. Got to remember there are a bunch of other nations sitting there unfriendly with us who won't take his bulling too well. Many have egos as big as his. I expect strong responses in the days ahead. Not the best way to win friends and influence enemies over to our side.

*** The Senate passed $700b for defense spending in 2018. In 2017 the budget request was for $582.7. In 2016 we spent $580.3b on defense. In other words this year's will be a 20% increase over last year. Course if you're gonna threaten to "totally destroy North Korea" you might wanna be prepared, right?

*** Meanwhile congressional conservatives lament we can't continue paying for these so-called "entitlements". I suppose that's true if we're gonna spend more money wrecking other peoples stuff with our military. Not to worry. There's another plan afoot. It's called "tax reform". 'Bloomberg News says, Here’s How Tax Reform Could Squeeze the Middle Class-- "Upper-middle-class taxpayers in particular could face a triple whammy. On the table are limits on—or even the elimination of—three of their favorite tax perks: deductions for mortgage interest and for state and local taxes and the ability to make pre-tax 401(k) retirement contributions.". Hey we got our priorities--you just don't happen to be one of them.

*** Speaking of entitlements-- what's with that gang over there in Norway? Turns out their pension fund is now worth $1,000,000,000,000. According to CNN--"The fund's value works out to over $190,000 for each of Norway's 5.2 million citizens.". Yeah but they don't sure don't have all the fancy military equipment we do with their Norwegian Armed Forces. Who's da' man!

*** In Pennsylvania the cost of tree trimming is about to rise dramatically. The U.S. Justice Department charged-- Asplundh, headquartered in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, is an industry leader in tree trimming and brush clearance for power and gas lines. The information alleges that in or about 2010 to on or about December 2014, Asplundh managers... directed their personnel to accept false identification from prospective employees. The acceptance of these false documents facilitated the re-hiring of Asplundh employees who had been determined previously by Homeland Security Investigations to be aliens unauthorized to work in the United States. This is good news for all you job seekers looking to get in on this exciting growing industry. No more picking apples for you. Line forms at the end.

*** Oh the horror. A free 16 day cruise. 'The New York Daily News-- "A five-day pleasure cruise turned into a 16-day "experience of a lifetime" for some Royal Caribbean travelers this month. The luxurious Majesty of the Seas was transformed into a rescue and supply ship to help victims of Hurricane Irma... Many passengers stayed on board the ship even when given a chance to disembark in Florida after a few days." Although many of the amenities like booze, unlimited food and casinos were cut off I'd still take it. Looks to me like most of the Eastern Caribbean cruises will be a washout for sometime. I suspect for many months these cruise ships will ply the Western and Southernmost areas of Caribbean instead, Visiting the Eastern & Northern Caribbean islands will not be the same for sometime. Hearts go out to Puerto Rico who looks like it will be next to be hit hard.

*** I'm extremely uninterested in awards shows for three reasons (1) They're all composed of self congratulating people full of one another patting each other on the back. (2) None of them can rein in themselves. Either they do something really stupid of shock value to get noticed OR can't refrain from politics. (3) Who cares what those voting inside their own industry think. People know what they like. They don't have to be told.

Gosh I have so much more to say. but that ought to do it for now. I've gone on too long already.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Some Trumpsters Not Enamored With 1st Amendment

'The New York Daily News'
TV viewers keep asking the FCC to punish CNN for Trump coverage even though it can't
"Since late June, viewers have filed more than 1,100 FCC complaints about news coverage of Trump. No other topic has consumed them as overwhelmingly as CNN, the news channel Trump has trashed more than any other.

Out of the complaints, about 750 call for CNN to be taken off the air or lose its broadcasting license, which the FCC cannot do. Nearly a dozen accuse CNN of broadcasting "illegal" content and committing "treason" or "crimes against America."
They need to be taken off the air. Along with ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC. Also NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST...DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!"

Hypocrisy Much?
Conservative media has been squawking for months complaining about how their speakers are being suppressed on college campuses and elsewhere in public. Most of the focus has been on the conservative speakers' rights to first amendment speech.

