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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Prime Killing Years

Dennis Miller comes up with the best phrases. Last night I heard him say he supports Rudy Guiliani because Rudy is strongest on terror threat and he is just entering his "prime killing years".

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Geezer Dies



Howard Porter died yesterday. He was an alltime great at Villanova University. I only saw one game in person and he was an unbelievable rebounder. I was in the freshman class in 1970-71 when his team went to the Final Four in Houston and lost to coach John Wooden and UCLA's dynasty. Nova only lost by six points and had UCLA on the run when time expired. Most observers thought Nova would have won if the game was just three minutes longer.

Editor's note: Bill Walton was a freshman at UCLA but did not play because at that time , NCAA rules precluded freshman from playing on the varsity. So the UCLA team that year was the one that bridged the Lew Alcindor era (aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar) to the Walton era.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Senator Specter....

...You have served in the US Senate for more than twenty years. One of a legislator's primary responsibilities is to enforce the rule of law, is it not? During your twenty plus years in the Senate, the borders have been porous and illegal immigants here in the country number from 12 million to 20 million.

If a nuclear device were detonated in one of our cities, would you expect voters to continue to support and re-elect long-serving politicans like yourself who have generally looked the other way for a long time with regard to fixing the issue of illegal immigration?

[editor's note- I just saw Senator Specter talking about immigration on Fox News and of course, he is still straddling the political fence.]

Sister Bernard Patrick

That was the name of my first grade teacher in 1958. I was reminded of her when I read an obit (aka The Irish Sports Pages) for a nun named Sister Frances Bernadette, S.S.J. For a moment, I thought it was my teacher but then the memory bank kicked in. And how come the obits for nuns are so minimal when compared to priests. They should be more expansive- tell where they taught, etc. It is a shame.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gary Trudeau, Congressman Elijah Cumming & Sandy Lerner

Who were the three distinguished speakers today at my niece's graduation from Gaucher College? and who gave the best advice? and who gave the worst?

Best was Congressman Cumming- he had obviously done this before. He said dream,work and try to have no regrets when you die. I thought he hit the right notes and was a powerful speaker.

Worst was Sandy Lerner- she apparently was too busy to prepare a speech and basically just said "Just Do It". What the Nike guy was unavailable? Lerner is a bazillionaire founder of Cisco who seems to buy stuff (old farms, restaurants, etc) and then sucks all the traditional fun out of them. For instance, she bought a 275 acre Virginia farm and ended the fox hunts the former owners had allowed. I take it Lerner is an animal rights nut.

Trudeau was just OK- talked a bit much about baby boomer parents of graduates. Do you think anyone under 35 years old at these commencements even listen to the speeches. Most of us could not even remember who spoke at our own graduations.

And Congratulations to my niece Joanna Livia who got her degree in Communications!

And a big shout out to the college president, Sanford Unger, who certainly delivered just what I would have predicted from the prototypical college liberal. Unger said (in his intro) how the USA has damaged its image overseas and it will take years to repair. I am sure he meant it will take years to repair but only if we can elect a Democrat for president.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

SEPTA

Today, the SEPTA board has a meeting to discuss fare hikes and of course, its lack of taxpayer funds (Editor's note: Boo Friggity Hoo). Fat Eddie, our money obsessed governor, will make an appearance and bloviate about how SEPTA needs "dedicated funding source" (Editor's note: Fat Eddie wants to raise taxes for the wasteful SEPTA).

Let me make this clear- SEPTA gets a ton of taxpayer money already. It claims it provides 300,000,000 annual unconnected rides. Its annual budget is $990 Million or thereabouts. For you public school graduates, that equates to an average cost per ride of about $3.30. And
I have read their financial report. They already get about 60% of their "revenue" from taxpayers!

Here is how SEPTA pays its bills today. Pretend you are the "Average Josephine" and when you step onto your bus, you see two fare boxes. One box is marked "rider" and one box is marked "taxpayer". The rider (that's you Josephine) drops $1.10 into the rider farebox and the guvmint, on behalf of each rider, drops $2.20 into the taxpayer fare box. So, in effect, for every one of those 300 million rides, the rider on average pays only one-third of the cost and the taxpayer pays the two-thirds of the cost.

