Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Team HASC

Dear Friends and Family
This coming February I will be running for an organization near and dear to my heart. An organization SO amazing college age men and women volunteer their summers to work there. I am talking about “Heaven on Earth” also known as Camp HASC. For seven weeks over 300 differently-abled children, teenagers and adults get to do what their 'typical' peers get to do, have fun, learn, make friends and generally have the timed of their lives, all while getting all the therapy they need.
This is a camp that lifts children to heights they have never seen.

This is a camp where friendships are made

This is a camp where children can explore the world around them safely.

This is a camp whose medical staff know no boundaries

This is a camp where miracles occur on a daily basis

This is a camp ...


I will be running 13.1 miles for this camp in the hopes that you will open your heart and contribute to “Heaven on Earth” http://www.hasc.net/marathon/mt-mypage.php?kwoAdvocateId=8ITGBL8

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am a Regular Joe

I know most of my 'friends' are active runners, this is not for them...

I am not a world class athlete. Heck, I barely qualify for the term athlete. Nah I don't even barely qualify. On the other hand, I am NOT a sob story. You know those stories, a guy has a heart attack runs a triathlon, or a woman loses her leg and does an Iron Man. I am not those people.

I am a Regular Joe. 9 months ago I was a couch potato. I weighed close to 200 pounds and did not like climbing a single flight of stairs. Like most of you I have loved ones whom I know would miss me. In other words, a Regular Joe.

Then I found an incentive, as if loving family was not enough- it wasn't sorry. I found an incredible organization that I felt a need to do something for. They helped my son grow so much I needed to pay it back. One of their major fundraisers is running in the ING Miami (half)-marathon, as most of you are aware since I bugged you all to sponsor me and I appreciate the fantastic donations made on my behalf.

I decided to run the 13.1 miles. I don't know if I was more nervous about raising the funds or collapsing on the street from exhaustion. When I first thought about it I decided I could do it in about 4 and a half hours to not embarrass myself- I was thinking it would take closer to 5-6 hours. To put this in context if you use Google to map walking directions they pace it at 3 miles/hour- which would get you 13.1 miles in 4 hours 22 half minutes. Yes I know 13.1 miles is very very far. Believe me I know.

I started training last August and soon discovered I could do 4 miles/hour somewhat easily. This would allow me to finish in a 'mere' 3 hours 16 and a half minutes, if I could keep it up that long. Over the following 5 months I ran, jogged and walked almost every day increasing my stamina. Suddenly I wanted to do it in 3 hours. Boy oh boy from 5 hours down to 3 in just a few months. Guess what ladies and gentlemen, I did it in 2 hours 59 minutes and 39 seconds. That is 4.4 miles/hour. Let's compare that to 'real' runners. A world class runner can do a half marathon in 1 and a quarter hours. THAT'S 11 MILES/HOUR. Most runners will do it under 2 hours and I finished ahead of about 10-15% of the field.

Next time, I hope to cut my time down by half an hour and finish in 2 and a half hours, that's 5.24 miles/hour.

What's my point you ask? Simple... As a great poster from the ING Miami Marathon said " No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch. Get up and run. It has its own natural high and it is an incredible way of giving back to your community while lapping everybody that is still on the couch.

Monday, February 11, 2013

So, Let's start from the Begininng

In October of 2001, we found out we were pregnant. Yes, I know it wasn't me who was pregnant, but I did have to live with a pregnant woman. My wife, at the time was over 40 and overweight so, we went to a high-risk OB/GYN. We had an amnio done and found out our first (and presently only) child has Down Syndrome. The doctor said, "I am sorry he is your first child". Almost everyone was fantastic. He sent us to a genetic counselor but there was only one thing we could possibly do. Love this child with all of our hearts.

We are both Special Ed teachers and so know all about trials and tribulations. That is not what made our decision. The decision was simple, we want a child and will love the child no matter what he or she does or does not do. There was therefor no question what so ever of aborting- religious views aside, we would not have aborted even if we were not religious Jews.

Flash forward to the day before he was born. It was a Friday night when Kerri's water broke, and I did not get a wink of sleep. Saturday around noon Kerri gets her first contraction and I still can't sleep. Finally, Saturday night her contractions are getting closer together so we head off to the hospital. There of course it is hurry up and wait. The doctor did a pelvic exam and discovered the baby was breach so off to have a c-section my wife goes.

It is now 3:20 Sunday morning and I have not slept since Friday morning, when the nurses and doctor role our little boy out in an incubator. They stop to let me look at him and I start counting his fingers and toes- 10 each Thank G-d. The doctor asked me what I was doing, and I told him, counting his fingers and toes, isn't that what you are supposed to do to make sure your child is ok?

There followed the longest 10 weeks of our lives...

To be continued.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Yachad Miami Shabbaton and my son

Yosh is SUCHHHHHHH an incredible little boy. Thursday we picked him up from school. We told him before we were going on a big byebye after school. He wasn't so impressed. He was in the OT room when I arrived and he saw a ball so he decided to play with that before we left. So, we are on our way to the airport, where we arrive way too early.

We pulled into the off airport parking lot ($9/day instead of $30), where he helped move the luggage from our car to the shuttle van. We then continue through to the airport shlepping some rather heavy bags. (nebulizer and formula and barley pillows oh my). We, stupidly, only brought two checked bags and we had to do some shuffling to get them down to 49.5 pounds each. Finally get them checked and we move onto security. Always the highlight of any trip, but Yosh got to keep his shoes on through security- go figure, my son is not a terrorist. Now we get to spend two hours in the airport before a three hour flight, which was of course delayed. Yosh got to spend time meeting new friends and checking out the sights.