Yeah well--looks like nobody is satisfied these days
Here's what I suggest. Everybody stick a sock in it--whether it be on the right or left--don't like something--don't protest, attend, read or watch it. The more either side gets worked up the harder the other side will dig in their heels.

Speeches and rallies are practically useless. They accomplish nothing. Who cares what a bunch of blowhards who make a living off this kind of stuff at rallies, on TV, in the newspapers and on websites have to say. Nine out of ten times they only attract their own brand of followers influencing no one beyond them anyway.

Rather then worrying so much about what someone else is saying we should pay more attention to the things that really matter. Things like our commonalities rather then what divides us. No better examples were set then what happened in Houston or Florida. No one gave a damn if their neighbor was Republican, Democrat, gay or no matter what--they felt the commonality between themselves.

It seems to me unless there's a catastrophe we become bored and start playing these mindless games. Why can't we always have a mindset like this? To work towards the betterment of each another without these horrible attitudes focusing on those which we pretend makes us separate.

Yep--still works for me today.

Why Is Trump So Obsessed With Hillary Clinton?

Trump having nothing better to do re-tweeted a "fuctupmind" tweet this morning.
(Sunday, 09/17/2017)


Ye gads man give it up already--you won the election. Stop being a sore winner.

Published on Sep 1, 2017

What's his problem?

He also re-tweeted this..

Hate to break it to ya but that's a Canadian Pacific train

I'll try and bite my tongue--but not before saying this. Trump has got to be the most unpresidential president ever elected. I'd expect better behavior from a 12 year old. Somebody needs to take his toy away before he hurts himself or someone else.

Yeah--something like that. Fun to watch.
To lead a nation not so much.
He's out of his element.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Some Quick Thoughts I Have

*** FOX News and it's business channel constantly whine about the mainstream media. Here's a flash--they are part of mainstream media. They along with such well-known websites as Breitbart, National Review, HotAir, Red State, The Daily Caller Drudge Report among dozens of others. Same goes for the bloviators on conservative talk radio programs. The cast includes Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, O'Reilly and Savage--to name a few. I don't know how much more mainstream any of them could get.

*** All we ever hear is how broke government is getting. It doesn't matter whether it's at the federal, state, county, school districts or local level--they all claim the same. Could the reason be the largest segment of taxpayers--the middle class--has experienced a steady decline in earnings year after year. Even more so when adjusted for inflation. In about every part of the country we are seeing a explosion in the number of warehouse and service jobs paying $11-$15 an hour. Gone are the vast numbers of well paying industrial jobs. We could debate all day why this is so--but it won't change the fact less pay means less revenue for government.

*** Unfunded mandates--When the government receives less revenue it comes up with all kinds of creative schemes. One of the ugliest are these unfunded mandates. To put it simply--when the government wants to do things it can't afford it forces someone else to come up with a way to pay for it. And if they don't--imposes fines. Agencies seeing their budgets cut come up with a all kinds of new unfunded mandates. Ones which require permits along with the accompanying payment of fees for them to offset their declining incomes..

*** Tax cuts--ain't no such beast. Currently the United States is over $20 trillion in the hole. I often said I can't afford any more tax breaks. No truer will it be with whatever scheme they come up with in Washington. Whatever they come up with you best believe it will amount to little more the rearranging the deck chairs on the 'Titanic'. According to 'Pew Research' as of August 2017 this fiscal year it is projected to cost $474.5 billion on interest alone by the end of this month.

*** Pennsylvania legislators couldn't agree on how to plug a $2 billion shortfall. On Friday the state stop cutting checks for $1.7 billion intended for 2.2 million enrolled under Medicaid insurers and to the state's obligation towards school districts' pension funds. So suck it up buttercup--the checks ain't in the mail.

No worries--legislators are still getting paid on time.

*** Protests, Protests and more protests. Ain't seen nothing like em. You name it--somebody's gotta a problem with it. Rather exhausting. Kinda makes me tune out at this point.

In Local News
Allentown and Easton. Storm water rain run off fees may be imposed next year Hope the future fish tank in Easton planned ahead.

