Tag Archives: New York

My God, They’re Human

This year, for the first time, I became an Election Inspector.

Now, in NY in order to be an Election Inspector you have to take a 4 hour class .  This class covers the proper way to sign in voters. How to ask for additional information if the voter is not in the book. How to offer affidavit ballots (used to be called provisional ballots). And a myriad of other things.

The training includes using the voting machine and helping folks, if they need help, in placing the ballots in the machine.

Then, you must take and pass a test on all this stuff.

I worked from 5 AM to 1:30 PM, only half a day. Most inspectors work the entire day , which lasts 17 hours.

In NY inspectors are appointed by the political parties, with the two top parties working the polls. That would be the Democrats and Republicans. I am a Democrat. At all times you must have both parties present, hopefully in equal numbers.

Now I live in deep Republican country. If fact, in these local elections most offices do not even have a Democrat running. And the 2 or 3 that were running for county offices lost. Badly. One bright spot was the coroner.

The county coroner position was won by a Democrat! How did that happen?. Well, the GOP candidate forgot to file his petitions. His party was not happy with him. I doubt that the cadavers are too concerned.

Since the district I was working in had very few voters trickling in, we all had a lot of time to socialize. The GOP chairman in charge of this precinct happened to go to the same college, Michigan State University, as I did… but a few years later. We all chatted together, Dems and Repubs, telling jokes, swapping stories and helping each other figure our how to solve problems with ballots, etc.

You see, one of the rules in NY is that as an inspector you are not allowed to talk politics.

I have to say that I liked most of the people I met. Well, I liked ALL of the Republicans but there was one Democrat that rubbed me the wrong way. They were all so…HUMAN.

Did they really vote for Trump? Did they really support his racist policies? Do they think that Dems are communist and hate America?

I don’t know. But these folks seemed normal enough. Why on Earth would they vote for the GOP? I suppose they had the same thoughts about me. How could this guy, who seems decent enough, vote for the Dems?

It used to be like this in Congress. The Dems and GOP had different philosophies but did not go after each other personally. They treated each other like human beings, not caricatures. They fought the battle of ideas, not character assassination. What happened?

I will never agree with or accept the philosophy of the Republican party, no doubt. However. It will be hard. But the next time I see Jim Jordan or Mitch McConnell or even Donald Trump I will try to remind myself: My God, They’re Human.

 

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Filed under Democrat, Elections, GOP, government, Politics, Trump, United States

Berning the Dems

Bernie Sanders will not quit.

In 2016 many of Bernie’s supporters , loyal to the end, failed to come out to support Hillary Clinton. The result was a victory for Donald Trump. Just a few thousand more votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, etc. and we would not be saddled with this boil on the ass of America called Donald Trump.

The Bernie narrative went like this. Bernie was cheated out of the Democratic nomination by the “establishment”. This “establishment ” was controlled by Hillary and using her nefarious methods cheated Bernie (and his fanatic supporters) from winning the nomination he deserved.

Now, this plot had two tentacles.

First, the Clinton “super delegates” gave the nomination to Clinton even though Bernie had won the vote of the Democratic rank and file. The sneaky, corrupt Clinton machine stole the election from the people!

Except…according to the final analysis by “FiveThirtyEight” an independent analysis site, Clinton won the Democratic popular vote with 55% of the total. A full 12% higher than the Bernie vote. Yes, Bernie got 43% of the Democratic vote. He lost. Fair and square. So, the first tentacle of the plot is cut off by the facts.

But that still leaves the 2nd part of the Clinton tentacle. Bernie voters were simply prevented from voting! Voter suppression!!! Well, there is some truth to this. But it has nothing to do with the Clinton plot.

In New York, for example, many Bernie voters went to the polls and were told, “Sorry, you can’t vote in the Democrat primary”. Why did that happen? The answer is simple. They weren’t REGISTERED as Democrats. DUH. Since New York is a “closed” primary state, only Democrats are allowed to vote in the Democratic Party primary. Is that unfair? (In fact, Trump’s own children and lawyer could not vote in the GOP primary because they were not registered Republicans)

This fact has led the Bernie folks to spread the false narrative somehow the Clintons plotted to keep Bernie supporters from voting. No. Ignorance of the law or simply NOT BEING DEMOCRATS kept Bernie supporters from voting in the New York primary.