By the time we landed in Miami, where it was a suffocating 75 degrees (yes I like winter, sue me!), any other 10 year old would have been in full meltdown mode. We had some biting (he bites his arm very hard when he gets frustrated)and some whining, but he was a trooper especially considering it was now an hour after bed time. Now lets talk airports. You have to understand I have lived all of my life in New York and New Jersey, where we have three of the worst airports in the world. Each one individually wouldn't be so bad if their on time records could be improved- not going to happen with intersecting flight plans. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being perfect and 10 being atrocious, I would rate the three NY/NJ airports an average of 7. Having said that... Miami International Airport gets a 20. It is beyond horrifying. Terminal D which is entirely American Airlines, is over a mile long- not in a horseshoe or circle just long it keeps on going like the energizer bunny. Of course, to get anywhere you have to walk or take the magic carpets to a central dumping ground. The car rental center IS NOT in the airport. Every airport I know all of the car rental agencies have kiosks in each terminal. Not so in Miami. After finally in the central hub you then have to take a monorail to get to the car rental center. WHY? Yosh remained wonderful. He took his time getting through the airport and complained but in the end listened so wonderfully to abba and mommy. Ok enough about the stupid airport, for now.

We finally arrive in the Team's hotel and try to get settled in. We did not bring Yosh's yogurt with us and only brought enough babyfood to last the day. So out shopping I go. The first store, amazingly enough does not have soy based yogurt (Yosh is allergic to dairy). So of to a second store I go where I can get 16 containers of Yosh yogurt, not nearly enough to really get us through the weekend. The second store has no babyfood but we have enough at the hotel for one more meal and I will go back out before Shachris to get more. After eating Yosh went, pretty much straight to sleep.

Yosh woke up before I could get to the store so breakfast is delayed. What does he do? Shrugs it off and wants to get out of the room to meet people. His fan club of course grew by leaps and bounds. Some lucky people already new Yosh and some met him for the first time and fell instantly in love. Who can blame them? Finally we eat and daven- or in my case shop, daven and eat- and off to the expo we go. Now mind you the Shabbaton was INCREDIBLE, except for one thing transportation. Yosh and his abba do not like sitting around and waiting so when we had to sit on the bus before we were finally off we were not happy. What did Yosh do about it? For the most part made new friends. Sure there was some bitng but he got over it pretty quickly. Once we were FINALLY at the expo- a 35 minute trip that turned into an hour- Yosh goes exploring while I get my bib- I love saying that makes me sound like a messy eater. One bib and a pair of Orange Laces (http://www.orangelaces.com/) I am ready to head back. At 1:13 one of the Yachad people comes to me and says we want to head back a few minutes early- not in a few minutes but a few minutes early- mind you we were scheduled to leave at 1:15 so I don't see how telling people, especially Jews, at 1:13 that we are leaving a few minutes early is really going to happen. Well 30 minutes later we were still there. Lunch is sceduled for 2:00. But this is about Yosh NOT Yachad's transportation.

So after having a delayed breakfast and basically doing nothing but sitting on a bus and walking around a runner's expo Yosh is ready to move on with his day. After lunch it is more hanging out and getting ready for Shabbos, Yosh's favorite day of the week. Friday Night davening was incredible. The singing and dancing during Kabbolos Shabbos had Yosh in Heaven. He sang and danced and loved every second of it. Off to dinner where Yosh got to lead the line of singers and dancers during zemiros. He had an ecstatic look on his face. Thanx to the roaming minstrels of Yachad. After an incredible meal Yosh is ready for bed after suh a looonnngggg day away from home.

Shabbos morning and Yosh is ready for davening grabbing everyone's talis. With another wonderful davening Yosh starts davening on his own- some people shushed him but that did not stop him in the slightest. Yosh loves laining and hanging out at the bima. He sat so quietly and nicely for the inspirational divreai Torah, where I, and every other Yachad runner, was pronounced incredible by Rabbi Black of NYU. Musaf and Yosh gets to sing and dance more.

Shabbos afternoon and its nap time. Just more proof that Yosh is tired as he rarely naps any more. Then we are off to the beach where we discover Yosh is not such a fan, go figure just like mom and abba. Shalosh Seudos Yachad style follows and Yosh loves every second of it. He goes into the center to help the singing along much to the delight of everyone there. He sits and politely listens to the dvrei chizuk and Torah then sings and dances some more- no shushing this time. Maariv followed by a Yachad Havdallah and off to bed for Yosh. Or not. As he napped Shabbos afternoon he is not so interested in sleeping at night. Much to the chagrin of someone who has to be up at 3:00 in the morning. He was still up when abba came back from the pasta party.

Finally we get a little bit of sleep and abba is off at 3:30 in the morning to eat breakfast. A missed wakeup call and mommy and Yosh are up a little late, 7:00 in the morning, but still manage breakfast and catching the supporter bus to Miami. Mommy brings him to the the finish line but it is very loud so off to Charity Village they go. A couple of hours later abba finally arrives and boy does Yosh look tired. But instead of whining and having a temper tantrum he just mopes about checking out all the people. Finally, over an hour after abba arrives we are told there is a bus waiting- don't get me started on the transportation mess again. Suffice it to say we arrive back at the hotel 20 minutes after the time lunch is called for and Yosh has had an incredibly long morning.

Instead of having a fit Yosh takes it in stride acting out in small but manageable ways. But now he has been up for 7 hours and is out of sorts by not being home and his usual routine disturbed. Most other 10 year olds by now would have been miserable and made sure that everyone around them was equally miserable. To make matters better all we really have time to do now is sit around the hotel waiting for the time to go to the airport. Guess what long story short our 9:15p flight was delayed 45 minutes. Well after Yosh's bed time. We finally get on board the overbooked plane and with a little bit of finagling we all get to sit next to each other. I was originally ticketed to sit in the middle seat in the row behind Yosh and Kerri while they had the window and middle seat. Anyone know of anyone who would switch an aisle seat for a middle seat? No? Neither did I until last night. I went to the gate and asked the attendant if we could speak to whomever was sitting in 23D to talk about switching seats. She seemed as dubious as I on the chances, especially since the person with that seat was a member of the priority club, but she gamely did so. This lovely young lady named Nicole, came up rather confused until I told her the situation. She gladly exchanged seats even though she mumbled about hating middle seats. I offered her $20 which she refused but I insisted. With a little arm pulling she took the twenty. In the end she got a much better seat as the attendant was able to give her seat 12d- an aisle seat 21 rows closer to the exit. She started heading onto the plane and came back insisting we take the money back. What a wonderful young woman.