Speaking of Easton-- mayor Sal Panto is upset after he was shot down by the planning commission. They rejected imposing $700,000 in fees and permits on Lafayette College. He said he needed these to balance the budget. As we all should know--you can't impose taxes on nonprofits--but you sure as hell can squeeze them for fees

Back to Allentown. This year's upcoming election will be a replay of the primaries. Nearly a half dozen candidates announced intentions of running for mayor. Short story is Pawlowski is a sure winner. Allentown voters always pull the big 'D" lever. Not that it matters anyways. No matter who wins Hess's, Western Electric nor GE is coming back. Neither will couples with kids restore single home ownership like it once use to be. It is what it is.

The best we can hope for--whoever is elected will attend council meetings and be a lot more receptive then what we've seen in the past. In other words a lot less political. Far more engaged with the peons. There's no reason why--with all the media we have available--someone in a leadership position couldn't interact more then they have in the past. This could be done through a well organized weekly/monthly town hall style program either on PBS39. WFMZ, either cable TV service or even a Q&A piece in the Morning Call. Why not all five?

Well that's about all on my mind for now. As I look back over this maybe these weren't "Quick Thoughts" after all. Sorry bout that. I'm sure there will be more to follow. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Allentown's Propsed Stormwater Fee Worse Then I Thought

Two posts prior I spoke about this. It's gets crazier the more I learn.

Morning Call reporter Emily Opilo FILED THIS REPORT... For the school district, which has 22 schools and owns several more properties in the city, the burden would be much larger than just the bill for Dieruff. School board member Robert Smith said he was shocked by the proposal. The district’s budget for 2017-2018 has already been set, and it doesn’t include any money for stormwater, he said. “This is the most ridiculous thing,” he said. “We’re barely making it as is. Our fund balance is almost depleted, and now this.”

The fee presents an additional financial burden for some of the city’s largest properties.... The Allentown Fairgrounds at 17th Street occupies an entire city block and is one of the largest taxable properties in the city. It’s also covered almost entirely with pavement... Allentown as a city will also be impacted by the fee. The city must pay into the stormwater fund for all eligible city properties,

Nobody gets out of this. Not hospitals, colleges, schools, churches, county or city streets and owned properties, old folks homes, sports venues, home owners or apartments. Everyone's gonna get screwed layer upon layer as each pass along their expenses. I can't imagine how the fairgrounds will be able to sustain such an increase. I also would surmise hospitals will unload some of their properties along with dozens of businesses operating on a shoestring. I expect to see more shuttered properties then there already are. PPL plaza is already in trouble.

OMG if this goes down like they say this city is gonna go down the toilet and begin to look like Detroit.

The only reason it hasn't so far, nobody pushed the handle. This could very well be it my friend.

Welcome to the club
Now it's our turn
Denver 02/11/2013

Underage Drinking Arrests At Lehigh U.

Lehigh Valley Live (09/13/2017)
About 80 underage drinking arrests at Lehigh in 3 weeks
Police charged 20 Lehigh University students with underage drinking last weekend, bringing the total arrests this year up to around 80...Five Lehigh students had to be hospitalized the weekend of Sept. 9-10 with dangerously high alcohol levels, according to Lehigh police Chief Edward Shupp. Their blood-alcohol contents were around 0.26 to 0.29, which is more than three times the legal limit to drive...Bethlehem police charged 56 people with underage drinking over the weekend of Sept. 2-3, many of whom were in two homes near campus.
Some may look upon this as a negative story regarding Lehigh University. I don't see it that way. They are doing the right thing. Kudos to the university for taking on this problem. I see few other colleges, universities or police departments meeting the challenge. If so, I'm not hearing about it publicly. Both the police and university should be commended for their efforts. Few others seem willing to admit they have a problem within their midst.

Part of educators' responsibility should be to teach students how important it is to be accountable for their actions. A skill they will need both in future employment as well as becoming better citizens. The actions being taken by the university in cooperation with the Bethlehem police contribute towards meeting such goals. When police or colleges let students slide--like they do in too many other communities--they're not doing students a service.

My attitude is this. There nothing wrong with drinking and whooping it up a bit. BUT getting snockered for four years is not why they are suppose to be there. Someone(s) who instigates and continually encourages such by their own behavior needs to be dealt with. This can be accomplished by notifying parents, arrest and expulsion if necessary.

