Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tear them down or keep them? That is the question.

In the last post I told you about a controversial issue of a somewhat local nature.  Well, here's another on a national level. 

Actually this one has been around for some time but recently flared up in the news again.  It involves the issue of whether or not confederate monuments should be left standing or torn down.

The tear-down proponents argue that the monuments represent a time when the nation had slavery and by erecting these things we are approving that particular institution. The let-them-be proponents argue that for good or ill they are as much a part of the nation's history as any other.  So they should remain a part of the story.

The reason this has come up is because we are now living in a time of significant intolerance, hatred and racism.  Never since the race riots of the 60s has it been so bad.  What could be the cause of that?  I think you know where I'm going with this.  The answer is that we have the great misfortune to be led by the chief racist and white supremacist of all time-Donald Trump.

Trump has spent the last 3 years going around the country talking, tweeting and ranting thereby inspiring his base to commit unbelievable acts of violence and hatred but, hay, that's just Donny being Donny.

Anyway, as soon as the nation dumps Trump things will settle down until the next round of arguments.

I'm not sure where I stand on the issue.  Both sides have some merit to what they're saying.  Let's see how it plays out.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

Newtown is like any other small town in the U.S.  Aside from concerns with international and national politics, we have our share of local issues to fret about.

For example here in Newtown and actually the state of Connecticut there's a whirlpool of discussion regarding the use of plastic bags in grocery stores.  Most stores in Newtown have stopped using plastic although you can still get plastic bags at some groceries but you have to pay extra for them. People are encouraged to get permanent cloth bags.

A few days ago, in an effort to keep this going, someone posted on Facebook a picture of a sea bird caught in a plastic bag that had been left at a beach somewhere along the CT shore of Long Island Sound.  The point they were trying to make was obviously that we need to eliminate the use of plastic as much as possible.

Someone from the other side chimed in with the comment "What on earth does that have to do with Newtown?"  Hence the title of this post.

I don't usually involve myself in these local skirmishes.  It tends to bring the craziness out in people but in this case I couldn't help myself.  I responded that it has everything to do with Newtown!  After all we don't live in a vacuum.  We're part of a larger community.  For example when people go to the beach, they often shop for snacks and drinks to bring along. They then proceed to toss those bags into the car along with towels and whatever else people take to the beach.  Once there, they get everything out, kids start eating, the now empty plastic bag gets away in the breeze and, well, you know the rest.

I wasn't the only only to respond.  A whole bunch of other people said I was right and started with their own comments-some of which were a tad harsh-which is why I avoid getting involved.  Anyway, the guy who made the original comment wisely cried uncle and the whole thing eventually died down.  But the original point still holds.  Everything we do affects others in one way or another.  Let's try to make it a good effect, shall we?

OK, go ahead and respond!!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

An addition to your 'must read' list

Buy or borrow this book and read it.  You will thank me a thousand times over.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The death toll rises!

Two more mass shootings in less than 24 hours.  The public reacts with outrage and demands that something be done.  Politicians send thoughts and prayers and Donald Trump, according to the Washington Post, offers a solution:
 

"Trump calls for ‘strong background checks’ after massacres, suggests pairing gun legislation with immigration reform."

He just can't help himself can he.  By linking gun control to immigration reform he suggests the root cause is immigration related.  No matter that the shooters were young, white lunatics who openly profess racism. 

I did a little research into the gun laws from one state to the next.  The inconsistencies are incredible.  You go from several states like Delaware with very strict gun laws to several others that have virtually none.  Take Wyoming, Idaho and Arizona for example.  They are wide open.  By a hand gun or anything else you want, walk out of the store, strap it on and you're good to go. 

I think that's a good place to start.  Enact federal laws that cover all states.  Breaking those laws would then be a federal crime regardless of what the states do.  That would be a start.

In the meantime it would seem our thoughts and prayers aren't getting it done.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Happy August

Hello, August.
To learn more about the month of August, click here georgeswebpage.com.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It's not just about the doctor.

Yesterday my wife got up early and left to have blood work done.  She returned very quickly.  It seems the doctor's office neglected to send the order for blood work to the lab.  My wife had asked for a paper scrip but they assured her she didn't need one.  That's happened before to her and several times to me. 

