Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Things I Wonder About

The new health care initiative is good in the sense that it provides universal coverage, but troubling in that the costs will be borne by working people for the benefit of non-working people. It reinforces the entitlement mentality, and minimizes the incentive to work....very bad for America.

How can there be any tractor trailers left on the road when every day hundreds of them are involved in highway accidents.

Has anyone ever actually rolled in the aisles?

If broccoli is good for you and chocolate is bad, why can't science make broccoli taste like chocolate and vice-versa?

Should the government regulate and tax things they deem to be unhealthy for us? Seems to me the minute they start making money on our unhealthy habits, their motives come into question. It's as if they're saying: We'll let you harm yourself by continuing to use these products as long as you pay us for the privilege.

Why do young guys wear down jackets and Bermuda shorts in the winter?

Why do delivery trucks double park when there is plenty of room at the curb?

Why do some major retail stores tolerate poor service. The other day in Sears, a clerk studiously ignored me while I was looking for help. She looked like she was ashamed to admit she worked for Sears. For a store that is on the ropes, they sure have a lousy attitude.

How can New York City pay Police Officers a starting salary of $26,000?

After the Bernie Madoff scandal and the failure of major banks, brokerage houses and insurance companies, to whom can I entrust my money?

New York City has an experimental program in place where they pay people to engage in "good" behavior like getting health insurance, attending parent-teacher conferences, setting up bank accounts and visiting the dentist. Just when I think we've hit bottom on our march to creeping Socialism, somebody drains a few more feet out of the pool.

Do all big lottery winners look like they were just evicted from a trailer park?

Lady Gaga has had her songs downloaded over a billion times. I wonder how many downloads Peggy Lee has?


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association

Monday, March 15, 2010


We had a severe wind and rain storm this past Saturday. They called it a Nor'easter, which is weather-speak for hold on to your toupee. Sheets of rain blowing sideways, sustained winds of 50 MPH and higher for six hours, trees down and power out all over Staten Island...I'd call it a freakin' hurricane. It began in earnest about 3 PM and lasted well into the night. As I sat watching TV (thankfully our power stayed on) I saw shingles from my neighbor's roof flying past my window. I had a Rhododendron bush planted in front of my house that blew up the block and was last seen crossing the state line into New Jersey. I kept expecting to see the Wicked Witch of the West fly by with little Toto in her bicycle basket! I've never been in a bad hurricane or tornado, but I can't imagine how much worse it can be. Am I eligible for federal handouts like our needy friends in New Orleans?

A couple of weeks ago we saw "Avitar" in 3-D at an I-Max theater. The movie was amazing and I'm glad we went. You still need the glasses to realize the 3-D effect, but the resemblance to the old 3-D movies ends there. In the old clunkers like "House of Wax" we wore those cheesy cardboard glasses; the 3-D scenes were blurry and the film colorization was terrible. For Avitar the glasses are now polarized, and the effects were spectacular, with no distortion whatsoever. We don't get to many movies because my wife is afraid I'll go into "shush" mode and embarrass her. I was sorry to see Avitar fare so poorly at the Oscars ceremony. The movie was outstanding and you should go, but be sure to see it in I-Max!

The other day in the NY Daily News, some letter-to-the-Editor writer was whining about his unemployment benefits not being extended. I hear others from the "Entitlement Generation" complain about reduced benefits, and how our society is going to hell in a handbasket. Let me see if I got this straight...I work and pay my exorbitant taxes so we can give people free money, and then I have to hear them bitch that it's not enough? Hello, it's FREE. Interestingly enough, in the same day's paper, there was an article that the Census Bureau can't fill the thousands of jobs open for census takers. What's wrong with this picture? Able bodied people would rather sit on the stoop drinking beer, or watch soap operas on the couch while shoveling Ring Dings into their pie holes that I paid for, instead of going out and working. The fact that we have created this entitlement mentality is why we're going to hell in a handbasket.

Not long ago my wife bought me a crock pot. It sat around the house for a while and finally we decided to try it. HELLO slow-cooked meats! This is the greatest invention since the TV remote. So far we've had a pork roast, a London broil, a pot roast and a chicken, and all were fantastic. Right now there's a corned beef simmering in that baby, with some potatoes and cabbage and I can't wait to get at it. There's something about slow cooking at low temperatures that gives meat a whole new flavor. Even less expensive cuts come out fork tender. We have cut way back on our meat consumption for health reasons, but now that this little appliance is sitting on the counter, we may have to step it up again.