The claim that the Democratic establishment “rigged” the primary vote was part of the Bernie narrative and continued into the Democratic Convention:

“.…Sanders withheld his endorsement of Clinton until the middle of July, and his delegates to the convention devoted much of their energy to vigorously protesting the proceedings. The booing from the audience was so loud that speakers either struggled through their remarks or stopped to plead with the delegates…...”

This played into the GOP narrative of the “corrupt” Clintons and probably led to many Bernie voters either voting for Jill Stein (Green Party) or simply staying home and not voting at all.

Now, Bernie is old. He just had a heart attack. He is, above all, an egomaniac.

Bernie wants to have it both ways. He wants to be an “independent” but wants the nomination for the Democratic Party. For example, in 2016, he did register as a Democrat for purposes of seeking the nomination. But, he also registered for his 2018 Senate campaign as an “independent”. He did the same thing this election cycle. He has registered as a “Democrat” for purposes of running for president, but has already filed as a candidate for the 2024 Senate race as an “independent”. Having some cake and eating it, too.

To my way of thinking this is rather Trumpian. Big ego. Play the system. Being a “Democrat” when it suits him, being an “independent” when it suits him. Smells of egomania.

Bernie will not get out of the race. Like Donald Trump, he has a cult of followers. “Feel the Bern”. With so many legitimate Democrats in the race who need every vote from liberals and moderates, it is a shame to see this man continue down ego-trip lane. It is very possible that he might, once again, hand Trump the presidency.

The Dems may feel the Bern a second time. As long as it massages Bernie’s ego, he could care less.

Was The Democratic Primary A Close Call Or A Landslide?

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/04/700121429/bernie-sanders-files-to-run-as-a-democrat-and-an-independent

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/06/bernie-sanders-2016-rigged-wont-pledge-support-winner.html

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Filed under Bernie Sanders, Clinton, Democrat, Elections, GOP, Politics, POTUS, president, socialist, United States

Treat Me Like A Dog

For the past two years I have been contacting my state legislators about the Medical Aid in Dying bill proposed for New York state. And for the past two years I have not been able to get an answer from either one on where they stand and why.

Being in a rural, conservative part of New York, they both appear opposed. But neither has been willing to state the precise reason for the objections.

Which makes sense. Because there are no non-religious objections. The New York bill is modeled after the Oregon bill and New Jersey bill, which just passed. The Oregon law has been in place for about 20 years and has had no complaints about abuse. These bills do not force anyone or any institution from participating in end of life assistance. They are careful to allow anyone with an objection not to be required to take part in any end of life actions. They protect everyone.

So any objections are primarily religious. And the bill takes those into consideration.

When I think about this issue 4 names come to mind. Bill, Margaret,Lucy and Zoey.

Bill was my father-in-law. He served in WW2 in the British air force before the US entered the war. Once the US entered he was transferred to the US military. After the war he came home and built a house. He started a business selling eggs door-to-door. Yes the Egg man. Goo goo ga-choob. And he was successful and raised a family. He liked the nice glass of wine and a pipe full of cheap tobacco.

It was probably the wine and pipe smoking that lead to his cancer. I think it was throat or esophagus. At any rate, he couldn’t eat . He refused to go to a hospital because he did not want to be kept alive artificially. He slowly starved to death, his wife feeding him morphine to ease the pain.

The last time I saw him he looked like an Auschwitz prisoner. All skin and bones. He was so light we were able to carry him. Like a living skeleton. A man who had fought in a war to free the world from Nazis ended up looking like a victim of the Nazis.

Margaret was my sister-in-law. She was only about 62 when she passed away. Like my father-in-law she also had some type of throat cancer. Since she lived in California I did not see her at the very end. But she also insisted on dying at home. She also starved to death.

She was an active, healthy woman of Dutch heritage. She was an airline stewardess who flew international flights. She raised two great kids . She did everything right. She took care of my brother. She starved to death.

I don’t know if Bill would have taken advantage of a Medical Aid in Dying law. He had no choice. I do know that Margaret would have done so. She expressed that she wished she was back in her native Netherlands where aid in dying was legal. She had no choice.

