A Preview Of The New Green Deal

I have no problem with keeping the planet earth as clean as possible. America treats its waste water, generally cleans its parks, used to clean its streets (until some of them were taken over by tents), recycles, and attempts to limit pollution. Contrary to what some extreme environmentalists are preaching, civilization actually helps curb pollution–it does not create it. There are people in the world who cook on coal stoves; America cooks on gas or electricity. There are people in the world who do not have clean water due to a lack of infrastructure. The water around them is polluted, and they drink it because it is all they have. Generally speaking, as a civilization prospers, it is better able to protect the environment. Unfortunately, China and India have not followed this pattern, but most other countries have. Enter the extreme environmentalists that believe that in order to save the planet we need to ban fossil fuel. I wonder if they understand the consequences of their belief. New York City and Long Island are currently looking at those consequences.

On Wednesday The New York Post reported that National Grid will no longer be able to expand its natural gas services in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island. Con Edison may also have to turn away customers. Since natural gas is one of the least polluting, reliable fuels available, that is unfortunate. So what happened to cause this?

The article reports:

Following moves by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to nix a pipeline that could deliver vital gas supplies to the city and Long Island, National Grid can no longer offer new gas hookups or additional service for current customers.

“If you’re looking to expand your natural gas service in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island, we will not be able to meet your request,” unless both states reverse their decisions and OK the pipeline, the utility warns. Con Ed may have to turn away customers, too.

The govs nixed the pipelines in a pander to climate-change radicals. Yet the shortage won’t only hit well-off developers and businesses: It’ll also threaten projects meant for low- and middle-income New Yorkers.

A local group called Heartshare, which assists New York’s needy with heating costs, is nervous. Its vice president for energy programs, Joe Guarinello, says it’s written local congressmen in support of the pipeline.

“Right now, gas is the most inexpensive and the cleanest for heating homes in our area,” he notes. “We’d like to make sure that the people we assist, both the disabled and the economically stressed,” can continue to benefit from it.

The article concludes:

Don’t give up yet. The pipeline builder refiled its applications for permits. Sanity can yet prevail — but only if Cuomo and Murphy care about New York’s future.

So let’s look at this for a minute–the blocking of the pipeline hurts the disabled and the economically stressed. I hate to be cynical, but if a well-connected millionaire built a house in Brooklyn, Queens, or Long Island, do you think he could manage to get hooked up to a gas line? The problem with extreme environmentalism (which is essentially socialism) is that the people in charge have everything they want while the people who are supposed to be equal all equally have nothing. That’s the reason socialism always fails and results in riots, revolutions, and generally tyranny.

Received in my email today:

The United States’ Founders created the
Electoral College to ensure the STATES and ALL AMERICANS  are FAIRLY represented.

Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the Nation?  Do they truly represent all states and our entire Nation?

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.
Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.

Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan,
Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes
than Trump. (Clinton won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 4 MEGA counties in New York City alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

Should a Nation that encompasses almost 4 million square miles,

be ruled by those who live in one small corner of the vast nation–a mere 319 square miles?

Should this small section of the country dictate a National Election?

Should large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA)  speak for the entire Nation?

 

Toll Wars

We occasionally drive north to visit grandchildren (and their parents). It’s a great drive through Delaware (and sometimes even into central New Jersey), but when you get near New York City, it’s a mess. At one point it took us three hours to go from the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the middle of Long Island. Traffic in and around New York City is always a mess. So what is the solution?

One America News Network posted an article today about one ridiculous idea.

The article reports:

A mayor in New Jersey is suggesting a commuter tax on New York City residents in retaliation for the Big Apple imposing fees on drivers coming from his state.

This week, Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop suggested implementing a commuter tax on New York City residents leaving the city. This appears to be a rebuttal to New York approving plans to use automated license plate readers to impose fees on drivers entering Manhattan from New Jersey during rush-hour traffic.

The article concludes:

“We don’t see any incentives there for drivers,” explained Robert Sinclair, spokesman for the American Auto Association. “They’re still punishing their vehicles on bad roads and yet being asked to pay for the bulk of the funding to fix the subways and the commuter railroads.”

Fulop said both states should have a “regional conversation” to work out a long-term transportation agreement.

In the meantime, lawmakers are still working out how much money to tax commuters in New York City, with the policy expected to take affect by 2021.

You can’t force people to take public transportation, but you can make public transportation so attractive, convenient, and affordable that people will want to take it. That might be a better solution.

An Unnecessary Tragedy

Today’s New York Post is reporting that two policemen have been killed in the Brooklyn while they sat in their police car. Unfortunately, this is the result of much of the media’s and some of our local and national leaders’ ‘war on the police’ that has been going on for the last few months.

May the policemen rest in peace and their families be comforted.

The article reports the response of some of the New York City Police:

The two officers were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, where their colleagues and family members huddled tearfully.