Yosh by now is beyond tired as it is 2 hours past bedtime of an incredibly boring day. As we get on the plane he makes yet another friend and he tells her sleep night. As we pass each row of the plane he tells everyone time for sleep night. Well guess what, he didn't sleep until, wait for it... the captain gets on the pa and announces we will be landing in 5 minutes. This promptly heads into meltdown mode for Yosh and 20 seconds later he crashes in my arm and falls heavily asleep. He woke up just as we got to the gate. Now imagine a 10 year old child at 1:00 in the morning who had fallen asleep for five minutes getting up and going through the airport. Yosh did it in style, saying hi to the baby he saw and everyone else in the now closed terminal. Were no problems on the plane? Let's put it this way Nicole is lucky not to have been 21 rows farther up but to have missed the biting scratching and hitting that ensued. He felt so bad about that, but then he always does.

Now to step back a few hours... As we were waiting in the airport for our delayed plane we told Yosh, on Monday we would buy him any ball he wants because he was so incredibly good during this very long weekend away from home. He is thrilled and talks about good and ball.

We get our bags and take the shuttle back to the car. Yosh is in good mood as we get in the car and finally drive back home. On the drive home (and on the plane when he was having his several meltdowns) we kept reminding him that he will be getting a new ball when mommy takes him shopping tomorrow after music therapy with Greg. He kept singing and saying school, Greg, ball with a huge smile on his face as we drove and I even got a fistbump at 2 o'clock in the morning. Baruch HaShem he did not sleep in the car on the way home, however when we put him in bed he got VERY upset. Finally, after about 20 seconds, mommy and abba relinquished and let him lie down in mommy's bed. 10 seconds after mommy snuggled with him he was out like a light.

This morning he was still tired but is now in school a happy camper.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Race to Miami

As an incentive to actually, you know, train, I am going to start blogging about my progress. This evening I jogged and walked briskly for 15 minutes and got somewhat winded. I would like to increase the amount of jogging I do for 15 minutes before increasing the time. Let's see how long it takes.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy...

I admit it has been about two years since I have read a newspaper cover to cover. Well, I did today. It felt like I hadn't missed a thing. Same headlines- this crook did that, this maniac shot people in a theater, this politician pointed his/her finger at the other one. Even the comics page was the same very very very old comics. Lynn Johnston produced For Better or For Worse for around thirty years and retired at least 5 years ago. The strip is STILL in the paper. Nothing getting done by the politicians, everyone, especially the one percent, still crying poverty.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Camp HASC

So, we sent Yosh on the bus to Camp HASC this morning. If you ever want a jaw dropping experience, go to the bus pickup for Camp HASC. There was NO center of attention. No one walking around with a clipboard or megaphone saying look at me. NO ONE!!!!!!!!!! This was all about the campers not the staff. I am sure on their application for staff it says egos need not apply. Watch the videos of the camp there is no center of attention, it is all about the campers. NOONE came over to us and said " Hi I'm Joe Shmoe and this is my plan for Yosh for the Summer." Instead it was all about hanging out with the kids. There were no cliques. Sure there were people who knew each other from school, the prior Summer or Yachad, but NO cliques. There was no crowd of people hanging out in one spot shmoozing, it was truly about getting to meet the campers. Yosh is in a bunk with 3 other boys and 5 counselors. That's right 4 campers 5 counselors. That doesn't include the division head or head counselor. Let me reiterate there was no center of attention that any large group has. No one showing off the walky talky by having it on full blast. NOONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ya Gotta Love Bureacrats

So, my wife and I are planning a trip to Niagara Falls this Summer. That means dusting off ye olde passports. This if course, reminds of the last time I got my passport and driver's license.

You see my legal name is Kenneth Ira Stern, I like going by Ken- no offence to my parents as that is what they call me.

The problem? most of my documents, bills; credit cards; etc, are under Ken Stern. So, my birth certificate says Kenneth Ira Stern, how can I get my passport to say Ken? Well I have to bring A LOT of proof that my name really is Ken, therefore my passport expired a few months after Kerri's despite the fact that we tried renewing at the same time. I had to bring additional proof that I am who I say I am. In the end the State Department issued me a passport in the name of Ken I stern...

Now how do I get my driver's license to say Ken Stern? I CAN'T. In addition since my passport, which I brought in as one of my proofs that I am who I say I am says Ken, I can not even renew my license. I had to come back with A LOT more proof that I am who I say I am. In the end the State of New Jersey did NOT let me put Ken on my license, so it still says Kenneth.

There is only one reason I can think of for all the hoops a person has to go through to get a name change- to make sure everyone is who they say they are. In today's day and age, unfortunately that is important and I am not totally against it.

However what criminal or terrorist is going to try to cover their tracks by changing their name from Kenneth to Ken? It would have to be the world's dumbest criminal or terrorist in the history of the world and there have been some real winners in that category. What's really funny is the State Department let me change my name and the State of New Jersey did not.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My apologies

I had said I would write about Yosh in my blog and yet it seems I mostly write about politics, well here's one more...
"...If that was the only harm in this legislation, we might write it off as another big media business blunder. But this time, it’s more than that. Hollywood’s right to make bad business decisions stops at the point where it threatens our freedom of speech."
Now before I get in trouble for copyright infringement, here is a link to the article: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/why-weve-censored-wired-com/

Big Brother needs to stop protecting Big Business. Please tell your Senators and Representative to say NAY to any form of PIPA and SOPA, even the 'watered down' versions.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Business101

The customer is always right. We took Yosh to Shawnee Mt today to do some snowtubing. But, before we get to that...

Whenever I would run into a store with Yosh still in the car, with his mom, he would get really really upset- to the point of kicking and crying. Today I had to run into a store and while he got a little upset he showed it appropriately without tears...

Now back to Shawnee. Since many kids still had off from school today they were still charging holiday prices and running holiday hours. They were NOT, however running with a holiday staff. Guess what the lines at the snowtube slopes were horrendous, we got to go twice in an hour. When complaining to the supervisor he had answers for everything like mind your own business. He also cut the power to one of the carpets that take you back to the top making Yosh very upset. When I called the supervisor on it he was unapologetic. The good news, we got our money back and Yosh had a good time anyway.

