Friday, August 31, 2018

Shame on York mayor for trying to stop cop lip-sync video

York City Mayor Michael Helfrich has objected to a video produced by several sponsors as York City Police Dept.'s answer to a fund-raising lip-synch challenge being held by numerous police agencies.
    According to TV news sources, the mayor backed an objection by the local NAACP that the owner of Maple Donuts, one of the sponsors, is "racist." The mayor did not want the Peoples Bank Stadium to play the video publicly. The York Revolution was one of the sponsors.
     Below is the copy of the letter I wrote to Mayor Helfrich and delivered to his office at city hall Friday morning, Aug. 31, 2018.
      --------
 
Mayor Helfrich:
     I was born, raised, and worked and lived in York from 1941 up to the Riots of '69, and continue to love the city, even though its lure and infrastructure has been declining the past few decades. So I write this to you based on my love and concern.
     I saw the news story break about your response to a video made by your police department as a fund-raiser for a worthy cause and you apparently had it pulled from YouTube, based on an allegation that the company making the doughnuts is run by “racists.” It was your response because, as I understand the reports, the local NAACP complained.
    (Editor's note: The mayor did not try to have it removed from YouTube, but wanted the Peoples Bank Stadium not to show it to the game's crowds.)
     I thought you would have had more “gumph” than that. A group feels offended because a businessman's views are opposite theirs and you make the judgment that it's racist. The trouble with politicians today is that everything must carry a label and if the label isn't your view, you try to silence it.
     There are too many ways to combat your actions to mention them all. First, there's freedom of speech. Second, I believe the actions (including statements) of a group or person that ultimately hurts or destroys a business, allows for that business to sue for compensation.
     Most importantly, your own police department had the good heart to help with a fund-raiser with a video that played on the decades-old joke theme of a cop eating doughnuts. So they go to a doughnut shop. A simple doughnut shop. Oh, no, someone gasps, that shop owner is a racist!
     Well, we can't have that! We'll have to sit them all down and train them to be more aware of such things.
     I don't know who the owner is but I'm guessing it's the same company that used to advertise on billboards with double-meaning phrases based on news of the day and their products. “Free O.J!” is the one I remember, which of course could be taken two ways, free O.J. Simpson (who was on trial at the time) or free orange juice at the doughnut shops.
     So, since you want to play the sensitive little mayor and accept all the accusations coming from various people and groups, let me tell you this: I am offended by you and your lackadaisical, corrupt city government every time I come into the city because of the neglected condition of the city's roads and streets. I'm dodging potholes, intentional depressed manhole covers, ruts, hundreds of utility cuts with replacement road asphalt that has sunk down or has been raised too high, etc., which would give any visitor to York the impression York doesn't want you there in the first place ... at least not in a good quality car. I am offended at how you and previous administrations have left the infrastructure continue to go to hell.
     I have heard the stories of how long it takes a city employee to do simple projects, after it takes weeks to get started from when it was reported.
     I had hoped when you were voted into office some things would change, and you would have made an effort to change the perception of the city and its government for the better. But instead, it seems you carry on the tradition of the past few mayors ... promote and help for block parties, special events, etc., but ignore the physical infrastructure and let it deteriorate all the more.
     Why don't you, first of all, have a spine and stand up for your own police department on a good cause?
     Why don't you push for things that will make York inviting to people, besides the planned promotion efforts?
     Fix the streets and have your traffic signals responsive to varying traffic flow times.
     Push aggressively and publicly to stop the gun violence by getting the criminals off the streets.
     This big push-back over a police fund-raising effort is a joke and you, like a traditional muck politician, are spending far too much time and effort on such matter.
     My statements here will be public. And no, you're not going to silence this one.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

This "Stormy Daniels" issue is complete BS

It is surprising to me that the politicians and news media cannot understand what the average American seems to think about the Stormy Daniels/Donald Trump story.

So, Stormy Daniels had an "event," or "relationship," or an "affair" with a porn star years ago as a businessman, not someone at the time running for or winning the office of President. 

I ask: Who the hell cares? Everyone has skeletons in their closet. That's human nature. And most people understand that.  Some, like me, believe that every human maintains a "balance" between good and not-good deeds and thoughts. Basically, there's two sides to every person. Some maintain a good control of one side over the other, but the sides are always there. 

Some bad people, villains, exhibit their bad side, while most exhibit the good. There's always a dark side as well as a bright side.

Understood.

While the so-called "journalists" of today try to promote the seedy stuff to make moral and political points, their activity is as seedy and suspect as their targets. Using anonymous tips, unverified information, hearsay, and broadcasting information before it can be corroborated (usually solely to be the first agency to release the info thereby making it newsworthy as a quick source), and then presenting it with an opinionated spin makes the journalists no longer caretakers of the true journalist profession. 

A true journalist presents the proven facts of a story to the American people in an unbiased way and let the people make up their own minds as to how good or bad it is.

As for the "Stormy Daniels" story, even NBC-TV's "Meet The Press" skirted around the basic issue of that case after almost asking the question that no one is asking.

The basic question is not whether a Daniels/Trump relationship was illegal or bad, but who broke a contract?

Stormy Daniels accepted and signed an agreement not to divulge information about the "event" or "affair" by accepting $130,000. She and a new lawyer use the excuse that Trump never signed the agreement, and therefore can divulge the information.