What this means is that when choosing a doctor, there's more to just finding out if the doctor is going to be a good fit for you.  The efficiency of the doctor's office is important too.  I don't take any chances any more.  I insist on a paper scrip to hand to the lady at the lab.  If the doctor's nurse or office clerk resist I remind them that there is nothing more annoying than going to the trouble of driving early in the morning to a lab only to be told they have no doctor's orders for lab work.    I have two doctors who prescribe lab work routinely and they always hand me a piece of paper now.

The same thing applies to the promise to return phone calls.  Here's a tip for you: they never do.  I make a thorough pest out of myself until I'm talking to the person I called.  It's all about the squeaky wheel!

If you're in the market for a new doctor, keep this in mind before you commit to anything. You'll save yourself a lot of aggravation.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Splashdown!

Exactly 50 years ago today three astronauts returned from their successful, historic mission to the moon.  The year was 1969.

If you've been around as long as me or if you've studied history you know at least four things about 1969:
1. The country was embroiled in a highly controversial war in Viet Nam.
2. The president was the highly controversial Richard Nixon (affectionately known as "Tricky Dick").
3. The recent assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr were fresh in everyone's minds.
4. Racial tensions were at an all-time high.

Now let's compare.  Here we are, 2019, and it's amazing how little we have learned,  isn't it? Consider:
1. The country is embroiled in a prolonged conflict in the Middle East.
2. The president is the corrupt, immoral, racist and bigoted Donald Trump.
3. Thanks to No. 2 racial tensions are very high.

The exceptions are fortunately there have been no recent assassinations and thanks to the policies put in place by Barack Obama, the economy is relatively strong. But in retrospect it doesn't look like we've learned much in 50 years. 

Maybe 2069 will be different but someone else will have to report on it. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Happy Anniversary

On this day exactly 50 years ago I, along with many other people,  gathered in the cafeteria of the company where I worked and watched Apollo 11 with three men on board blast off for the moon.  The company I worked for manufactured parts that were contained in the rocket. 

It was a historic day for our country and the world or-as Neil Armstrong noted-for all mankind.  Four days later man walked on the moon.

PBS is running many good programs about the Apollo moon launch.  Be sure to watch one.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

A few thoughts about medical care

Yesterday we had to take our grandson to a dermatologist to have a minor procedure performed.  We had a 2:45 appointment.  We checked in about 5 minutes early, filled out a bunch of papers and waited.  Then the glitch.  Apparently my daughter-in-law's insurance company required a referral from the boy's pediatrician.  Of course we didn't have one so the dermatolgist's office staff had to contact the pediatrician for verbal contact.  After about 45 minutes we were given approval to proceed.  We finally finished and arrived back home at around 5 P.M.  Two and a half hours for a 20 minute drive and a 10 minute procedure. 

All's well that ends well I guess but the whole thing made me realize how lucky I am to have medicare.  With medicare you never have to worry about hassles with insurance companies or HMOs.  I'm sure there are people who have had different experiences but everyone I know has the same story to tell.

All of this got me to thinking.  Why can't everyone have medicare?  Sure, it would be hugely expensive but people were required to contribute according to their ability to pay, I think it could be doable. 

I know there are those who call this socialized medicine and for that reason reject it, but it isn't really socialized medicine.  The patient would still choose his/her doctor, treatments, medicines and hospitals.  There would simply be a single payer. 

Food for thought, democrats.  Notice I don't include republicans because anything remotely beneficial to the 'masses' is anathema to conservatives but I bet if this were well thought out and presented logically to people, republicans would be out voted. 

I think I'll listen to Bernie Sanders and little more closely from now on.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day

Happy July 4th.  Did you hear the news?  Trump is throwing the mother of all celebrations.  Tanks, fly-overs, soldiers sweating their asses off, the works!  He claims it's just a show of patriotism.  We know he's full of it.  It's really a tax payer funded rally for the fat load we call a President.  For example if it's a nonpartisan celebration, why are only republican dignitaries being invited to special events.  Enough said! This is a pathetic farce. One more year of this jerk.  I can't wait!

Have you been following the fuss being made about Nike's new sneaker design.  It's shown below.  Apparently the flag on the back is offensive to some so Nike pulled it.  The way I look at it the flag is simply the one that existed at the time we became an independent country.  I certainly don't see it as a symbol of slavery.  What am I missing?

Anyway, have a great day.


Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy July tidbits.