My point is stop talking back to the paying customers and make things right.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Read it and Weep, I know Ben Franklin is

http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/112%20HR%203261.pdf
This act would make it illegal for an internet service provide, or search engine to allow access to a foreign site that is accused of US copyright infringement. The ramifications are enormous. Those of you who like facebook, twitter et al, beware big brother will check all your links for you and shut it down.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Brother is at it Again

So, instead of airlines (yes those same companies we bailed out in the 80's and 90's) doing the right thing and reducing or better yet getting rid of baggage fees and instead just charging more per ticket up front, Congress is sticking their nose where it doesn't belong again.

Airlines, and other companies are supposedly allowed, in this supposedly Capitalistic country, to charge what they want how they want. If airlines want to continue to screw over the public, and keep crying poverty, they have that right. They DO NOT have the right for government handouts however. 30 years ago the airline industry was deregulated. That means the government was not going to tell them how to run their business. Theoretically it also means no government handouts when you are going under.

Is the airline industry, as it stands, or wobbles now, indispensable? I say it isn't. I say some company will come along and fill whatever holes the industry leaves behind as they collapse under their own weight. Now comes the kicker and this can be a blog in and of itself, the major problem is the retirement system that the legacy airlines have to deal with because the "American" unions demanded it. Unions by definition are communist- everyone gets and equal share.

Southwest Airlines has a series of commercials that deal with baggage fees. If the public hates the fees enough, they will fly Southwest, or any other company that doesn't charge them. Personally, I think it should be incorporated into the price of the ticket. You will yell and scream thats not fair, if I don't have any bags I shouldn't have to pay. GUESS WHAT! If you are middle class you are going to pay. The rich don't care, the poor can't afford the ticket. Guess what. The middle class has always paid since the Ancient Greeks invented the class. It is not going to change. The sooner people realize that, the sooner they can do something about their situation. Either get fired and go on unemployment benefits where you can actually wind up making MORE money than your current job is paying you, or try climbing up the ladder and get rich. Good luck.

Now the REALLY funny thing is according to the article, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/22/senate-bill-aims-to-block-airline-baggage-fees/?cmpid=cmty_email_Gigya_Senate_Bill_Aims_to_Block_Airline_Baggage_Fees , my friend Rabbi Ari Schochet, sent to me the Senate's excuse for considering this bill is... are you ready?... Homeland Security. There are apparently a plethora of carry on bags because no one wants to pay the fee for checked baggage, which means the TSA has to scan all those bags. Sigh I think I just heard Ben Franklin sobbing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So what's the problem?

Representative John Conyer, Jr. (D-Mi) is quoted as saying "We don't read most of the bills. Do you really know what that would entail if we read every bill that we passed?" Congressman Conyers then answers his own rhetorical question, asserting that if they did it would "slow down the legislative process".

It took 28 congresses from 1789-1845 to fill 5 volumes of "Statutes at Large".
Every law, public and private, ever enacted by the Congress is published in the Statutes at Large in order of the date of its passage.

In the mid to late 1800's one volume was filled by approximately 2 congresses (4 years) each.

Three volumes (117-120) were filled by 108th congress.

Yes, I know things were a lot different back then, but why are we filling three volumes of legislation in two years? What are they legislating and why?

Call me crazy but maybe it's time for our Representatives and Senators to stop collecting money from lobbyists and actually READ the statutes that they are voting on.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trying to do too much

Why would a company (google) that does something so extraordinarily well that they can make millions of dollars from that one thing start doing other things? The answer of course is to make more money. The problem is you start to forget what made you rich to begin with- search engine. You then try to fix what isn't broken and let what people hate about your product (lack of sorting) continue on. I mean really the basics of a database is the ability to sort- how can you have a database that you can't sort. Google is losing it by trying to do everything. (Yes I know its ironic I'm using a google product to post this)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Old American Greed

1999: JS retires from Penn State Uni (PU)
2002: JS allegedly sodomizes a 10yo boy in the University's field house; a graduate assistant sees him doing it and instead of immediately calling 911 to report a crime in progress a responsibility for anyone who witnesses a crime- failure to report could lead to accessory charges, decides to go home and tell his dad. The next day he went to the head coach JP and told him. JP told the president and provost of the university. What further obligation does JP have? What further responsibility does MM, the witness?
2011: The alleged crime comes to light. JP announces his retirement at the end of the season, he is 84 and a revered coach. Mind you the grand jury did not indict JP though they did indict the president of the university. Why then did the university's board of trustees decide to fire JP affective immediately and yet MQ will have his usual position on the field on Saturday. Let's see which way does the board look tough? Firing a BMOC like JP or a nobody witness MM? Personally I think the students were right to protest. The so-called riot started after the police arrived. Last time I checked protesting was still legal in this country- of course with the Patriot Act who knows about that.
I am not loyal to PU or JP by any stretch of the imagination but the board of trustees fired the wrong man. Let JP retire in dignity.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Patriot Act Truimphs

I believe the point of the "temporary" patriot act way back in 2001, was to catch terrorists before they can act.

Would you like the scorecard?

In 2,010 3,970 "black bag" aka "sneek-and-peek" searches, in which investigators may DELAY NOTIFYING a property owner that an area has been searched, were undertaken by the FBI. Less than 1% (less than 39 of the 3,970) were terror related. 76% were about drugs.

Between 2003 and 2005 143,000 National Security letters were issued. 53 cases were prosecuted. NONE for terrorism.

Ben Franklin is either rolling over in his grave or laughing hysterically.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why does soda have so much sugar?

One thing I would love for the soft drink companies to do is what the potato chip companies have been doing for a while. They have low sodium potato chips- nothing added just some sodium not added. Why can't the soda companies do the same with sugar? It would be cheaper and they could sell it for minimally the same price as their regular soda. Orange juice has 21g of sugar per 8oz. Pepsi has 41g; Coke has 39g. Why can't they reduce the amount of sugar to the amount in OJ, 21g? Maybe then we could actually taste the kola. Wouldn't also make sense from a marketing perspective? Supposedly Big Brother wants companies to produce healthy food- why not demand it of the soft drink companies?

