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Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

Windows phone scam

In Opinions, Opportunities, Uncategorized on March 27, 2017 at 4:06 pm

windows phone scamCredit: FataasTV Mv via YouTube

So a couple days ago, this recording was at our voicemail. Just when we were feeling left out by the Windows scammers / spammers.

We’ve said before we don’t answer the phone unless we’re pretty certain we know who the caller is.

This article tells more about the Windows tech support scam callers.

Today’s news – Monday, March 27, 2017 – the world is flat

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions on March 27, 2017 at 7:03 am

Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there.

Quote for today … I was in Bangalore, India, the Silicon Valley of India, when I realized that the world was flat.” – Thomas Friedman

are-we-third

The Internet has become and will continue to be the “great equalizer.” It’s been just just over 20 short years since the Internet has been part of the lives of most people in the world. Most of us didn’t really connect until around 1995 or so.  The graphics below show the real revolution that’s happening around the globe.

Real Internet growth is phenomenal in those nations some Americans refer to as “third-world.” Clearly, the US will not be the Internet use leader in the coming years. There are more Internet users today in Asia, Europe and Africa than in the United States and Camada … yet, the percentage of users is lower.

Internet “speeds” around the world are much, much faster than those in the US. In this ranking, the US speeds rank 21st in the world. The leading nations’ speeds are three times faster than ours.

“Home broadband in the US costs far more than elsewhere. At high speeds, it costs nearly three times as much as in the UK and France, and more than five times as much as in South Korea.” – BBC

We pay more to get less – and that’s what our systems (“elected public servants” following the will of the selected and protected Internet providers) want it to be. It’s kind of like insurance and health care … protected and selected, too.

The Internet World Stats Website has these graphics and a trove of data about usage around the world.

internet 3

internet 1

internet 2

Today’s news – Saturday, March 25, 2017

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, People on March 25, 2017 at 7:26 am

Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there.

Quote for today … “We have three Wegmans here in the Lehigh Valley, and I’d much rather have a Stauffers.” – Tracy Campbell Roeder, of Bethlehem/ Facebook in an LNP – Always Lancaster “Other opinions: Wegman’s arrival.”

reform

  • Institutional trust? “Over the past five years, Penn State has taken aggressive steps to strengthen accountability and focus on the fight against child maltreatment.”  – Penn Live. (NOTE: Could be, but would any of the steps been taken in the absence of national attention and the NCAA’s sanctions?)
  • Follow up | “At the November 28, 2016 Borough Council meeting, David Nikoloff made a presentation to the Borough Council representing AIM Advisors. “The pitch resulted in Columbia’s councillors, in a 6-0 vote, (councillor Stephanie Weisser was absent from the meeting) approving an agreement to contract AIM Advisors to conduct a feasibility study about ‘adaptive reuse of the current Columbia Borough Wastewater Treatment Facility into a natural gas production facility and user endpoint facility for vehicles.’ The Borough will pay $75,800 for the conduct of the study and the delivery of a report. The report may be ready as early as March 2017.”
  • Because of the excellent and timely reporting of transactions in Borough Council committee minutes (with the exception of the Community Development committee), Nikoloff’s report is summarized in the March Public Works Committee March 21 minutes.

29 book signing

before the storm, let’s thank those who really care about people

In Everyday Living, Opinions, Uncategorized on March 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm

thank you during storm

Those who don’t really care about the vulnerable populations (seniors and poor people) in this nation don’t want our thanks. Those horribly over-paid “elected public servants” in the US Congress don’t need our thanks. They don’t want it either.

They’re being thanked and $pon$ored by their wealthier constituents, those who benefit so much more than the 18 to 20 million people who’ll lose health insurance under the weasel’s American Health Care Act.

 

“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February”

In Everyday Living, Government, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities, Uncategorized on March 10, 2017 at 9:30 am

It’s tough believing the news that comes out of Wonderland these days, but if you do, this is another burst of “good news.”

According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

“Employment gains occurred in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, health care, and mining.”

We’re hoping this is not “fake news.”

You can bet these new jobs are not the high paying jobs in state or federal government (legislators, etc.).

“A number of the nation’s lowest paying jobs are quite common. The number of people working as cashiers is well over 1 million, as is the number of people working as cooks. In fact, all but five of the 25 lowest paying full-time occupations employ more than 100,000 people nationwide.

“Minimum wage laws have a major impact on low-wage workers, especially in states with relatively high concentrations of low-wage occupations. Most of the highest paying states for these jobs are states with the highest minimum wages.

“Kohli observed that in some of these jobs, women make up an outsized share of employment. In 18 of the 25 lowest paying jobs, the share of employees who are women exceeds the national average percentage of 44.3%

“These are the lowest paying jobs in America.”24/7 Wall St.

At the bottom are counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop; dishwashers; combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; cashiers and food preparation workers.

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John Oliver on the Affordable Care Act

In Opinions, People, Uncategorized on March 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm

John Oliver’s take on the embroilment about the Affordable Care Act has got all the ingredients of a top Hollywood movie script. It’s got AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – JOE PITTS II (yep, Lancaster County’s own newly elected Legislator is in this video) – DUMASSES – ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS – INCREDIBLY STUPID – BOLD FACE LIES – OUT OF TOUCH – CONDESCENDING – “THE WEASEL” – INACCURATE – DUMASSES – LYING BASTARDS – DECEIT – IGNORANCE – UNPROFESSIONAL CONGRESSIONAL SCUMBAGS and more.