1. July already.  The dog days of summer.  Do you know the origin of that expression?  It doesn't really have too much to do with dogs.  It centers on a bit of Greek mythology as do so many astronomical expressions.  The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.   So now you know. Have a great summer and stay cool.

 2. I was finally, FINALLY, getting to the point where the last of the wood from the May 2018 storm was cut, split and stacked.  Then the other morning I awakened to another mess in my back yard.  Back to square one!!  There were so many years when I scrambled around scouting out sources of firewood so I would have to buy any and now I'm up to my eyeballs in the stuff.  When all is said and done I'll have three years worth stockpiled at which time I will be very nearly 80.  Seems like a good time to put my wood-burning days behind me and convert my wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace.  I'm all set up for gas for our new whole house generator so it won't be difficult.  
We'll see. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Summer is here with a vengence!

It seems like we have gone from a wet, cool spring to a hot, humid summer. Yuk! And I still have a lot of outdoor work to do.  I hate working in hot, humid weather.  In fact I can't really do it anymore.  I confine heavy work to mornings and light activity to afternoons.  That's that pattern for the rest of the summer.  While we do have a condo in Naples, FL, there's no way I could spend a summer there.  And by summer I mean May through September.   Definitely a winter month location for me.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

And so it begins

Well....it's kind of like it never really ended but now it's official. The start of the campaign season that is.  With the official announcement of Trump's intention to run for a second term the loooooong, looooong, process of getting to election day now starts-at least officially. 

There's one consolation.  The republican side is decided.  All you have to do is turn off Trump every time you see his fat face on TV.  The bad news is there are lots and lots of democrats throwing their hats in the ring. 

Hang on. It's going to be a rough ride from now to November 2020. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

It's graduation time

I've noted with interest many K-3 teachers posing with former students who are now graduating from high school. It occurred to me that the students I had in my first five years of teaching can all be members of AARP!  The students I had in my first class of 4th graders are 55 now.  I'm still in touch with many of them on Facebook so that's at least one positive thing about social media.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Back to school for two days

I spent two mornings and a partial afternoon at Sandy Hook School recently.  I was working with the 3rd and 4th graders.  Years ago-1978 to be exact-when I was a 5th year teacher at Sandy Hook a member of the board of education arranged to have two slabs of shale rock trucked to the school.  Each slab contained dinosaur fossils.  Those slabs survived the reconstruction of the school and were placed in front of it. 

A parent saw the rocks last year and used Facebook to ask what they were and if anyone knew anything about them.  I chimed in with the answer to her questions and she asked if I could tell the rest of the school about them since I apparently was pretty much the only one around at that time who knew their history.

From there I contacted the math/science specialist and she thought it would be a great idea to tell kids and staff what I know since the study of fossils are in the third grade science curriculum.

We were going to do it last year but the weather conspired against us so this year we made it happen.

It was good getting back in the 'teaching mode' again.  Especially when kids are interested in something and what kid doesn't like dinosaurs?  Even the teachers hadn't really noticed them so they were interested too.  It was my third time this year working with kids at Sandy Hook. Grandson Nicholas will be leaving the school to go on to Reed next year so as I posted in a previous piece this brings to a close a 46 year run having a connection to a place where I spent so much time. But I still know people there so maybe I'll be back for other things in the future.  Otherwise maybe Reed Intermediate will have some use for me from time to time.  We'll see.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

To impeach or not to impeach? That is the question.

This morning while using the rest room at the Newtown Country Club I heard snippets of a conversation taking place out in the dining room.  There were about 4 guys sitting around talking about Trump and all the impeachment noise being made these days.  I didn't hear everything but caught a few of the following bits and pieces:
"They won't be happy until they convict SOMEONE". (I presume they mean by 'they' the democrats.)
"Impeach for what? What do they have?"
"It's just a media circus."
That sort of thing.

I felt like running out and lecturing them on the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors but my friends were waiting for me.

So here's what I think.  I think they're right-for all the wrong reasons.  Now is not the time to impeach.  Here's why.

1. As House leader Nancy Pelosi has correctly observed, not even all House democrats are on board with this.  If you can't get overwhelming support within your own party then it looks like a lost cause from the start.

2. But suppose somehow the House does impeach him. Then what?  It goes to the Senate-a republican controlled Senate.  Senate republicans have  remained stubbornly supportive of Trump even though he's such a despicable slob. So there's no chance he'll get convicted in the Senate.