Reduce the sugar and DO NOT add anything else.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Let's Do the Math pt3

Age to be drafted or serve in the military: 18
Age to vote: 18
Age to drink: 21
How is it that a person is responsible enough to kill for their country but not responsible enough to drink?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Heaven's Special Child (I have a voice)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPM3QGERFo8

A meeting was held quite far from Earth!
It’s time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the LORD above,
This Special Child will need much love.

Her progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments she may not show.
And she’ll require extra care
From the folks she meets down there.

She may not run or laugh or play,
Her thoughts may seem quite far away,
In many ways she won’t adapt,
And she’ll be known as handicapped.

So let’s be careful where she is sent,
We want her life to be content.
Please LORD, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.

They will not realize right away
The leading role they’re asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they’ll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
Is HEAVEN’S VERY SPECIAL CHILD.

by Edna Massionilla
December 1981
The Optomist- newsletter for PROUD
Parents Regional Outreach for Understanding Down's Inc.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Later and the Terrorists are Still Winning

As the government continues to take away our freedoms in the name of security and as it acts more and more like terrorists themselves, the terrorists are laughing themselves silly.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

There must be something wrong with me

I admit it I couldn't get through the first three chapters of the first Harry Potter book and that was when it was a relatively short 309 pages. The last book was a whopping 759. I love young adult books and read them all the time. How many young adult books are that long? She bored me to tears. I tried, I really did try to read it but couldn't.

She basically admitted to being a hack by saying she wouldn't write anything else in the fantasy genre because it would overlap Potter. There are many fantasy authors out there many of whom few outside fantasy fandom have ever heard of who have no need to plagiarize anyone including themselves and have created many magical worlds.

Why was there all this fuss about a nobody? She keeps claiming she is working on other books, she's been claiming this since before the last Potter book was published 4 years ago, so not only is she a hack she's an already has been who has not a single creative bone in her body, and can't even tell a story in a decent amount of words.

What am I missing? She is being placed on lists of greatest writers of all time and has neither published all that much nor withstood the test of time. Kudos to Scholastic for foisting her onto the world.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Two Unrelated Thoughts

First: When did using turn signals become optional? Why would you not use your turn signal? Are you hoping someone will hit your car as you make a right hand turn from the left side of the road without a turn signal?

Second: I know the answer is marketing as the publishers hope you buy a book in a series out of order so that you have to come back and buy the first one, but why can't they number books in a series?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yosh's Fan Club continues to grow

We needed to hire a babysitter recently. One young lady after the interview was over and she was leaving blurted (and I use the term literally, she really couldn't stop herself) out, ' I love him already.' She had met him for 15 minutes and already she is oohhing and ahhing. How did Yosh win this fan over? Simple, he smiled, he was charming and he exudes love and joy. If only we could all do that.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

ARRA

So the government in its infinite wisdom a couple of years ago instituted ARRA. This is supposed to be money spent on projects that will help America get back on its feet. How's it working so far?

I have a great project for it that will take years, if not decades to complete, will hire thousands of blue collar workers and keep them employed for many years after.

Let's move our electrical grid underground. It will be more reliable and more secure from weather and terrorists.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Business 101

It would seem to me that customer satisfaction should be high on any company's priority list. Certainly small to medium size businesses. Why is it then that at 85% of businesses don't understand that concept?

On the flip side: there is a mechanic near where I live that is honest, hard working and regards customer satisfaction as job 1. We brought our car in because our front brakes were shot. We first got an estimate at Midas, not because we don't trust our mechanic, he charged us over $100 less. Not only that but he worked after 5. He needed to order a part but the supplier's drivers had already gone home. The owner of the repair shop picked up the part himself. The job was done around 6:15 and I picked it up 25 minutes later. I will go back to this guy for everything my car needs. I will even buy gas there even if its a little cheaper elsewhere.

Instead of nickel and diming me and telling us to come back tomorrow he finished the job well and cheaply. Now I will spend more money in his business. What a concept, thinking about the future.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Dark Ages Today

Over 135 years ago Sir John Lister spoke at the Philadelphia Medical Congress about the sad state of affairs in terms of survival rate for post-surgical patients. 90% of them died. Sir Lister said the problem was germs. They laughed at him and mocked him. Today, while the mortality rate has improved, the conditions in 'modern' surgeries are abysmal. The number 1 reason for post-surgical death remains germs. I understand sterilizing surgeries is very expensive, but you would think that at least the tools were sterilized- no most of the time they are simply washed in soapy water. Your dish washer does a better job of cleaning your silverware than hospitals do cleaning scalpels. Why do we continue to allow this? Why does congress do nothing while people die?

There is a huge push for constant hand-washing in schools, yet we allow germs into surgery? It just doesn't make sense. My son was put into a medically induced coma after a supposedly routine surgery for his acid reflux. How did it happen? An infection that occurred during surgery. SURGERIES NEED TO BE STERILE!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Good news or bad news?

According to Reuters:

By Susan Guyett

INDIANAPOLIS | Fri Aug 5, 2011 11:08am EDT

(Reuters) - Up to 150 students at a Missouri high school that ordered "Slaughterhouse-Five" pulled from its library shelves can get a free copy of the novel, courtesy of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, library officials said on Thursday.

The offer for students at Republic High School comes on the heels of the Republic School Board's decision to remove Vonnegut's novel and Sarah Ockler's "Twenty Boy Summer" from the curriculum and the school library shelves.

"All of these students will be eligible to vote and some may be protecting our country through military service in the next year or two," Julia Whitehead, the executive director of the Vonnegut library in Indianapolis, said in a statement.

"It is shocking and unfortunate that those young adults and citizens would not be considered mature enough to handle the important topics raised by Kurt Vonnegut, a decorated war veteran. Everyone can learn something from his book."

Slaughterhouse-Five, considered Vonnegut's most influential and popular work, is a satirical novel centered around the bombing of the German city of Dresden during World War Two.

The Republic School District took the move at its April 18 meeting following a complaint lodged by local resident Wesley Scroggins in the spring of 2010.