Which brings me to Lucy and Zoey. Our two dogs. we had them since they were puppies and as they got older and more infirm it became obvious that it was cruel to allow them to live in pain. It would be unconscionable to allow them to suffer. Inhumane.

First Zoey, then a few years later Lucy had to be “put down”. Our local kindhearted vet came to the home. I petted Zoey as Christine administered a shot to put Zoey to sleep. The, after she was unconscious, another shot to stop her heart. I felt the life drain out of her as she slowly became dead weight. A humane death.  A death with dignity. A death without pain or suffering.

All I ask of the state of New York is this:

When my time comes, please “treat me like a dog.”

Home

https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/thomas-f-omara

https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Philip-A-Palmesano/

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Filed under government, healthcare, Politics, Society, United States

Senator Gillibrand and The Death of Due Process

Roy Moore may or may not be elected to the US Senate tomorrow. He has been accused by multiple women of icky behavior. Of cruising malls looking for girls. Of dating teens. Whether or not this enough reason for the good people of Alabama  to reject him remains to be seen.

Moore’s defenders have, rightly, pointed out that he has never been convicted of violating any woman or girl. I saw an interview (which I personally found disturbing) of Moore supporters in Alabama. A number of them saw nothing wrong with him trying to date a 14 year old girl. One guy pointed out that his grandmother was 13 when she got married and had 2 kids by the time she was 15. Others pointed out that things were different in the past  (they were, but this is the present) and many Alabama moms would have been happy to have their 14 or 16 year old daughter dating an assistant DA. Others were certain that the accusers had been paid by George Soros.  Moore denies all claims and says they are all liars. So be it.

Al Franken posed for a prank picture of him groping a sleeping Leeann Tweeden. When on a USO tour with this sports commentator and former top Hooters girl. The fact that she was a playboy model does not diminish any sexual assault, nor does the fact that she works for FOX. Just sayin’ . Other women have also come out and claimed that Franken touched them inappropriately. His supporters point out that he has not been charged with anything and while he denies many of the complaints he has apologized for others. He has asked for an Ethics Committee hearing. But that was not enough, so Franken, under pressure from Democratic congresswomen  and congressmen, has resigned.

A Republican from Arizona wanted to pay millions to one of his female staff members to be a “surrogate” mother since he and his wife cannot have kids. Doesn’t sound so bad until you learn that his “religion” forbids artificial insemination.  Had to do it the regular way. I see. He resigns.

Old John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, accused by staffers of inappropriate touching, resigns. Like it matters. The guy was old, even for Congress. If he did touch someone he couldn’t remember five minutes later. But that is another topic. He’s gone.

https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/80-is-the-new-36/

Another Congressman owes me $84,000 as far as I am concerned. Farenthold  (Texas Republican) had the Congressional Sex Slush Fund pay $ 84,000 in hush money to a woman he assaulted. I want my money back. Oh, wait, he promises to pay it back. We shall see.  My question: Why is there a Congressional Sex Slush Fund to begin with?

http://time.com/5048265/blake-farenthold-sexual-harassment-settlement/

Which brings me around to one of my New York senators, Gillibrand . Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton by then-Governor Patterson, who had  admitted to numerous extramarital affairs. This did not bother Kirsten at the time. Nor did the money and support funneled to her by the Clintons bother her. Nor does it bother me. She won an election on her own, well, maybe with a little Clinton help. Gillibrand started out as a “Blue Dog” Democrat (conservative) but has “evolved” over the years to become a leading liberal in the Senate. Evolution is a wonderful thing. I confess I voted for her in the last election.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Gillibrand

Recently Senator Gillibrand was at the forefront of the movement by Democratic congresswomen to oust Al Franken. She called for his resignation and got it. She has also condemned former president Clinton for his dalliances and said he should have resigned from office. For having an affair. (Did I mention she took money and support from the Clintons to help her get elected?)

Now, since Gillibrand is my senator I was concerned with her motives. So, I just called her  Washington DC office and asked a couple questions.

First, I asked why she has not called for President Trump to resign. After all, compared to the allegations against Mr Trump , Al Franken is an altar boy. If Franken’s unproven behavior merited a resignation, why not Trump’s much worse unproven behavior?