3. Efforts to impeach could backfire on the Dems.  Witness the above conversation I overheard.  How many other people think this is just a witch hunt?  Why take the chance?

So what needs to happen is that Trump's opponents  do nothing but bide their time.  Let him continue to lie, trip and stumble his way through the rest of his term and keep track of everything like police analyzing a crime scene which is pretty much what it has amounted to.   Then when the next presidential campaign rolls around and a Democratic candidate emerges (looking like Biden at this point) you've got the ammunition you need to show Trump for what he is-the most corrupt, immoral liar to ever set foot in the White House. 

There's my two cents worth for the day!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day-the unofficial first day of the summer season.  Between all the baseball, soccer, picnics, barbecues, etc let's see if we can set aside a second or two to quietly acknowledge those who gave their lives so we could enjoy this time of year. 

As a side note, in just a little over a week we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the greatest invasion in history-D Day which pretty much spelled the coming end of World War II.  Check social media  cyber media and TV listings for events commemorating this event.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Two observations

1. Spring is here!  Or is it? Finally, today after several days of raw, rainy weather the sun is out but it's windy and chilly.  Not what I was hoping for on a nice warm spring day.  Generally this spring has been terrible.  More evidence supporting climate change.

2. I recently saw an article in some paper or magazine about a new push to teach coding in the public schools.  It usually starts in middle school and goes into high school.  Do you know what coding is?   Basically it's what we used to call computer programing.  The question that comes to mind to me is why are they teaching that?  The defenders of coding instruction point out that kids can design their own video games.  Also, teaching coding teaches logic.   I think perhaps it's interesting as an extracurricular subject but to teach it as part of mainstream education is in my opinion silly.  Are public schools in the business of training computer programmers?  I shouldn't think so. We are not vocational schools.  Teaching it as a hobby or after school activity is fine but let's not take up precious time during the school day to do this.

 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

A word about a really boring topic-International trade tariffs.

I heard Trump make a statement the other day that added more evidence to the assertion that he's either a liar or profoundly ignorant.  (The truth is probably a lot of both.)  Anyway the statement was something to the effect that the tariffs he's levied against China has added billions of dollars to American coffers.  That statement is absolutely false.   Here's why.

 First, to put it in the simplest possible terms, a tariff is basically a tax a country places on imported goods the purpose of which is supposedly to level the trade playing field.  The end result is that the goods sold by that country's manufacturers cost more thus resulting in American buyers turning to domestic products.  Remember, that's the theory.  It rarely works that well.

OK, so if the country the tariff is against isn't paying the tariff, who is?  The answer is the producer of the goods being shipped from that country.  The importing American country is now paying a higher price but rather than turn to domestic manufacturers they simply pass the cost on to....YOU!  Yes, folks. That's right. You're the one paying for Trump's clever trade policies. 

Why aren't people on to him?  How has he and others like him gotten away with it?  For two reasons. First, no one fully understands how international trade works so they take it as an article of faith that someone somewhere knows what they're doing.  Second, sometimes, done correctly, tariffs do in fact work.  But it's the result of careful negotiation requiring countries to compromise and practice give and take-something Trump can't or won't do.  He thinks he can sit down with China or India or Japan or whoever and dictate policy like he used to do in his board room.  The problem is our trade partners will simply leave the table laughing historically leaving the U.S. high and dry.

The solution is reasonable, respectful negotiation-not a 300 pound 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. 

Remember all of this the next time you vote!

Friday, May 3, 2019

The End of an Era

Grandson Nicholas at his grand finale as a 4th grader at Sandy Hook School. Now it's on to Reed Intermediate.

On a side note-this is a bitter sweet moment for me because this will end my 46 year run being associated with Sandy Hook School in one way or another. First as a 32 year teacher, then a sub and volunteer and finally a proud grand parent of two SHS students, my awesome grandsons.

It's been a long bumpy road but lots of great moments too.  Now we're looking forward to many new adventures with grand children who are rapidly growing up.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Day

Happy May Day.  Take a dance around the May Pole.  To learn lots of neat stuff about the month of May, click here georgeswebpage.com.


Friday, April 26, 2019

What diet are you on?

One of the health issues I've been dealing with in my 'senior' years is prediabetes.  In talking to my primary care doc and a nutritionist I've learned that a diet high in simple carbohydrates (foods containing large amounts of refined sugar (sucrose) , white rice, french fries and white bread) combined with a somewhat sedentary life style are contributing greatly to the problem.  