There's the whole point. Who is wrong? She accepted the $130,000, so she should have honored her side of the agreement. It's not the fault of Trump or his attorneys that the story was divulged. 

Who knows the real reason behind Daniels' breach...was it the new attorney with a political agenda, wanting to use her to try to unseat a president? Was it her new attorney's thought that they could get more money?

Regardless of the motive(s) behind Daniels and her attorney, whether good or bad, Daniels had accepted a payment to keep quiet and she eventually did not. She's the one who should be the target of an investigation or civil suit.

But the news media and politicians continue down the path that many of us now find absolutely annoying, preventing us from focusing on what is good for the country.  It is the news media and the mostly-corrupt politicians that are tearing this country apart.

It is the Washington press and mostly-corrupt politicians that are stirring this unrest because some "outside" people have been put on their private turf by the electorate to shake things up and straighten the mess out.

It's commonly known that corruption squeals loudest when the pain of survival gets critical. So behold those squealing because their corruption is being undermined.

And that's my opinion.

Monday, April 2, 2018

$12.50/hr for life-saving job????

An open letter to York County Board of Commissioners :

I have been a lifelong resident and taxpayer of York County. I have never been associated with the 911 emergency center, nor do I have any relatives or friends who work there. But I AM, as is every other resident of York County, and as your constituent, a potential recipient of its services in one form or another, all of them for serious reasons.

After seeing and reading two weeks' worth of reports about the 911 emergency operations center, it is obvious to me as a resident and voter that the three of you have a series of very serious problems.

First is the staffing level which now appears to be only half or less of what is required to operate the center at a professional level.

Second, it appears that your 911 center's management team has reduced cooperation and trust with the staff that has reached toxic and unprofessional levels.

Third, you are paying $12.50 per hour, according to reports, to people who handle life-threatening situations every hour they are on duty. I don't know what planet you have come from to think that $12.50 an hour for this type of job is even near being reasonable.

All of it is morally reprehensible and the buck stops at your board. Don't even try to pass the blame to the management team you put in place.

The sad, very sad, part of this debacle is that you quietly cheapened and dehumanized one of the most critical services the county government should be providing us while you are spending millions in our tax dollars on pet projects that have nothing to do with the critical needs of the population. The problem has only seen the light of day because mistakes are starting to be made by personnel who are severely understaffed and forced to work long overtime hours.

To publicly show how concerned you are over this problem, you empower your media spokesman to whine that the 911 center's management is going to have to go out of its way to form another class of folks to train. How many of those people will stay on in such working conditions? One or two out of a dozen trainees?

You should be working to replace or at least smarten up your management team, go out of your way to recruit enough staff to reach the required level, and pay them a decent wage they can live on, even if it means to get the money you have to cut out your own salaries for the lack of work you do.

Come re-election time, you can count on not getting my vote (and for me helping to remind other voters of your inability to govern effectively) because we can't count on you to provide the services our taxes should be paying for.

You failed to a level that resembles a Keystone Kops comedy hour.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Water, water, water everywhere...

Those of us old enough to remember back when, in 1973, Hurricane Agnes, actually the remnants of Agnes, raced up over us in the York and Central Pa. area and hung here for three days, dropping 13 inches of rain. We remember the flooding that occurred in York City and County.
    The Codorus Creek, despite the Indian Rock Dam gates being closed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, overflowed and flooded out sections of downtown York City.  Only one bridge was above flood stage, the College Avenue bridge, because it sat up on a hill.
     A lot of York County was damaged from the flooding throughout the county.
    Now close your eyes and imagine Agnes had dropped 50 inches of rain, like Hurricane Harvey and its remnants have done in southeastern Texas. It would be devastation.
    That's what people in the Houston area and along the coast are facing.
    The bit of good news is how people, no matter their ethnicity, their politics, are working together helping each other out any way they can.
    We wish all the people affected by this historic storm in Louisiana and Texas God's speed and God's protection.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Single-payer system for health care?

I am beginning to wonder why everyone calls it "socialism" when single-payer health care is discussed as a possible solution to our health care insurance crisis.

I happen to agree with opinions made recently by Mark Cuban on a cable network news show.

Cuban basically says that the insurance companies should not be involved in the health care business. IF, the efficiencies of the federal government could be improved, it would be cheaper to administer health insurance than having the insurance companies provide it, because the insurance companies work on maintaining a 20 percent profit margin on their businesses.

Think about it. Approximately 20 percent of what we pay for health care insurance goes to the insurance companies as profit and paid out to investors, not toward our health care. 

If the government eliminated the insurance companies from the health care business, we'd be 20 percent ahead to begin with, even if the efficiency of the government was a poor as the insurance companies.

Now, being a conservative, I begin to wonder which way really will save money for us, the citizens.

If you want to call it "socialized medicine," so be it, but strip away the concept of "socialism" waste that is so often connected to it. 

Great Britain was far ahead of us when it provided health care to everyone when World War II ended. Yes, the Brits have had some problems, but pressures put to bear by the citizens seems to correct the imperfections that appear from time to time.

For far too long we have allowed private insurance companies to handle our health care expenses, and it has gotten out of control for many of us. Example... I just had a prescription drug that is pretty common and was basically inexpensive raised in cost to me by 1,152 percent. This is what comes from the freedom and collusion of insurance companies and drug manufacturers.

As a conservative, I think health care should be available through a single-payer system which excludes insurance companies and should be a right for all citizens.