City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio were less than welcome guests at the poignant gathering.

“We’re all in this together,” the mayor told grieving cops, according to a cop who was there.

“No we’re not,” one officer said tersely in response.

Just last week cops began signing a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver, distributed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, that warned the mayor and speaker to stay away from funerals of cops killed in the line of duty.

Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco, like many cops, likened the murders to the 1988 assassination of Police Officer Eddie Byrne.

The 22-year-old rookie cop was alone in a squad car in Jamaica, Queens, guarding the home of a witness in a drug case, when he was shot in the head five times. The hit was ordered by jailed drug kingpin “Pappy” Mason, in retaliation for his arrest.

“I don’t even know how to respond to this,” Turco said. “Twenty-eight years on and I don’t know what to say.”

Another cop, who is black, said he fears that “this is just the beginning.

“There are people out there who will want to be copycats. The tension out there is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

The lack of support shown to the New York City Police recently has not helped the safety of policemen. It is time for those who seek to divide America along racial lines and those who seek to blame the police for those divides to be quiet. Lack of respect for policemen endangers all of us. It will make America less safe and create chaos in our cities.

 

An Infrequently Reported Example Of Bullying

This was written by a friend on Facebook:

Against Bullying? Start with Walmart

By: Christine Morabito – July, 2014

After years of harassment by special interest groups, Walmart is fighting back. As with most bullies, the claims they make have less to do with reality than with bolstering the tormentor’s self-esteem.

This was evident in Timothy Egan’s New York Times op-ed, June 19, 2014, entitled “The Corporate Daddy,” where Egan accused the company of paying “humiliating wages.” He claimed, “Working at Walmart may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor.”

Responding to the NYT hit piece, Walmart’s David Tovar, Director of Corporate Communications, reposted Egan’s article, complete with snarky, red-inked edits in the margins. He began, “Thanks for sharing your first draft.” Tovar proceeded to dispute claim after baseless claim. It reminded me of the triumphant scene in “Napoleon Dynamite,” where the relentlessly mistreated protagonist earns a standing ovation for his dance moves.

With 2.2 million employees worldwide, Walmart is also the largest U.S. employer. The average full-time associate earns around $12 an hour, well above minimum wage. In 2013, the corporation was praised by First Lady Michelle Obama for announcing plans to hire 100,000 veterans. Last year they donated more than $1 billion to charity globally. They also offer education assistance and help associates who have been affected by catastrophic life events such as fire, divorce, death, etc. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the retailer sent truckloads of goods to help victims. Yet, their reputation is under constant attack.

The Washington Examiner reported that Walmart’s health insurance is not only more affordable than Obamacare, but it also offers better coverage, minus the income, age or gender restrictions. The retailer revolutionized the pharmacy industry by offering inexpensive prescription drugs with little to no co-pays for their employees. Still, nothing satisfies the bullies, intent on pushing Walmart down and taking their lunch money.

Walmart is known for their entry level positions. But starting wages are rarely static. According to their website, “About 75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year … Last year, Walmart promoted about 170,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.” This is a key point lost on the Walmart bashers — as people gain knowledge and experience they climb the economic ladder.

It is clear the Walmart smear campaign is a pastime mostly enjoyed by far left activists, unions, angered by the superstore’s refusal to unionize, and the politicians beholden to such groups. To protest the opening of Walmart stores in cities, like Brooklyn, New York and Boston, is to deprive consumers of a wide variety of quality goods at low prices. A 2011 NYT poll showed 62 percent of New Yorkers wanted a store in their neighborhood. In her blog, “Ghetto Economics & the Politics of Poverty,” Stephanie Davis writes: “In essence, Boston’s political class has turned its city limits into a type of food dessert or island in which the cost of goods is higher because of limited supply or lack of competition.”

Today’s trend is to be obsessed with the gap between the highest paid worker and the lowest. Of course there’s an income gap! But, we must also take into account the gap in initiative, experience and in some cases, education (all of which can be rectified). These things being equal, we could legitimately criticize the income disparity. If career politicians and intellectual elites had even a smidgen of experience in the private sector, they might understand how this works. Until then, they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near economic policy.

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days when we valued hard work and success in this country. Young people today are encouraged to vilify those who have more. It seems to me a childish and selfish way to view the world.

In my youth, I had many low paying jobs. When I got tired of being broke, I applied for student loans, studied hard and became a nurse. If I wanted more money, I could go back to school and become a nurse manager or even a surgeon. Here’s the thing: I don’t want to. I’d rather not put forth the effort or incur the associated expense. Do I resent doctors because they make more than me? Not at all. Do I march in the streets and demand the same salary as a physician? That would be absurd.

Instead of browbeating Walmart and coveting thy neighbor’s paycheck, maybe we should be inspiring people to educate and market themselves so they have skills employers need. I learned early in life that no one is going to pay me to sit around looking pretty.