This  led me to an exercise program and various books listing foods that have a relatively high glycemic index.  The bottom line to all of them was avoid carbs-some even took an extreme approach by saying ALL carms-not just the simple ones.

In contrast to this I recently had a conversation with someone who suggested I read a book called The China Study.  I'm nearly done with it. It is a long, tedious read full of original research and detailed information.

Here are the main points it makes:
-nearly all cardiac disease, cancer, diabetes, immune disorder diseases ranging from arthritis to multiple sclerosis and many others result from what we eat-not poor genes or growth hormones, etc.
-with the right diet you can not only prevent these diseases but reverse their progress.
-the culprit is animal based protein, i.e. beef, milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs. 
-the solution is to adopt a 100% vegan diet.  Eliminate all animal based protein. And contrary to other books, carbs are good.

The rest of the book helps you figure out how to do that.

When I was about three quarters of the way through the book, I went on line and found several studies that dispute some of the findings of The China Study.  One of the biggest critiques is that it fails to give sufficient attention to things like too little exercise, the effects of a protein based diet in moderation and confusion between correlation and cause and effect.

Here's my take on all this.
There is absolutely no question that we are a grossly overweight society. Just look in any classroom or sit in one of those comfy chairs in the mall and observe the people walking by.

Our diets are terrible and we don't exercise enough.  But the solution suggested in this book is like others that call for the total elimination of carbs from your diet, i.e the other extreme.

To me the solution is not extreme.  It's moderation and common sense-and exercise.   If you're pounding down a couple of big Macs and fries every day then you're headed for trouble.  Eat a well balanced, portion controlled diet with plenty of exercise and you'll probably be OK.

By the way, while I am prediabetic I have managed to control it through-not medication but diet and exercise!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

update to last post

In my last post regarding our trip to Aruba I said I'd soon have a slide show ready.  It's now up and running.  Go to georgeswebpage.com and click on photogallery in navigation bar.  From there find the appropriate link in the table at the top of the page.  One column is for iOS/Mac users and the other for PC/Android users.  Give the page a few minutes to load and enjoy.  BTW: PC/Android users may have to enable Adobe Flash.  If you don't you won't be able to view it. 


Go to Aruba

Looking for a place to go for a nice vacation?  Ever been to any of the Caribbean islands?  I have a suggestion.  Go to Aruba.  Here's why:

First and foremost the weather is as close to perfect as you can get.  Temperatures year round range from high 70s to low 80s; there is a constant breeze; there is no rainy season to speak of.  In fact the only down side to the island is it is very dry-20" of rain a year roughly. But they have several facilities that convert sea water to fresh water.

Second, in terms of hotels there's something for everyone.  Many of them are right on the beach and they range from affordable  like the one we stayed at, The Holiday Inn to ultra luxurious like the Riu, one we're not likely to see any time soon.  But frankly the Holiday Inn is in the best location.

Third, as Caribbean Islands go this is definitely one of the more prosperous.  We've been to many places in the Caribbean (Cayman Islands, Jamaica twice, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Croix, Dominican Republic, Cancun, and Sandi & Becky went to Barbados).  Of all of them I've never felt safer walking just about anywhere off the resort grounds.  Very unusual. 

Fourth, there's a ton of things to do and many restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. 

The plane ride is a bit long but certainly nothing like Hawaii. 

I'm working on a slide show to put on my web site so when it's done I'll post it and you can get a feel for what the island is like.

By the way, hotel, meals and plane fare together cost about $4500-$5000.



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Off to Aruba

We are headed to Aruba tomorrow morning with my son's family and several other couples who are friends of theirs.   We'll be back in a week at which time our standby generator will be installed, hooked up, tested and ready to go.

Look for pictures to appear in the form of a slide show on my web site-to be announced. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Recommended Reading

I've read a lot of books about history.  Most of them are historical fiction.  The two major areas of interest are the American civil war and World War II.  Many of the books I've read are from the stand point of military strategy and battle descriptions.  But over the past few years I discovered a collection of books-mostly dealing with World War II-that take another point of view entirely.  Some are from the stand point of German citizens who many people don't realize suffered more than Americans who were safely protected by the Atlantic Ocean.  Others are from the point of view of British citizens and others still from Polish citizens.