Every day, Federal, State and City governments get scammed out of billions of dollars through tax evasion, Medicare fraud, welfare and Social Security schemes, government employees selling things like driver's licenses and green cards, and in a thousand other ways. Doesn't anybody check or follow up on anything? The problem is that it's so easy to give away other people's money. I'd bet the people who administer these programs and pay out these monies are a whole lot more careful with their own checkbooks than they are with the government's. It's time we put some money into auditing the recipients of these funds...start with the biggest payees and send people into the field to verify their claims. I'll bet things tighten up in a hurry as more crooks get fitted for orange jump suits. It's our money for crying out loud.


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Justice Takes a Holiday

The following statement was issued yesterday: "The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will not be collecting O.J. Simpson's suit. The decision was made by the museum's curators together with the director." The Smithsonian's decision comes a day after California Superior Court Judge Joseph Biderman approved the plan to send Simpson's suit that he wore on the day of his acquittal to the Smithsonian, ending a 13-year legal dispute between Ron Goldman's father, Fred, and Simpson's former sports agent, Mike Gilbert, both of whom laid claim to Simpson's duds. Both Goldman and Gilbert agreed to the donation; even O.J. himself weighed in. In a statement issued from from prison in Nevada, where he's serving nine to 33 years for armed robbery and kidnapping, Simpson said he approved the donation provided no party made a profit from it. The only problem? No one asked the Smithsonian if it wanted the suit.

This is the latest development in a bizarre case that began over 15 years ago. Some time after 10:00 pm on Sunday, June 12th, 1994 a double homicide occurred in the Brentwood community of Los Angeles. The victims were 35 year-old Nicole Brown Simpson and 25 year-old Ronald Lyle Goldman. O.J. Simpson is notified of the murders while on a business trip in Chicago. He returns to Los Angeles, is temporarily handcuffed, and taken in for questioning. Robert Shapiro is contacted on Simpson's behalf and asked to become defense counsel. Five days later, about to be arrested for murder, Simpson slips out of a friend's home. Who can forget the events as they then unfolded on national television, like some bad episode of "The Streets of San Francisco".

Simpson is chased by police while riding in his white Ford Bronco, driven by friend A.C. Cowlings. The low-speed chase seems to go on forever, with police helicopters and an army of media people in pursuit. The world watches from the comfort of their living rooms as the commentators explain what is happening. When he finally returns to his home, Simpson is taken into custody. Most of us were already leaning toward O.J. for the double murder. Seemed pretty clear cut...fading athlete, beautiful wife, handsome boyfriend...an age old story of jealousy, rage and death. Not so fast grasshopper, this is America. The accused are innocent until proven guilty. Let the madness begin.

The preliminary hearing ends with Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell ruling there is sufficient evidence for O.J. Simpson to stand trial on two counts of first-degree murder. O.J. pleads "absolutely 100 percent not guilty" to the charges. Judge Lance Ito is assigned to hear the case. Jury panel is selected: eight black, one white, one Hispanic, two mixed race; eight women, four men. January 25, 1995 - Trial opens. Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden deliver opening statements. Johnnie Cochran makes opening statement for the defense. We'll be seeing a lot more of Mr. Cochran as he uses every trick in his bag to take apart the prosecution's case against Simpson. Their ineptitude made Cochran's job a lot easier.

L.A.P.D. criminalist Dennis Fung concedes, under cross-examination by defense attorney Barry Scheck, that procedural errors were made in the prosecution's case. Who can forget that scene in the courtroom when Simpson tries on the bloody gloves. They seem not to fit. Detective Mark Fuhrman appears on stand. He refuses to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination. Clark and Darden deliver prosecution's closing arguments. Cochran and Scheck deliver defense's closing arguments. Cochran makes controversial statements to the jury comparing Fuhrman to Hitler. The case goes to the jury. After less than four hours, jury announces that it has reached a verdict. Jury finds O.J. Simpson not guilty of two counts of murder.

Simpson's acquittal was one of the darkest days in the history of American justice. An open and shut case was blown sky high by overzealous prosecutors, an incompetent judge and a criminally moronic police department. Simpson was a pariah after the trial, but that didn't stop him from smirking at every opportunity like a man who had got away with murder. He even wrote a "what if I did it" book to further rub our noses in it. His recent conviction on robbery and kidnapping charges finally put his smart ass in jail. This past December there was a story that O.J. had been beaten in prison by white inmates motivated by racial hatred. Call it jailhouse justice if you like, but this monster took two innocent lives and got off scot free. The low-life bum deserves everything he gets.


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association