The movie "Animal House" might have been funny as hell, but there's nothing funny about being stupid every week for four years.

This kind of behavior encourages other students who obviously can't think for themselves.

We seen this time and again. It's only a matter of time until another student gets killed somewhere this year. I seen these kind of parties myself-50 or a 100 kids raising hell partying it up in a single house. My fear is nothing will be done until a floor collapses, some kid dies or there is a fire revelers can't escape. In each of these campus security (these weren't Lehigh U parties) came escorted by the police chuckling it off as students (who knows if they all were) had been "asked" to leave. No one was carded. You damn well know most wouldn't be 21 till their 3rd or 4th year. Who's kidding who? Sometimes the worse that happened they were issued a noise citation. Hey what mom and pop don't know, right? Talk about a lawsuit just waiting to happen!

Once again-I couldn't be more supportive of Lehigh University and the Bethlehem police for what they are initiating. Both are doing a job that many other education institutions try to sweep under the carpet.

They are setting a good example. Question is--will others follow?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Allentown Taxes Going Up Next Year

In case you missed it Allentown property owners are about to get hosed in 2018.

Video of the meeting can be found HERE
Fees Were Discussed At 22:24 Minute Mark

Call it a "fee" or by any other name-- it's still a tax. Anyone who believes for one minute school property taxes aren't going to reflect these increased costs to the ASD are delusional. I realize a bunch of other cities have already taken advantage of this new way of raising revenue. But to my way of thinking storm water drainage should always be part of the city budget. Itemizing city expenses like they are some bill from the hospital stinks.

How long before we start charging extra fees for specific streets swept by machines, extra for pickups on tree lined streets, repaving and a host of others I can think of?

Once we start divvying up city services--once considered the overall costs of running a city--we begin down a never ending slippery slope. This is all about politicians being able to claim they haven't raised taxes when in fact they did. I call bullshit on this kind of nonsense. This is a tax increase--plain and simple.

Federal Budget- Something Gotta Give

'Associated Press'
"The Republican-led House on Thursday passed a sweeping $1.2 trillion spending bill that provides billions more dollars for the military while sparing medical research and popular community development programs from deep cuts sought by President Donald Trump." Logic dictates the federal government cannot create tax cuts at the same time spending billion$ more. The United States is $20 trillion in debt.

Anyone else see how long it will be before this all blows up?

I'm sure like many other of Americans say--no matter which party they subscribe to--don't come knocking on my door. We're in a heap of trouble.

Never Ending Monetizing

'' joined the ranks of 'The Morning Call' and dozens of others who limit their views per month. Nearly every site I visit imposes popups blocking my view of their articles. In each case I "refresh" my browser and erase cookies. If that doesn't take care of the problem I leave--it's not worth it to me. Who knows what these popups do when you click on them.

Today I've been confronted with something entirely new. Norton Antivirus (which I pay for) has begun trolling me with popups for their products--even when I'm not on the internet.

I get at least four telephone calls per day. Unless I recognize the caller I let the answer machine handle it. 100% of the time they disconnect.

When I watch TV they too do a whole bunch of popups and overlays on top of what I'm watching. Cable news channels are the worst. On top of their chyrons and crawls sometimes these take up 30% of the screen. Not to mention five or six bloviators in a box.

More and more YouTube posters are self promoting or pushing some product they are being paid to hype.

I'm going to try and put this nicely as I can-- stick it up your ass-- I'm not interested. This is something I felt the need to get off my chest.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bernie Sanders On Medicare For All Campaign

The Politics
Of course I'm 100% certain it'll never get to the floor on either side of the capital dome for consideration. Hell it's lucky if committee members would even allow it to be brought up in their meetings. It's far more likely to end up in the no-can-do pile gathering dust in a closet somewhere. That said-- for some time now conservatives accused liberals of having no plan for healthcare. That the Democratic party is in disarray. Ought to be interesting to see just how true that is.

There are 192 Democrats in the House. Another 44 in the Senate plus two more Independents who caucus with the Democrats. Just what if Senator Sanders is able to round up a hundred or so who were willing to publicly support such a bill. Sure they may not be able to pry it out of committee, but it could make the upcoming election very interesting.