The response from her representative  was that Gillibrand has spoken out about Mr Trump. No reason given as to why she has not called for his resignation.

My second question was based on the 2014 claims by Gillibrand that she was sexually harrassed while in the Congress by other Congressmen. She talks about 3 or 4 specific cases, yet refuses to name her harrassers. The answer given to me was that Gillibrand HAS named her harrassers but I can find no evidence of that on any website.  At the time Gillibrand was challenged to name her harrassers but she refused, using this logic:

“So why didn’t she call out the men who wronged her by name? “Because then our conversation would be about the idiocy of any one individual male,” Gillibrand said. “And I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about the broader problems that are far more relevant.” For a woman who’s trying to carve out her position as a leader for women, it’s not a bad conversation to own.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/09/kirsten-gillibrand-explains-why-she-didnt-name-her-harassers/439767/

So, now Kristen has decided that the “idiocy of any one individual male”, namely Al Franken, is good enough for her. So, the “broader problem” is more important than “due process”? The end justifies the means? We keep silent about sex harrassers for the greater good?

Gillibrand is a lawyer by trade. She is a very smart person. She understands the Constitution. She understands “due process” and what that should mean. She has been in the forefront to deny that “due process” to one man, Al Franken, while protecting the identity of other sexual harrassers. Even though she claims personal knowledge of sexual harrassment in Congress by other Congressmen she refuses to “name names”, thereby aiding and abetting those who would prey on women not as psychologically strong or powerful as she. Silence is what sexual predators thrive on. And Gillibrand has been silent allowing predators to go unpunished.

Why has she been silent about some and why so aggressive at this time towards Franken? My only conclusion is that Gillibrand has seen a bandwagon and has decided to jump onto the driver’s seat. The bandwagon is a dangerous one. It says anyone accused is guilty. Case closed. No hearings. No trial. It also says that we must always believe any woman who makes a claim. Sorry, I just will not accept that.

Kirsten is not done. She wants to climb higher. She has her eyes on the Democratic nomination for president and is using the current scandals, quite selectively I might add, to propel herself into the national spotlight. How is she any different than any Fox-sponsored politician who tries to use selective evidence for political advantage? To throw red meat to a specific audience? She has shown herself to be a typical member of the elite ruling class…. say anything for political gain. I think there is a term for that: opportunistic.

To think I helped put her in office. Sad. Very sad.

https://www.playboy.com/leeann-tweeden

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/does-gillibrand-have-a-responsibility-to-name-her-harassers

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/16/full-text-al-franken-apologizes-for-allegedly-groping-woman-244978

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Clinton, Congress, Constitution, Democrat, GOP, government, Hillary, logic, Politics, Senate, United States

Trump Bait and Switch Part 3

Previous Trump Bait and Switches.

(https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/trump-bait-and-switch-part-1/)

(https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/trump-bait-and-switch-part-2/)

Donald Trump was clear. He was precise. His Trump University was fantastic. People LOVED it. It was legal. It was a real university, not a scam. Those people who were suing him were losers.  He has NEVER settled out of court with folks who try to sue him.

He assured his true believers that he was a successful, honest businessman. And as a billionaire successful honest businessman he would uphold the reputation of Trump University in court. He would win the case in court and be vindicated.

“It would be easy for me to settle the case, it’s a simple civil case,” he continued. “Probably I should, but I don’t want to because I give them a great soundbite, but I don’t settle cases. I don’t get sued because I don’t settle cases, I win in court.”

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Trump-University-Lawsuit-Settle/2016/03/03/id/717221/

That was the BAIT. Honesty. Integrity. Never settle a “phony” lawsuit.

After the election…comes the SWITCH.

For $25,000,000 Mr Trump agrees that his university was a scam. He settles out of court. Rather go through a high profile trial where all of his “university’s” practices would be exposed, he decided to settle. His “university” cannot stand the public scrutiny.

Rather than stand up for “integrity” and demonstrate to the American people that his university was a great and glorious and HONEST success, he has capitulated and decided that the facts and evidence were better left unheard and unseen.