Click on the graphic below to watch the video. CAUTION: Oliver, as does the current POTUS and some of those before him, uses the Anglo-Saxon cuss word while narrating the insanity in Wonderland.

olover-aca

Today’s news – Saturday, March 4, 2017

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, People, Uncategorized on March 4, 2017 at 6:10 am

Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there.

head-of-weaselnomics

Today’s quote … “Coward.” – Crowd chants as “the weasel” made a visit to Rhode Island on Thursday. – The Hill

  • Thursday night’s School District’s Board of Directors’ “committee of the whole” meeting included a contingent of Columbia Borough’s elected public servants, the borough manager and the borough’s consultant, Rebecca Denlinger. They came to encourage the school board directors on the newly enhanced L.E.R.T.A. proposal  approved by the borough earlier at the February borough council meeting.
  • Following the February meeting, Columbia news, views & reviews posted this: “During last night’s meeting borough consultant Rebecca Denlinger presented a renewed and more aggressive L.E.R.T.A. (tax abatement) scale.  The proposed scale would be for three years at 100% and two years of 50% abatement on property improvements. Adoption of the proposal requires the joint approval of the Columbia Borough School District and the Borough. This is critical because the school taxes represent the significantly higher tax burden. The borough is seeking a date for a joint borough / school district meeting.”
  • Denlinger, the mayor and Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) Executive Director, Janice Nikoloff, stressed that this beefed up by 33% LE.R.T.A. is needed to attract interested developers to invest in Columbia property. Though there’ve been on takers of the existent L.E.R.T.A., each felt that the “new L.E.R.T.A.” will generate enough interest to sway interest – particularly the interest of two properties now in discussion.
  • From the CEDC Website: “We encourage investors to review our FINANCING section for information on Columbia’s Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) Commercial and Residential Programs, Historic Tax Credits, and other state and local financial assistance programs.”
  • It was stated that there’s a very interested developer for the long-time vacant Hotel Columbia site in downtown’s main traffic area.
  • Citizen Frank Doutrich extolled the board of directors to get rid of the “per capita tax.” The Per Capita Tax rate for 2016-2017 is $15.00 for every resident age 18 or over. Per capita tax name and/or address corrections must be made through the Columbia Borough School District Tax Office, 200 North Fifth Street, Columbia, PA 17512.”

TAX LIST.jpgClick on the graphic to see the list.

  • One school district in the northeastern part of the state claimed in 2013, “One reason continuing this (the per capita tax) is the perception that the per-capita tax is at least one levy that every adult resident must pay.”

congressional-speech-ratingsAudience ratings declined for this speech to Congress. News Corpse

Walk around the elephant | Property Tax Elimination

In Education, Government, Opinions, Uncategorized on March 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm

elephantPHOTO SOURCE: Wildequus.org

There’s this “Blind Men & Elephant parable” that shows what can happen if we see just one part of the elephant.

We think it’s equally important to walk around the elephant to see the various sides – of the elephant or the situation.

Here’s the Eastern Lancaster County School District’s Webpage that does a good job of “walking around the elephant” of Property Tax Elimination.

“I inherited a mess.” | Sure!

In Government, Opinions, Uncategorized on February 16, 2017 at 5:19 pm

blast-em-all

When Wonderland begins to melt down, blame everyone and everything!

“’Cause it certainly ain’t the reality on the ground.”

In Opinions on January 26, 2017 at 9:10 pm

The article, Why Wall Street’s Dow 20,000 is totally meaningless” at The Conversation is an interesting read, but the really interesting read is the first comment by TJ Martin.

“I agree that the mythical magical 20,000 is of no consequence albeit I’d disagree as to the most important reasons why:

  • The Big Three automakers are currently sitting on 110 – 177 days of inventory [ 30 is optimal 60 is reasonable anything above 100 is abysmal ].
  • On top of that all the rebates and incentives they’re pushing in order to lower the inventory have all but eliminated profits with many cars now selling at a loss
  • Which leads to the fact all but ignored by the news [ excepting the automotive business news ] that as of 1/15/17 just under 100,000 GM/Ford/FCA employees across the US have been laid off with multiple assembly [ and what few manufacturing plants there are ] are on temporary shut down despite all the corporate cronyism rhetoric coming from the Big Three in support of Trump’s lies
  • IBM which in a spat of cronyism last December claimed they’d be adding 10,000 jobs ….. has just laid off 10,000 workers while revealing a net loss of epic proportions
  • At oil’s current prices every oil company is operating at a loss .. despite all the Federal subsidies in place to try and offset it [ to be profitable oil needs to be $123 per barrel or higher ] And yet in Trumpland we need more oil production to the detriment of all else
  • Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary from the Real Estate and Mortgage Industry several major markets including SF , Houston NYC etc * are now either in decline or the bubble has burst | ironically Trump Tower in NYC is on the verge of bankruptcy
  • Several businesses large and small including American Apparel . Victory M/C , Barnum & Bailey circus etc have gone under since 1/5/17 costing multiple jobs as well as tax revenue
  • And remember all the cronyism surrounding GM and Ford about stopping continued investment in Mexico ? Funny thing … billions are on deck and in the hands of GM and Ford’s Mexican leadership earmarked for expanded manufacturing to be exported to the US
  • Speaking of cronyism . Carrier .. and all the lies they told in order to garner favor from the POTUS . Saved 1000 jobs ? Not hardly . More like barely 400 .. with approximately 3000 about to be laid off

“Then factor in all of Trump’s ludicrous and ill thought out promises … a National debt about to double in the next 24 months .. the isolationism Trump is creating between us and them worldwide .. and …

“sigh … etc .. etc … et al … ad nauseam .. which then begs the question … what in the devil is driving Wall Street up ? Cause it certainly ain’t the reality on the ground.

“Wall Street – The very epitome of a Potemkin Village .. to who’s benefit one can only guess”