Is It Practical Financially?
Well if it's done right I think so. The first argument right out of the box goes something like this--"I don't want to be forced to pay for someone else". Here's a flash-- we already do. What do they think, hospitals and aging homes provide services for free? No they get reimbursed from somewhere. Guess were that is. Us in the form of higher premiums and co pays.

The biggest problem we have right now is workers are getting hit three ways. One through reduced wages because companies factor in their medical costs. The second paying higher premiums and co pays for those who refuse to buy insurance then stiff the system once the bills become to high. The third is all workers are already paying through wage deductions for Medicare without getting any it's benefits until they're 65-- if they make it that far. Otherwise they don't get diddly squat.

One of the biggest faults with Medicare is it only covers those 65 years old and up. Obviously a very unsound business practice by any measure. Imagine if you will instead bringing in three times more mostly healthy middle aged and younger people contributing into the program. Imagine those employers who provide healthcare being relieved of such a burden. In most cases they could provide increased pay to cover an employees increased Medicare deduction (if there were to be one). Companies might even be able to pocket a little bit of extra loot left over for themselves.

I'd even go far as to bet for many people what they spend on co pays alone totals up more then what Medicare would cost. Possibly even some left over to get supplemental coverage.

Dem Is Just My Opinions
Them and a buck won't get you a cup of coffee. However I still think it's worth our time to take a serious look into it. We haven't done it before. The idea has been tossed around like a political football for years. Let some of our congress members hash it out and see what kind of bill they can come up with. Then run it past the CBO. No harm no foul. If critics want to shut Bernie up for once and all this would be the way to go about it. Course on the other hand-- just what if?

Republicans had their chance to come up with a better plan then Obamacare and failed to either improve it or eliminate it. Would it be so crazy to consider Bernie Sanders may be onto something. Why not--- congress wasted the last 8 years--what's 1 more?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I Disagree Qualified Workers Are In Short Supply

Reuters News Service reports,
U.S. job openings at record high; qualified workers scarce"
"Employers need skilled labor and experienced workers are in short supply,"

Generally speaking it may be so in the medical, pharmaceutical, scientific community, electronic design industries. Overall I dispute this oft repeated mantra for several reasons. Here's why. (1) It's a matter of money-- the bottom line. For years companies have been pushing out 50 some year old "experienced" fulltime employees for a number of reasons. They can be replaced by cheaper more desperate workers. Many of them working for a 3rd party. Others part time and/or on call. Still others replaced by visiting foreign workers. As a group of employees age healthcare costs increase. So do their vested rights. Ask any person over 50 how easy it is to find a job irregardless of their experience.

(2) Companies always throw in the "experienced" tag right after skilled. Reality is we're pumping out more educated graduate students then ever before in our history. Throwing in the "experienced" line gives companies leverage over new hires. Thus instilling a fear of asking for wages they might deserve. It implies we'll take a chance on hiring you against some of the competition, but you're going to have to work really hard to prove your worth since we went out on a limb by hiring you. This tactic is much like the car salesman who says, yeah you aren't getting the best deal but if you don't take my offer I have two more lined up so you'll lose out.

(3) I have another issue with this "experience" BS. Not all, but more then plenty of companies have specialized equipment custom manufactured for the specific product they are producing. I can't speak towards all jobs, but from my own "experience" there's not a college or trade school who could teach me on the equipment I was trained to use or the processes. Because of the companies trade secrets visitors or photography was never allowed. Previous to this job I was referencing I worked in the field of electronics. If you think for one second electronics manufacturing is all the same you're very much mistaken. Without company provided training no one would be able to do any of them. Throw in the company giving me some training in software design (something I had no training in) I'd be lost. As would anyone else unless they had two or three degrees involving each.

(4) At this point many companies are exploiting employee interns as an excuse for cheap labor. More then a few of our younger workers are paying thousand$ to attend a institute of higher learning. These educational schools then force require some of their attendees to intern before they allow students to earn their degrees. The advantage to companies should be obvious. In some cases (not all) these fine institutes of higher learning are compensated. The deal is many of these students are agreeing to intern hoping it will buy them some leverage to get hired by these companies after graduation. I'm here to tell you, with the companies I worked for, it did not.