Was there anything to the case to begin with? From one of his own employees:

“Schnackenberg, who worked in Trump’s office at 40 Wall Street, testified that “while Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could.” The affidavit concludes, “Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think

Of course, Trump will  continue to deny any wrongdoing, but the settlement speaks for itself. 6,000 plaintiffs. All of them are wrong. Only the Donald is right. Yet this man of great integrity refuses to clear his name in court.

Lest any of Trump’s minions suggest that this lawsuit was all about “getting” Trump because he was the GOP nominee, let me remind you. The lawsuit goes back 6 years, long before Trump was given the nomination by the GOP. So that dog won’t hunt. He was already being charged in NY State for running a fraudulent university.  (The case was dropped in Florida after he contributed $25,000 to the Florida Attorney General, now on Trump’s transition team . An amazing coincidence)

“Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws. The victims of Trump University have waited years for today’s result and I am pleased that their patience — and persistence — will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement.”

So we have Mr Trump setting out the BAIT… great businessman …integrity …honesty … and the SWITCH…

Oops, I guess I’ll pay the $25,000,000 rather than go to trial.

Do you mean he lied to us?

(I welcome likes, positive and negative comments. No vulgarity please)

 

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Filed under Politics, Trump, Trump University

Feel the Bern… Vote the Hill

The New York Primary is this Tuesday .  As a registered Democrat I have the right to vote. Usually by now the NY Primary is an exercise in futility, one candidate is well on his way to the nomination. And in the general election NY tends to be deserted by presidential candidates. They all know that NY is securely in the Dem column.

But this time it counts. So, for whom shall I pull the lever. Well, no longer. We used to pull levers, now we bubble in sheets. Like taking a standardized test in high school.

My heart belongs to Bernie. My philosophy is firmly to the left of Karl Marx.  OK.  Not that far, but I certainly side with the socialist mentality. I remember voting for Jesse Jackson long ago in another NY Primary. And I have voted for Ralph Nader . (But only because I knew the vote would not impact the final outcome of a Gore victory in NY). So I naturally gravitate toward Mr Sanders. I feel the Bern.

Then I step back and the more pragmatic side of my political sense takes over. Clinton is not that far from Sanders in her views.  She has a long, and I mean LONG,  history of being involved in issues that are important to me. She has more administrative experience, to be sure. She did run the State Department for 4 years. She is singularly uninspiring, true. But inspiration isn’t everything.

So, I will bubble in the bubble for Hillary. Why?

Pragmatism. She will stand up to all the crap that Trump or Cruz or Kasich (yes, Kasich still has a shot)  throws at her. There has not been one lie, half-truth, insinuation, aggravation and derogation (is that even a word?) that she has not had to deal with and deflect. Remember the illegal Whitewater land deals? Remember how she murdered Vince Foster? Remember how she recruited women for Bill? Remember how she sent top secret emails to our enemies? Remember how she sat by during  the attack on our ambassador in Benghazi and did nothing to help him?

Secretary Clinton was an effective senator for NY. She was a competent Secretary of State who had to repair our international relations after the Iraq debacle. Most of all, she has stood up to the vilest and nastiest attacks on any politician since Andrew Jackson. And survived. More than survived. Came out on top.

I don’t know how Bernie will stand up to the GOP /Fox attack machine. The label “socialist” and “communist” will be pounded out over and over again. His lack of experience in foreign affairs will be seen as a sign of “weakness” by the pundits. Every verbal slip will be magnified, distorted and linked to Karl Marx somehow. And the attacks WILL get personal. I am not sure he has the thick skin and killer instinct necessary to fight back. Obama did. Which is why the GOP hates him. And Clinton does.

So, while my heart belongs to Bernie I don’t think he is electable in the general election. I don’t care what the polls say. I have seen the GOP attack machine in full mode. It isn’t pretty.

I saw Muskie sabotaged by counterfeit letters. I recall the “Willie Horton” commercials which appealed openly to racism and helped sink Dukakis. I recall a veteran who risked his life in the most dangerous missions in VietNam, the swift boats into Cambodia. I watched  the GOP simply lie about his service and mount a “Swift Boat” attack on his integrity. I saw  the label of “communist ” and “socialist” and “radical Muslim” placed on Barack Obama. All good men. All attacked in the vilest of terms. Keep in mind,  the GOP is shameless. In the campaign they will say and do anything.