In his complaint, the Missouri State University associate business professor called on district officials to stop using textbooks and other materials "that create false conceptions of American history and government or that teach principles contrary to Biblical morality and truth."

Neither Scroggins nor Republic School Superintendent Vern Minor were immediately available for comment.

Whitehead said she was talking with the American Civil Liberties Union in Missouri and Indiana to support the First Amendment rights of the students at Republic High School.

The offer of a free book to any Republic high school student who requests one is a way for the fledgling 7-month-old library, located in Vonnegut's hometown, to show support, she said.

(Writing and reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Cynthia Johnston)


let's parse Wesley Scroggins' comments to the board. 'stop using textbooks and other materials "that create false conceptions of American history and government or that teach principles contrary to Biblical morality and truth."'

Is anyone aware of the fact that Slaughterhouse-5 is fiction- that means it is false or not true. Putting it simply, its a lie a mock a satire. How does fiction create false conceptions of any kind of history? Wouldn't we have to ban ALL books that talk about real events as fiction? Maybe I shouldn't give anyone any ideas.

Then there is the end of the statement... Biblical morality... Last time I checked there is nothing that says you must teach Biblical morality, or any kind of morality, in a public school. Quite the opposite, we are supposed to SEPARATE Church and State.

THANK YOU to the Vonnegut Memorial Library for stepping up and doing the right thing. Lets put a gun in Scroggins hands and let him go off to fight a war. Let's hope the school board realizes their mistake and steps up to un-ban the books.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Let's Think About This...

Who is running Hollywood, deciding what should be put on television...
Last season Charlie Sheen was the highest paid actor per episode. His fellow actors on 2 and a half men, had written into their contracts that they would be paid for the entire season regardless of it actually being filmed.

Guess who won. Only 16 episodes made it to air- usually there are 22 episodes in a season. What were they thinking paying an alleged drunk who didn't even have to act since his character was a drunk. Yet the producers decided he was worth the money.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Winter Vs Summer Pt 1

I should have written this one at the beginning of Summer...

Why do people love Summer? Often I kid that people are wrong, but this time I am serious. People are wrong about loving Summer. Heat related deaths according to NOAA in 2010? 138. Cold and winter- two separate categories that I combined into one- combined? 76. Then add rip current deaths- I assume most happen in the Summer- 64 and that brings Summer's count to 202. Well more than twice cold and Winter.

Why then does the government help people pay their electric bill in the Winter to supply heat and landlords MUST by law supply heat 6 months a year, but there are NO such programs for air conditioning in the Summer?

It boggles my mind. Heat kills even in France there is only so much clothing you can take off in the Summer. In the Winter if you're cold you can put on another layer.

Most people are most comfortable when its in the 70's outside. Lets do a little math. Lets say the ideal temperature is 70- most people prefer a little warmer for some reason. The record high for New York City, where 18 million people live in and around, is 106. That's 36 degrees above 70. 100+ degrees is DEADLY. Lets subtract 36 degrees from 70 and you get 34, not even freezing. NOT DEADLY.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One of my favorites

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED
The 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heat? What heat? (Life Lessons from My Son)

The last several days (actually a couple of years now, but its gotten worse) our air conditioner has not been working. None of us, not I nor Kerri nor Yosh, like the heat. My wife and I are miserable. My son, my 9 year old son who has Down Syndrome, is acting as cute as ever. He continues to laugh and give high fives and sing and dance. It's like its 70 degrees in the house instead of close to 90.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lessons from last week and Parshas Pinichas

Was it a coincidence that the events of last week occurred during the week of Parshas Pinichas? I don't believe in coincidence.
Pinichas has been compared to Eliyahu, the harbinger of Moshiach. Some Miforshim even go so far as to say that they are one and the same person. What trait are they both known for? Ahavas Israel. They put themselves in danger to create Ahavas Israel. We have an opportunity following the 8,000 plus acts of ultimate kindness, of people coming to Leiby's funeral, to continue that and maybe, just maybe turn this Tisha B'Av around. What destroyed the Bais HaMikdosh? Sinas Chinim. what can bring it back to us? Ahavas Chinim. All it takes is one act... spread the word.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two quick thoughts

If nature abhors a vacuum, how come over 99.99% of the multiverse is vacuum?

Why do people insist on putting the water on full blast when they water their lawn and end up getting more water on the sidewalk and street than on their lawn?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book publishers vs Hollywood

I don't know how accurate this is but... it seems to me that Hollywood is more into book publishing than book publishers are into movie production. What I mean is a lot of movies and tv shows have novels based on the concept. A great example would be Star Wars. Go to the sci fi section of any book store and you will see a ton of novels set in the Star Wars Universe. Yet, you don't see nearly as often New York Times best selling authors books made into movies or tv shows- at least not good movies and shows and certainly not on a consistent basis. An example would be John Saul. His books are ALWAYS best sellers, yet no movies or tv shows. His Blackstone Chronicles is just begging to be made into a mini series.

Why can movie production companies hire top name authors but book publishers can't hire top name directors?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July and Independence Day (Warning: this post is Rated R)

Ever wonder why its not called Freedom Day?...

Anyway I was on Facebook this morning and my Cousin Once Removed posted this ... http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2011/06/30/violence_sex
Thanx Jess

I have often wondered why sex is considered MUCH more obscene than violence. The PG rating of the MPAA system states the movie may contain violence or brief nudity- usually someone may throw a punch or you might see the unclothed back of a woman.
Now lets consider R rated movies. How much cursing and violence take place in those movies? LOTS. How much nudity and/or sex? Usually a lot less otherwise it would get an NC-17 rating.

My personal opinion? Be fruitful and multiply and live and let live.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Let's Do the Math pt1

Election November 2012
Troop withdrawal September 2012
Why not now?

The-Specials

Not quite sure what to make of it. The cynic in me is always worried about exploitation.
http://www.the-specials.com/
http://vimeo.com/6390357

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

RantsAndRaves pt 4b

Why do I pick on pseudoephedrine so much? 2 reasons. First I, my son and occasionally my wife need it for allergies.