Upon graduating in 1966 none us knew how to build a Mack truck, assemble Bell telephones or make steel in Bethlehem. These companies took us on fulltime teaching us the "skills" needed. They didn't hide behind the excuses when hiring. I'm certain many will argue greater skills are required then back then. Perhaps so for some occupations. But for most of today's jobs (like back then) consist of repetitive tasks which require less "experience" and "skills" then companies are willing to admit just so they can increase their profit margins.

This constant berating of American workers' skills is a disingenuous talking point. Anyone applying for such a job is best off avoiding such a company. Those who act like they are doing a favor hiring someone are not to be trusted. Do yourself a favor, walk away. Find another willing to invest their time training. It's a partnership. Companies need good workers as much as good workers need them. To think otherwise is a fallacy.

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Gut Response To The Equifax Breach

First off-- let me explain this response comes from a thick headed curmudgeon who is in no way an expert. Take it for what it's worth.

(1) Ain't no way I'm going to pay for anything these guys screwed up. If some thief steals my ID from them and takes them for a ride why should I be on the hook? This puts victims in an impossible situation. How are we suppose to come up with evidence for something that never occurred? This whole thing throws justice on it's rear. Guilty until proved innocent is totally unacceptable.

(2) If you think I'm going to sign up with you guys for protection you've gotta be nuts. You couldn't even protect yourselves with my information Why should I trust you with even more?

(3) If Equifax and other agencies really cared they'd "freeze" everyone's credit applications on their own. Why should we have to? All future applications should be "frozen" until they come up with a better way of verifying them. It's not that hard. When it comes to in-person, online mortgage/credit applications and the IRS nobody gets nothing till they FAX, email photocopies or mail various documents only they have in their possession. Crooks may have information, but in no way have hard documentation.

(4) Receivers of Social Security shouldn't feel threatened if the SS administration takes the time to mail or call beneficiaries before making changes to their direct deposits. Will they?

(5) Everyone is assuming the hackers were after money. Just what if it were a foreign country looking to screw with our elections instead? They could change elections registrations to a different party or unregistered them completely. Thus making a certain select group ineligible to vote. Then there are those who cast votes via absentee ballot. Ever think of that possibility?

No Such Thing As Being Hack Proof
The DNC, pentagon, email, social media accounts and dozens of banking sites have been hacked proving there's no such thing as being 100% secure. The best we hope it doesn't screw with our finances and proof of ownership. About all we can do is-- (1) Insist on paper documentation whenever possible. (2) Not allow companies to force us to prove our innocence through no fault of our own. (3) Deal in cash whenever possible. (4) Check online our voter registrations, financial accounts and all the others challenging them whenever something seems fishy.

Most importantly, we shouldn't allow any company or government agency to get away with putting the burden of proof for our innocence on us because of their screw ups.

Course if ya wanna take more main stream advice and views then my own check out 'Forbes" on "How To Protect Yourself. They're far less curmudgeon.

In case I didn't give you enough to worry about...

Renters-- You Aren't Off The Hook

Landlords May Be No Better Off Either

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What Hurricane Victims Can Look Forward To

2 Years After Hurricane Sandy Struck in 2012

10 years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005

Katrina and Sandy came years apart. Irma & Harvey came within days of each other. Already bankrupt Puerto Rico faces a crisis worse then before the storm. The Caribbean islands so too will face a crisis whose economies depend almost entirely on tourists. Every week about eight cruise ships carrying 2,000 or more passengers ply the waters between the Caribbean islands along with their hundreds of onboard workers on each. Dozens more of airplane flights bringing guests into the islands. I consider myself fortunate to have visited these islands in the Caribbean. By doing so I realize how fragile their economics are. How dependant their people are on visitors who expect quality accommodations. Much the same goes with tourist visitors in those previously hit by hurricanes in our own country.

We'd all like to believe somehow it'll work out and everything will be as it was before. History proves otherwise. So many lives impacted will be changed forever. No matter how you slice it, once a hurricane hits things are never the same again.

Two Weeks After Hurricane Harvey

Footage From St.Martin After Hurricane Irma

Sad, just so sad. I have no idea how I'd deal with this--hope I never have to.