So, I will vote for Clinton. She has shown that she has the guts and intelligence to stand up to the most vile lies. She has been there for 30 years. And remains standing. Maybe Sanders could stand up to the nastiness, too. I don’t know. But I am not willing to take that chance.

So, while I feel the Bern, I will vote the Hill.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

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Filed under Benghazi, Bernie Sanders, candidate, Clinton, Cruz, Democrat, Elections, Foreign policy, GOP, government, Hillary, Kasich, liberals, NYC, Politics, POTUS, president, Republicans, socialism, socialist, Trump, United States

My $17.40 Tax Bill

This is the time of year when property taxes come due. I am not one of those tax complainers. I think we need reasonable taxes to provide a reasonable level of services. My attitude toward the IRS can be found at an oldie but goodie link at the end of this essay.

I am a retired teacher living on a pension and Social Security. Fixed income. My property is evaluated at about $145,000. Fair market value. No problem. My property and school taxes for 2014 were $3,974.45. Let’s round up to $4,000.00.

For this $4,000.00 I paid for a school system . And a county road . My water comes from my own well. My electric I pay for to a private company. I have no kids in school. So, I pay $4,000.00 and get the benefit of the local road crew plowing the road (and dumping piles of snow across my recently plowed driveway) right after their donut run.

And I don’t mind. Kids need an education. A good education. And roads need to be kept in good repair. And the local town road commissioner needs to keep his otherwise unemployable extended family engaged in some meaningful employment. Keeps them off the streets. Or on the streets.

So, unlike many folks I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes. Which leads me to the following. One of my multitude of  vices is watching some reality TV shows. Not the vulgar ones like the Duggars. But ones like “Cupcake Wars” or “Property Virgins”. People who  are buying homes  or cooking. Pretty mild stuff.

Recently I was watching a “Property Virgins” segment profiling a couple of new home buyers who  were looking to buy in New York City. The Big Apple. They were being shown a brand new apartment in a new condo with a fantastic view. Across the East River. A view of the NYC skyline. A real million dollar apartment with a million dollar view.

The price? A paltry $1,000,000. A wee bit more than we  paid for our first “starter” home, but what the hell. You got? Spend it. And, to be fair,  it was a very nice apartment. Even had windows, floors  and appliances! But the best part. The very BEST part for these new home buyers was that the property was covered by the NYC “tax abatement zone”. So, the average monthly property tax on this $ 1,000,000 condo was, according to the realtor,  about “$10  a month”. For 25 years.

Let’s wait. I know that last two sentences destroyed 1.2 billion brain cells in the area of the brain called the ” Common Sensus Unbelievablus” so I will wait while you recover.  And I repeat. The property tax abatement, for 25 YEARS, meant they would be paying $10 per month. That is (using my calculator) comes to $120 a year. For 25 years.

Some math. Using a calculator again. If I suppose my property tax does not go up and my assessment never goes up for the next 25 years  (LOL) I will pay approximately $100,000 in property taxes. The folks who just moved into the $1,000,000 property with the view of NYC will pay, over the same 25 years , a total  of $3,000 in property taxes. I will pay $970,000 MORE in property taxes than they will. At least. (EDIT: It was pointed out to me that my math is wrong. I will pay $997,000 more).

Now, I don’t begrudge the wealthy their ability to afford a million dollar apartment. Not at all. Nor do I envy them. I like where I live.  But I do think that it may be nice if the top 1% paid their fair share. Or better yet, let ME pay MY fair share,  based on what they pay. If I did, my TOTAL tax bill over the next 25 years would come out to $435.00. American money.

If my tax property bill was the same , per assessed value, as this condo, I would get a tax bill this year for….$17.40. That would be my fair share. I did the math.

I’ll pay it. And I won’t even complain

http://www.nypropertytaxmonitor.com/2012/08/25/avoiding-property-taxes-in-new-york-exemptions-and-abatements-in-the-news/

https://www.habitatnyc.org/pdf/advocate/Pratt421a.pdf

https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/i-love-the-irs/

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Filed under Politics

NYC Police DON’T Kill a Black Guy

In one of the weirdest stories on the interweb this week we see the NYC police in action.