Second, it is a sign of a much bigger issue. It highlights just how much the United States Government has invaded our lives.
Is it highly toxic? No. It can cause a bloody nose, dizziness; anxiety; elevated blood pressure. Does it impair judgement? No. Does it help clear sinuses? Yes. Is it a stimulant? Yes and that is what has the government so worried. You see it is used to synthesize Methamphetamine. It does not adversely effect the air, water or soil and is stable. But, again, it is used in the syntheses of Meth. Therefor we must do all we can to keep it out of the hands of the meth labs.

Here's a better idea... Stop taking kickbacks from the meth labs and close them down.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

RantsAndRaves Pt 4a Big Brother

The moment everyone has been waiting for... My first real rant about Big Brother and how they know what's best for us.

Whoever named the Patriot Act was laughing hysterically, I hope. While maybe not ironic it is certainly far from the truth. Patriotism is NOT about kowtowing to the government. It is a devotion to one's country. This means you love where you live and will defend it from invaders and naysayers. It does NOT mean that you can not disagree with the government.

Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that you can not disagree with the government as long as you do not advocate the violent (note the adverb) overthrow of the government. The confederates advocated the violent overthrow of the government.

So where was I? Oh yeah Big Brother... In the name of Patriotism the government has declared its right to wiretap without a warrant. They can determine how much psuedoephedrine you are allowed to purchase (regardless of how many people in your household have allergies mind you). The pointless searches at airports. The things you can or can not bring onto an airplane- what do they have to do with sneaker bombs? Don't be someone who has the same name as a known terrorist even if you're 6 years old.

My belief is that the role of government is to defend its citizens and to stand up for those who can not stand for themselves. Have recent, the last 11 years of, government regulations made you safer? Richer? Given you MORE individual rights? if you answered yes to any of those questions you are amongst the elite. How are your tax rates doing? Keeping more or less of your hard earned money? Guess what! Exxon doesn't pay corporate taxes. How does that make you feel?

I am not saying get rid of the Democrats in favor of the Republicans or vice versa. I am saying it is time to throw the sorry lot out on their ears, rip up the entire federal regulations including and especially the tax code and go back to the basic Constitution. Clean it up while we are at it, I mean what is the point of keeping Amendment 18 if it was repealed by 21?

Lets go back to the ideals this country were built on: "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" (first line of the Constitution)

No more government telling you what you can and can't purchase. No more government telling you what you can and can not say or do. No more Big Brother watching over us.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yosh was back to his old self in less than half an hour

Less than half an hour after leaving the dentist's office Yosh was back to his old self. Better than that he was hugging and kissing and saying I love you repeatedly on the car ride home.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yosh is having 4 teeth pulled tomorrow

I probably should have started freaking out earlier, but this is what I do. Here it is less than 17 hours before Yosh, my 9yo son with Down Syndrome, will have 4 teeth extracted under local anesthesia.
Step 1, I, the abba, will have the 'privilege' of holding him down during the entire process
Step 2 after care
Yosh does not communicate very well nor does he eat (he gets most of his nutrition from a bottle)nor does he take medicine. We are not sure how much he understands.

Will he take his bottle through which we can give him pain medicine and antibiotics or are we going to have to force it in? Will he 'play' with the blood clot because I am positive he will not keep gauze in his mouth?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yosh's fan club ( a file from Life lessons from my son)

My sons fan club grows everyday. Twice a week volunteers come to our house to play with Yosh, my 9yo son with Down Syndrome. Yesterday the Friendship Circle had an evening of recognition for the many volunteer high school students who spend time with children with special needs. Of course, there is a wall with tons of pictures of the volunteers and the ones with special needs. I overheard some volunteers pointing out all the pictures of Yosh to their friends. My son is a rock star.

How did he become a rock star? Why does his fan club grow everyday? The answer is simple enough, doing it oneself is difficult.

Bring joy to people's lives. Say hi just because. Smile at people. Don't do it because you want to make friends, do it because you love people and you too can be a rock star like my 9 year old son with Down Syndrome.

Chaos Theory

Who knew?

Presumption of Innocence (Libertarian non-sequitor)

The European Union, Canada, France, Brazil, even the U.N (that most Democratic of institutions) Russia and South Africa have written into their constitutions the presumption of innocence. We do not. Yes there was a court case Coffin v United States where the Supreme Court in 1895 stated
"The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law."

I ask you this... Why can you not plead innocent in this country? Why are your choices guilty or not guilty?

While it is not impossible to prove a negative (as there is a positive statement implied in every negative one) it is certainly very difficult. Of course, you will tell me this puts the burden of proof on the accuser or prosecution. If you were to say "I AM INNOCENT!" You will be fined for contempt of court.

Friday, May 20, 2011

63 years later

If I were tossed from my country, and especially if I left voluntarily, in the hopes that my side wins, I would hope that 63 years later my grandchildren would have jobs in our new country.

Would anyone expect the country they fled- and refused to defend- to welcome them back? Especially if it was the 'enemy' who won? Why is Israel expected to allow 4.7 million cowards into their country? To dilute the mere 7.4 million current population? To allow criminals and terrorists into their midst with open arms?

Then there are the indefensible borders of Israel pre 1967. The whole point of the arabs attacking Israel then was in the hopes of destroying them due to their indefensible borders. How can a country be asked to go back to that.

Obama said "...with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state." How can a country have security responsibility in a non-militarized state? Countries have had a military since at least Ancient Egypt and armed police forces since at least Ancient Babylon. what Obama seems to be advocating is Anarchy and Anarchy simply does not work except in very small tribal communities.

78% of the Jewish vote went to Obama in 2008, 20% went to McCain. I would hope 2012 would result in a reversal. Personally I voted Libertarian.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Psuedoephedrine

So, why are my civil liberties being, once again, infringed upon? Why can I not buy any amount of psuedoephedrine that I desire and can pay for? How is allowing me to purchase only 3.6 grams/day or 9.0/grams a month justified? Because it makes it harder to get it into the meth labs? Not good enough. We need to go after the people creating the illegal drugs not allergy sufferers. What if more than one person in a household has allergies? This is one of the most ridiculous laws I have ever heard. How much of the illegal drug market comes from psuedoephedrine purchased in your local supermarket or pharmacy? If someone can show me a direct correlation between those two things I will declare them a genius. Please don't hand me a stat of fewer meth lab seizures since the law took effect, that is NOT a correlation, even IF it was true.