Do you feel increasing fares from an average of $1.10 per ride is such a horrible burden to the riding public? I don't and I think this crisis is just another alarmist game foisted on the public by Fat Eddie, SEPTA and the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Perhaps SEPTA should just charge a flat one buck for every bus or subway ride and two bucks for every train ride, get rid of the toll takers and ticket takers, eliminate all ads (they spend probably $24 Million to get maybe $25 Million in ad revenue) and all the other craptastic programs that make SEPTA a huge fat bloated bureaucracy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Corzine Gift

Governor Corzine has given an old girlfriend $6Million and he went out with for what maybe 2-3 years. And he did his best to keep the total amount from the public. And even the liberal NY Times felt compelled to dig around and dish the dirt on one of their beloved democratic governors. I wonder is he has paid the gift tax to the IRS yet? Below is the gist of the latest news:

"Report: Corzine gave state union leader more than $6 million
The Associated Press TRENTON, N.J. ....
Gov. Jon S. Corzine gave his ex-girlfriend and state worker union leader more than $6 million upon their breakup in 2004, when Corzine was a U.S. senator, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Corzine and Carla Katz, president of the largest state worker union local, have repeatedly refused to discuss the financial arrangement between them.

But the newspaper reported lawyers familiar with the deal and union officials who conferred with Katz during recent contract negotiations disclosed Corzine gave Katz more than $6 million.
The newspaper relied on anonymous sources it said spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of political retribution.

The package reportedly includes a trust for Katz's two children, now 12 and 15, to attend college, a 2005 Volvo sport utility vehicle that cost about $30,000 and a cash payment used by Katz to buy a $1.1 million Hoboken condominium in November in the same building where Corzine lives.

Mortgage records revealed in 2005 that Corzine gave Katz a $470,000 loan to buy a Hunterdon County home. The loan was forgiven around the time Corzine announced his gubernatorial bid in late 2005.

The New York Times reported its story was based on interviews with three dozen people, and said it found no clear explanation as to why Corzine paid the money......."

Wish Me Luck



I just became a partner in a racehorse. Wish me luck. Here is a picture.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tax Everybody

The lady who cuts my hair is an immigrant from Vietnam. She told me she is studying for her citizenship exam next year. I congtatulated her and encouraged her to study hard because it is a great opportunity to be a citizen of the greatest country on earth. She also said she would have to pay a fee of $800 to take the exam; the current fee is $400 but it goes up to $800 soon.

That is a disgrace IMHO but I guess our guvmint will tax the crap of everyone it can including future citizens. They are bastards- would you like to bet me that some outfit like the College Boards makes a bundle by administering the tests for our guvmint?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Could Not Make This Up If I Tried

The MSM is always trying to bash Republicans for lack of diversity even when the current Prez Bush has had way more minorities in his cabinet than any previous president including the first black president, Bill Clinton.

Well the Associated Press wrote a story castigating Republican prez campaigns for absence of minority advizers so Michelle Malkin posted a copy of the Associated Press's board of directors. It had 21 white people and one black person!!

I could not make this stuff if I tried. Click on the post title to see the photo. They are phony, two-faced hypocrites.

H/T to Hube at The Colossus of Rhodey.

Rendell Says Dredging River Will Create 175,000 New Jobs

Here is the quote from the Philly Inquirer idiotorial today......

"For that, Rendell and other backers of the project rely on a study commissioned by a group of maritime entities. It projects the creation of 175,000 direct and indirect jobs from port and infrastructure improvements related to the dredging. Rendell says even half that number of jobs would justify the dredging, and he holds out the tantalizing prospect that many of these jobs would pay "70, 80, 90, 100,000 dollars." Currently, longshoremen working in the region average $60,000 a year, far below the national average of $114,000. So there seems to be potential here if shipping traffic grows as expected. "

So let me get this straight - for about $300Million, Rendell will dredge the river, create 175,000 new "great-paying" jobs that pay about twice the national average of $42,000!!!???