All of those nonmilitary people suffered terribly.  So it's important to read about all sides of a war to really understand it.

Here are some of the titles I would strongly recommend for a rounded understanding. They are listed in the order I read them-NOT best to worst:


All the Light We Cannot See-Doerr
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Summer Before the War-Helen Simonson
In Farleigh Field: A novel of WWII
Lilac Girls: A Novel (about WWII)
Beneath A Scarlet Sky-Mark Sullivan
Winter Garden-Kristen Hannah (WWII) 
The Ragged Edge of Night-Olivia Hawker
The Zookeeper’s Wife-Diane Ackerman
The Tuscan Child-Rhys Bowen
We Were the Lucky Ones-WW II-Georgia Hunter 

Even if you're not interest in history, these books are great reads.   Worst case scenario, at least you'll be entertained.  Best case scenario, you'll come away with a deep understanding of the suffering and courage of so many people-certainly not just soldiers.










Monday, March 25, 2019

Another Victim

 One more victim has been added to the list of people in the 12/14/12 tragedy at Sandy Hook School. The father of one of the victims took his own life at Edmund Town Hall in Newtown this morning.  The town is understandably reeling at the news with hundreds-perhaps thousands- of reactions on social media  and the local newspapers and television.

This latest victim was a man who 'seemed' to be dealing with his loss constructively.  He started a foundation in his daughter's name-The Avielle Foundation-and he was an active, inspirational speaker for the cause of mental health.  It is a very sad reminder that no one really knows what kind of pain people may be in-at least not until they seek help. Sometimes, as in this case, it is too much to bear. In my view there is nothing worse than losing a child. Nothing. Sure losing a spouse, a parent, sibling, etc is traumatic but losing a child is in a whole other category to me.  Frankly, it's a wonder to me that there aren't more suicides when this kind of thing happens.

But for now all one can do is be kind, be patient and try to be perceptive-and be there for anyone who shows signs of severe depression. You don't have to be a specialist but know how to get the person the help they need. 

Another sad day in Newtown.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

For Whom the Tolls Toll

 There's a controversy raging in the state of Connecticut at the moment.  Gov. Ned Lamont has pledged to dramatically improve the state's crumbling infrastructure and in order to pay for that he's proposed installing electronic tolls on the interstate highways that pass through the state.  Thus the controversy.

Nearly all legislative republicans, some democrats and a significant number of residents oppose tolls.  The main reason is because they cite CT as the most taxed state in the country and tolls are just one more burden on an already overburdened tax payer.   Then they go on to list a long litany of others.

Frankly, one has to sympathize with these howls of pain.  We are over taxed.  But let's face it.  The state's infrastructure is a mess.  Everyone agrees on that.  The problem is how to pay for it's repair.

Toll booth opponents maintain with appropriate cost-cutting practices, the money would be there without tolls.

I know what they mean by cost-cutting.  They mean continue to screw state employees and the teacher's retirement fund.  The state has been doing that for years. What's the problem?  Those people are over compensated as it is.  It doesn't matter that the state is contractually obligated to support the pension funds of these two groups and for years they've been underfunded.  Abiding by legal contracts is apparently not an issue for many. 

So what to do?  What are some other solutions?  One that I've heard is to put up the tolls but give CT residents a significant tax break.  Let out of state motorists bear the burden.  They are using the roads so it's only fair they help maintain them. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A nation of privilege

You know how the great American dream use to be work hard, get an education, be honest, treat others as you would like to be treated and the American dream can be all yours?  Remember that?

In light of recent events, i.e. the college admissions scandal, it would seem that's a load of bull.

Consider this. If you were lucky enough to be born into wealth you are entitled to the following:
An education where ever you want to go.
Quality health care.
Easy passage through the legal system if the long arm of the law finds you.
Excused from serving your country.
Good jobs and appointments to high places (maybe even the Supreme Court!).
This is just to name a few!

The good news is that with the latest incident receiving so much attention, maybe the public will start to be more selective in their elective choices.  Let's face it, the democratic party has been far more sympathetic and responsive to this problem than republicans.  Let's remember that next year.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Take a tour of the International Space Station

I'm posting a link to a 25 minute YouTube video of the International Space Station.  It's a little long but well worth it.  A fascinating look at how the ISS works.  If you're into that sort of thing, check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/doN4t5NKW-k