There is a fight on the uptown 6 subway and the conductor calls for help. Four cops, not in uniform , immediately respond. They subdue both of the apparently homeless black guys who are fighting. Since the cops are not carrying weapons they have to use their BARE hands. But they get the job done.

No choke holds. No tazers. No guns drawn and fired. Using only their wits and training they stop the fight and hold the men down until more help arrives.

While one of the combatants yells and screams the police CALMLY settle him down. The police keep their cool. Defusing the violent situation. One cop can be heard calming reassuring  a combatant as he holds the man in check and tries to calm him down. No punching. No choking. No threats. No slurs.

Police work, par excellence.

These NYC cops should be commended for their bravery and their ability to stop a violent situation with only their bare hands and wits. In fact, NYPD commissioner Bratton does just that. He says they have done a “great honor ” to  their police department and to their country. Shining examples of what police work can be! So, who are these men?

Samuel Kvarzell….Marcus Asburg…Eric Jansberger…Eric Nalsund……what ?….what ? …oops…

Slight correction.

These off duty cops were not NYPD.  Ummmm. They were actual tourists. Cops from Sweden. Cops that have evidently been trained to do high quality police work without drawing their weapons.

And the homeless black guys are still alive.

http://mashable.com/2015/04/24/swedish-cops-new-york-subway-fight/

http://nypost.com/2015/04/24/bratton-salutes-swedish-cops-for-subway-heroics/

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Congressman Reed’s Misinformantion

I  receive “communications” from my representative in Congress, Mr. Reed (R-NY) , fairly regularly. Which is good. I  like to see what he is up to.  One of his jobs as a Congressman is to keep folks “informed”. I guess. Which is why I always look for information in his literature.  And looking for information in his mailings is like a Where’s Waldo problem.
Two Examples:
Example 1: A postcard he sent telling me he opposes Obamcare’s cuts to senior citizens, specifically cuts to Medicare. This sounds pretty awful, especially since I am soon to be joining the Medicare system. I certainly don’t want the government cutting MY BENEFIT!. I mean, we have to cut somewhere, but not ME!
The postcard had a pretty specific figure of $300 billion dollars. A very big cut to my benefits. Obama wants to cut MY BENEFITS  by $300,000,000,000. Not anything to sneeze at.
So I called Mr Reed’s office and talked to a very nice lady. I asked her what programs were being cut by Obamacare. $300 billion is a lot of programs that old folks are going to lose. She was pleasant enough and tried to answer, but couldn’t.  She explained that they had no SPECIFIC information on that topic. Took my name and phone number so the Congressman could get back to me with an answer. . Two weeks ago. Never heard from them since.
Example 2: An email arrived telling me how Mr. Reed was opposing Obamacare because of the new “full-time” work provision. According to the email, people who work 30 hours a week are now considered full time. And this is a travesty. An outrage.
It will hurt working families. They will make less money. So, Mr. Reed is sponsoring a bill to make the 40 hour work week the law of the land.
I called Mr Reed’s office. I talked to a very nice young man. Again, he was pleasant but could not answer some of my questions. Does Obamacare mean that people can work ONLY 30 hours ? Can’t they work more if they and their employer want them to? Wasn’t this “30 hour” provision put in so companies could not make someone work, say, 39 hours and then claim they were part-time, hence not covered by the law? What is the real problem here?
Once again, these basic, common sense questions could not be answered. I almost felt sorry for these staff members who are forced to try to explain these silly bits of misinformation put out by the Congressman.
Conclusion: It is one thing to be against the ACA for legitimate reasons.  And back  it up with evidence. It is quite another to spread misinformation and partial, selective  information to try to undermine the law. People deserve ACCURATE information. If Mr Reed opposes the ACA, as he does, then why stoop to a low level of shenanigans? He should be ashamed of these types of mailings. I am sure there are real weaknesses in the law, but when Congressmen spread misinformation about it, it leads one to question ANYTHING they say in their literature.

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Filed under ACA, Conservatives, healthcare, Neoconservative, neoconservatives, Obamacare, Politics, Republicans