Well, Rendell must be a miracle worker. Let's spend double that amount and create twice as many jobs. Oh and screw SEPTA- we should take the money from them cause we won't need those measly 43,800 jobs (see post below).

And thank you to the Inquirer idiotorial writers for quickly proving my point (in yesterday's post re SEPTA) that you will publish almost any piece of bullcrap that is peddled to you as long as it fits the idiotors' worldview.

Friday, May 18, 2007

One out Of Every 13 Jobs Will Leave Philadelphia if SEPTA fare hikes are enacted

The Inquirer would do anything to get taxpayers to empty their pockets and give more money to SEPTA. So their crack reporter, Paul Nussbaum, who writes a lot of stories slanted to the idea that big guvmint is good and gasoline is bad and public transit is the answer to everything, reports on a story that if SEPTA's fare hikes are enacted, the city of Philadelphia would lose 43,800 jobs!

Let's assume for a moment that estimate is correct. According to the 2003 or 2004 census, Philadelphia had 566,349 jobs (working people). So to lose 43,800 of those jobs would mean one out of every thirteen jobs left the city!! That ain't happening no matter how high SEPTA raises its fares.

It never fails to amaze me that these newspaper reporters never question the reasonableness of statistics they throw around.

Illegally Enter America? You Are Now A Citizen

I don't get it. The Congress and the President will soon sign laws that enable 12 million (or more) ILLEGAL immigrants a path to citizenship??

Why would they do that? I can understand establishing some legal form of residency but I would never agree to let ILLEGAL imigrants become citizens. As I have said here before, I am OK if their kids one day become citizens but not the ILLEGAL immigrants.

And we must control our borders ASAP and install some form of universal ID card because if we don't there will be another 12 million here very very soon. Not to mention the crazed terrorists sneaking in right beside those innocents coming here to work hard to get a small piece of the American Dream.

Lastly, I don't get why any Republican would support this because ILLEGAL immigrants are not likely to vote Republican and so this law will dilute the value of my vote. And that is crazy to me. I am being disenfranchised in a way. I wonder what native Americans in states like Texas and California are thinking?

Bottom line - I say create a program that 1- controls the borders, 2- enables us to ID everyone and 3 - legalizes crime-free illegals BUT no citizenship ever.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Annual Advice To The New Grads

Advice to the New Graduates
Dear Michele, Christine & Gabe:

Before I wrote this, I looked in a dictionary for the definition of the word “commencement”. The dictionary states commencement refers to “the act or process of bringing or being brought into existence; inauguration, inception, incipience, initiation, leadoff, birth, dawn, genesis, start”.

Therefore, commencement suggests your lives are just beginning (and that is true in some respects). And by calling graduation ceremonies a “commencement”, our institutions of higher learning have sorta decreed you can’t really take that first step until they have conferred a degree on you. That’s somewhat presumptuous but I guess by promoting the necessity and value of a degree, the schools can make a buck too. And there is no law against that.

Essentially, I wish you two things: interesting people and interesting places. By that, I hope you find, see and keep both of those close to you for all your years. If you do that, you will lead rich, rewarding and fulfilling lives.

And try very hard to understand the primary goal in life is to get very old. I know you won’t agree with that statement right now but believe me you will one day. Put more simply, it is exhilarating to be both available and sufficiently lucid to give the eulogy at a friend’s funeral.

I know it is hard to resist the urge to follow the crowd. But do try to be your own person- so don’t routinely and rigidly adopt all of the latest fads and trends. Find music, books and other hobbies you enjoy and make time for them.

Endeavor to be a leader to others. Christine, you are a born leader. And there is much evidence you were born with the ringleader gene. That’s the mischievous cousin of the leader gene. And that is a good thing- you love life and you show it.

Each of you should try to stand up for what you believe is right even:
  • When your opinion is unpopular
  • When it’s not the easiest path to take and
  • When you have not been right about anything in a very long time (cause the law of averages says everyone is right sooner or later).