This is simply the government, once again, sticking their noses where they don't belong.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A file from Life lessons from my son

The continuing saga of Nets basketball and my family. Earlier this basketball season my wife and I tried to take Yosh to a Nets game. Unfortunately my wife got hurt before the game. The point of this though... rarely does my son get upset. He is one of the most joyful people the world has EVER known. When my wife got hurt, I was not there and he was going up an escalator with a stranger holding him so he wouldn't fall. He was beside himself. He was so upset and scared he couldn't get any air into his lungs with which to scream. As soon as he saw me at the top of the escalator he started to calm down. Within two minutes he was fine and was enjoying himself. Here comes the point... don't worry about anything but getting lost (whether physically or spiritually) everything else will be ok. Getting lost is scary though.

From the Cynic Within Me Part 1

Who knows who is to be believed. There is a trolley park in Easton Pa, or should I say there used to be. According to bushkillpark.com, the supposed official homepage "The owners of Bushkill Park are working hard to repair the damage that has been done by the floods and other means." According to bushkillpark.org "..." well you just have to read it for yourself. http://www.bushkillpark.org/
Every where I look there are references to trying to clean it up and repair it to re-open the park after several floods starting in 2006 forced it to close. Walt Reiss seems like the more forthcoming of the two main protagonists. Neal fehnel however does not seem to respond to anything. Maybe its just that Walt is more angry, maybe its Neal who has stuff to hide. Who knows, all I know is there is a hundred plus year old park that is not open because of probable stupidity and maliciousness.

You gotta love human greed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A file from Life lessons from my son

My son Yosh, Yehoshua Binyamin, has Down Syndrome, he also has a very special soul. Now I know I'm the abba, Hebrew for father, and I am supposed to say that, however if you read the stuff I am going to write about him you will begin to understand...


On Monday April 5th, 2011 I took Yosh to a Nets game. At half time I asked him if he wanted home or more game. He signed wait (basically he wiggle his fingers- close enough to the real sign for most people to understand). After a minute or two he signed and said home; car. So, we went home. The lesson here is think before you make a decision. Even though he clearly wanted to stay, he weighed the pros and cons. It was already past his bed time and he knew (or so I assume) that he would get tired soon and when he gets tired he gets cranky. Crankiness of course would have ruined the evening.

Another lesson I learned occurred earlier in the game. There was a child behind us with those hit sticks, basically plastic filled with air that when struck together make a loud noise. He was of course banging them together constantly. At one point Yosh looked back at the kid, saw he was not doing it just to annoy us, turned back around and enjoyed the rest of the game. Lesson: live and let live even if the other person is an annoyance.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This is going to tick a lot of people off: RantsAndRaves Pt 3

A big thank you to all smokers for smoking where the rest of us have to breathe.

Smokers have to be the most self-centered people in the world. Yes I know I have a blog pretty self-centered myself expecting people to read this. However, thank you for leaving cigarette butts on my balcony; thank you for leaving burning cigarette butts on the sidewalk; thank you for throwing them out your car window; just thank you.

Would it kill you (pun intended) to kill yourself without killing everyone around you including your supposed loved ones?

The casino industry in AC yelled and screamed bloody murder as did the restaurant industry in New York when laws were passed about smoking in casinos and restaurants. They said they would lose revenue. Well the casinos won they can allow smoking. The restaurants however 'lost' and smoking is not permitted. Let me ask the restaurant owners: how's business? Doing better than ever you say. That might be because now non-smokers can enjoy a non-filthy dinner while the smokers have to live without a cigarette for an hour. So who won and who lost?

Live long and question

RantsAndRaves Pt 2 Greed sucks

My apologies to Gekko... Greed sucks. As a Libertarian I am all for profits. When those profits become excessive however, it is time to sit up and say hhhmmm. How did GE, which earned $10.3 billion (yes billion with a b) not pay income tax and actually get $1.1 billion (once again yes a b as in a billion) in tax benefits? My favorite though is Exxon which pays no taxes because it goes into research and development. This from the company who has sworn they will never research alternative fuels.

Put this into contrast lower and middle class pay 10-28 % of their taxable income. When was the last time you got a $1.1 billion tax benefit? $400/household lets get real. Instead of bailing out the banks they could have given $10,000 (yes thats ten thousand) to every man woman and child in the country. A family of four could have received $40,000. How much economic stimulation could you have caused with $40,000? Even if all you did was pay off your credit card debt, that would have helped. Heck it would have ended up going to the banks, but this way the middle class instead of the CxO would have received the benefit.

Who is running the government that is supposed to be by, of and for the people?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yosh makes an informed decision

Yesterday I took Yosh to a Nets game- just him and I. The game started at 7:05, Yosh's bedtime is 8:00. At half time- around 8:15- I asked Yosh if he wanted to go home or if he wanted more game, to stay. He actually told me wait- using his sign for it. A few minutes later he said, and signed, home; car. The entire walk back to the car, the drive home and even after we got home he was excitedly talking, as Yosh talks, about the game. We got home around 8:35 and he spent about 5-10 minutes talking to mommy about it. Mommy then said its night-night time, she changed him and I put him in bed at pretty much 9:00 on the dot. When i came back in the room, literally two minutes later he was out cold. The next morning he was still excited about it.

Did he make the right decision? Did I make the right decision in taking him to the game? In giving him the choice to stay or go (I was going to abide by his decision either way)?

So who am I? (pt 1)

I am the very proud abba (Hebrew for father) of a soon to be 9yo son with Down Syndrome. That should tell you a picture's worth. I will tell you about the joys of being the abba of my son (along with some of the trials and tribulations).

I am a Libertarian. About the only things I don't agree with the major libertarian party is gun control and abortion. I believe there should be major gun control, but not outright banning of most weapons. I also believe in the right of the unborn child. Most of my Rants and Raves are going to be about the incredible amount of legislation we have in this country. That is NOT to say I am anti government, I am not an anarchist, but rather a minimalist.

I am a crank. Meaning I get easily upset over stupidity.