Have You Seen Penelope?

This article is posted as a public service to the people of Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Post reported the following today:

A hairy Mexican red rump tarantula named Penelope is on the loose in Park Slope, and her owner is frantically trying to find her before she pops out her tiny, creepy spawn.

“I know she looks crazy scary but she’s mostly harmless,” the owner says on a missing-pet sign, which includes a photo, posted in South Slope.

“She’s pregnant, so I’m hoping to find her before she has her babies. She’s mostly active at night and she tends to hide in dark corners,” it notes.

“She shouldn’t bite but sometimes she jumps,” it adds.

It has never occurred to me to be concerned about my neighbors’ choice of pets, but maybe it is something I should consider.

This is Penelope’s missing poster:

It would probably be a really good idea to call the owner quickly if you spot this animal.

When Town Politics Cost The Taxpayers Money

My daughter and son-in-law are in Massachusetts this weekend for a junior hockey tournament. It is a real junior tournament–my grandson in seven years old. They live in New York and are avid New York Islanders fans. My daughter has not forgotten her New England roots–she supports the Patriots and the Red Sox, but she has defected to the Islanders in hockey.

Needless to say, they were not happy with the recent announcement that the Islanders will be moving from Long Island to Brooklyn. Yes, I know Brooklyn is on Long Island, but it is a very different world. My son-in-law directed me to an article in the bleacherreport which explains the history of the Islanders and the reason they are moving. Unfortunately, it comes down to county politics and bad reporting by local news sources.

The quest for a new arena for the Islanders began in the 1990’s under owners Gluckstern and Milstien.

The article reports:

The Gluckstern-Milstien disaster can basically be seen as the Islanders ownership group trying to have the Nassau Coliseum condemned, so they could break the lease with Nassau County and try to strong-arm the construction of a new arena.

As we all know, you cannot strong-arm your way through Nassau County red tape and Town of Hempstead politics.

They moved the Islanders offices out of the building, claiming it was unsafe to inhabit, and said the Islanders would not play any games in the arena. They even went so far as to say that the scoreboard was in danger of falling from the ceiling.

Needless to say, that was not a good beginning to the story. Charles Wang become a part owner of the Islanders in 2000. He bought out his partner, Sanjay Kumar , in 2004. Mr. Wang’s first attempt to improve the area around the arena was the Lighthouse project–a privately funded project that would have provided jobs for construction workers and much needed lower-to-mid-cost housing. He would have created an area similar to Patriot Place in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The article reports:

Ultimately, the project was given Nassau County approval. It was given New York State approval. Then it fell to the governing body known as the Town of Hempstead. Surely this would not be an issue, right? Surely they could see the benefits of such a project? Surely they would work with Mr. Wang to get this deal done?

Wrong. Instead of trying to work with Mr. Wang and his Lighthouse project, the Town of Hempstead had the audacity to come up with their own vision of what they thought should be built there, going so far as to present an artist’s rendering. 

Excuse me? Since when does a publicly-elected governing body tell a private developer what he can build? They presented a zoning plan that cut down the project to such a level that not only did Charles Wang not see the value in it, no one else has seen the value in it either.

The next suggestion–a taxpayer-funded arena–was voted down by voters last year. That was the final nail in the coffin. The vote was the result of news reporting that told frightened voters that their taxes would greatly increase if they voted for the new arena. The reports failed to mention the possibility that if there was no new arena, the Islanders might find a more friendly environment, and taxes would go up anyway.

I don’t particularly like to idea of the public funding sports arenas, but I a can see that Charles Wang had no reason to rebuild an arena he did not own. This could have been totally avoided had the lighthouse project been approved.

Something to think about–votes have consequences.

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Have You Wondered What Happened To ACORN ?

 

Washington, DC, February 8, 2005 -- Acting Dir...

Image via Wikipedia

Fox News reported on Thursday that New York Communities for Change (NYCC), the new incarnation of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in New York, is desperately attempting to cover its connections to Occupy Wall Street.

The article reports:

Officials with the revamped ACORN office in New York — operating as New York Communities for Change — have fired staff, shredded reams of documents and told workers to blame disgruntled ex-employees for leaking information in an effort to explain away a FoxNews.com report last week on the group’s involvement in Occupy Wall Street protests, according to sources.

NYCC also is installing surveillance cameras and recording devices at its Brooklyn offices, removing or packing away supplies bearing the name ACORN and handing out photos of Fox News staff with a stern warning not to talk to the media, the sources said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is an amazing section in the article which involves around a discussion of whether or not paying people to carry signs is paying them to protest. The article cites a quote from Jonathan Westin, NYCC’s organizing director, when staffers confronted him with the fact that the group was paying protesters:

‘No your job is to fight for economic and social justice. We just send you to protest.’
That kind of logic makes my head hurt.

 

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