You will be a part of many groups and organizations in the next 60-70 years. Don’t just go along for the ride. Give your best effort. Develop a reputation as an impact player. You can do that by making a strong personal impression and offering your support to the group’s goals (i.e unforgettable PARTAYS, improve annual sales, beat the Villa Gorillas every other year).

Never stop learning and never stop asking questions (there are almost no dumb questions). Set out to identify mentors and role models from whom you can learn valuable life and career lessons. A good mentor will be happy to freely give you career and life advice for years to come. Strive to be a role model yourself. Be generous to others with your time and knowledge. No one can leave much of true value in this world except those gifts you plant in the hearts and minds of those you leave behind.

Be open-minded and learn to think for yourself. Don’t be afraid to question the prevailing wisdom or latest news story. For example, a national news program once ran a story (Hannah Storm reported it I believe) that “the exercise done on Infomercials accounted for more than 50% of the total exercise done in America”. That “news” story first originated as a spoof in a satirical magazine. The news network picked it up as “real news”. I cringed and laughed when I heard it and wondered if any of you (had you worked on that program) would have thought to question the ridiculous premise. I believe each of you would have (Especially Gabe since he reads the magazine though until now he probably thought its “news” stories were legit).

Take very good care of yourself both physically and mentally. There is a time to party and a time to “not party”. Try to learn the difference way before you turn forty (so you can still run for President).You only get one chance in this world and life is much better when you are fit and ready to take advantage of all it offers. Make strenuous exercise a regular part of your routine and add a large helping of mental exercise and challenges to keep the mind in top shape. If you smoke, quit.

With regards to your career, as you know there is a secret to success. Unfortunately, it is a secret so I can’t share it with you. So, you will have to settle for my own priceless advice:

  • NO MARKETABLE SKILL= ZERO JOB OPPORTUNITIES= NO MONEY
  • MARKETABLE SKILL = JOB OPPORTUNITIES= PAYCHECK= REGULAR PARTAY
  • LOTTA MARKETABLE SKILLS= MORE JOB OPPORTUNITIES= MORE MONEY= REALLY BIG PARTAY

So what does that mean you ask? Just this. Be smart and work hard. Pick some marketable skills and develop those skills. Regularly polish, hone and improve those skills with practice and repetition. Enhance your skills with regular study and learning and MAYBE you will always have a job and make money.

Ideally you will choose skills (as I said that are marketable) in jobs and professions where:

  • You enjoy the work (i.e. barfly, world philosopher, expert recounter of Seinfeld episodes, social director for former dorm mates)
  • It is in demand by employers and customers and
  • You are good at it and like it.

It would be great if you could find a career that has all three of the above criteria, But you will survive and likely thrive even if you choose skills that only have two of the above criteria.

And remember, there are no guarantees in life and life can be unfair. That’s just the way it is. Bitching about bad breaks won’t help. It will just make you very unpleasant to be around.

Be confident in your abilities and self-worth. Be persistent in pursuing what you want. Michele- with your focus and drive you could achieve anything you set your sights on. So set your sights high!Gabe, you could do anything. You just have to convince yourself you CAN do anything instead of finding reasons for why you can’t do something.

Remember you are most fortunate to have been born in this country. Though not without its faults, it is the greatest country on Earth. Always honor and respect the elderly though I know it is especially hard when they don’t wear their hearing aids.

Always value and cherish your family even when they ask a bazillion questions about your latest escapade.Remember where you came from, respect traditions, and perhaps start your own traditions.

Stay informed about current events - it makes you a more interesting person and give you a big edge on your peers. Be faithful to your core values and beliefs, your religion, your lover and one day your spouse.

You will make mistakes. Most mistakes are minor and can be fixed. However, try to avoid the really big mistakes (i.e always wear your seat belt). Observe other people and try to learn (and maybe get a good laugh) from their big mistakes.

But you also have to take risks in life. Without risk, there is little reward. Just do your homework before you take those risks.

Set priorities and establish goals and objectives- it makes life a bit more interesting to look back and see how you did. And try to recognize the difference between what is important and what is not.

You each have what it takes to be very happy and very successful. Keep that in mind and let the fun begin. Just know I’ll be watching you. Love and all the best to each of you,U.T.