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Administrative Law Judge
Corporate Training Specialist  MBA , JD

Associate Legal Counsel to Police Commissioner William Bratton

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

They keep telling me that it is vacation time and I should be going somewhere but what do you do when the most magical place to visit is in the winter? You make plans in the summer. It is called the Aurora Borealis which is the proper name for what we know as the northern lights. To see them at their best you have to visit far north in the winter. You need to dress well to feel comfortable in 20 degrees below but the effort should be worth the trouble. In Fairbanks Alaska it is almost always cold anyway. Cold is good because it usually means clear skies and that can open the window to the most natural of wonderful.

The northern lights have been dancing in the sky for as long as the earth has been gliding around the son.  From the International Space Station, time lapse photos have shown how impressive the show really is. Why don’t they show this footage at Imax Theaters all the time? It would save me the trouble of an Alaskan Vacation. There is a tour company that will escort you to the best locations at the best times to witness the natural beauty of the sky. You will climb in the dead of night on icy roads to 2,600 feet up a mountain for a picture perfect vision. The tour guides are in a constant state of wow and they love their jobs. It is better than any drug. Just take the road to Prudhoe Bay.

The natural high can be overwhelming in a good way. Your emotions just take over your body and you suddenly realize how insignificant you really are in the scope of the world and these still largely unexplained lights.  It can be the ultimate spiritual experience for you if you let it. The one other ultimate experience   for me was when I saw a human baby emerge from my wife’s innards and the boy looked somewhat like me. To me that was the ultimate magic ta da act.  Yet the Northern Lights are like a neon sign without the tube.

It all begins with the son’s solar winds. They send highly charged particles hurdling through space but pull toward the earth’s magnetic poles. It is the collision between those particles and our own atmosphere that create that unusual glow. We have the Aurora Borealis in the north and the Aurora Australasia in the south. When you see the shapes you are literally seeing the magnetic field lines being blown around by the wind. The Aurora can only be seen during the winter months. In some years, the activity is better than others. There is no guarantee you will ever see a display but when it is there it is captivating. Alaskan natives believe the lights are the spirits of their ancestors.

The research range  in Fairbanks was built specifically to study the Aurora.  The main road is named after its long time director Neal Brown. They used photography to document the colors. The current nagging question is, Does this light show make a sound? They have never succeeded in recording the changes . Yet there are hundreds of reports going back to 2 hundred years of people hearing the lights move and their stories have been consistent throughout the years. Last January they launched rockets right into the Aurora to try to find better answers. Catching the best part or time of the lights is a challenge for scientists and tour guides. People come from all over the world to catch that glimpse. Don’t let life pass you by go find it.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Don’t go to Japan in the summer. Save a trip like that for when even the Japanese people like to be on vacation. Go when Japan is in the pink of things. Tour Japan when all the trees are in pink from the cherry blossoms in spring. There the trees are trimmed to grow with long rails sideways to promote the most blossoms possible so that in the spring you are underneath a canopy of pink. It is so beautiful that even the people who live and work there stop routine life to enjoy a civilized picnic and take many photos. The Japanese people have a   fascination with the tree.

For all tourists there are cherry blossom bath salts and cosmetics, tie clips and cuff links, Cherry twigs are used as ornamental decorations everywhere. The merchants see green in the spring. Green money. There are countless food products made from the pedals. You can drink Sake made from the pedals. The tree limbs are printed on all kinds of fabrics. The Japanese have changed a tree into a marketing marvel. At high end cafĂ©’s you can find pastry chefs making works of art out of dough to look like a tree limb of blossoms. Artistry is everywhere and in everything you can think of.

Image result for cherry blossoms in japan
The Japanese take pride in even tasting the season. The Japanese gave thousands of trees as a gift to America in 1912 helping the first Lady then Helen Taft plant a public park in Washington D.C.  We enjoy seeing the trees blossom here each year to but we certainly do not give their beauty as much respect as the Japanese do.  In Japan it is said that the blossoms embody the Samurai spirit evoking the image of warriors who believed their time on earth was brief and should be glorious. So, each spring when they blossom, they become a top source of income from tourists. Why doesn’t America make such a fuss over our trees?

Record amounts of tourists turned out in Japan this year thankful for the weakened Yen that made travel there more affordable. Hotels were booked solid and you have to make your reservations early because the blossoms vanish in a matter of days.   It is estimated 350,000 Chinese will travel to neighboring Japan during the peak blossom period and spend about a Billion dollars. So why shouldn’t Americans join in the party too at least to observe the people’s excitement. The Japanese are low keyed in their celebrations. They will buy tarps and sushi and have long respectful picnics in the parks.  The beer and Saki fueled festival can get rowdy but by rowdy with just too much laughter and arm wrestling.

This is Japan and manners are important. Shoes are off near the banquet table and pushed off to the side. Since the flowers bloom only for a week so the feeling is to party quickly. At night the viewing does not end. For about $15 dollars there is a nighttime sightseeing tour that will take you down the streets where the shop owners will shine lights on the blossoms and the pink stays alive but now reflecting on the buildings to make them look even larger.  Yes I am thinking about the spring in the summer. So shoot me.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Image result for sexy woman drinking water at a party
So the party us over and all that is left are the drunks who couldn’t make it to their homes yet , plenty of trash from cute little fireworks you just had to light up in some guys back pockets. Well everyone has their prank. What was bad this year wasn’t the fully stocked bar you thought you had. Every year there is always new people to the party and who the hell knows what they like to drink. This year I was floored with the names that were tossed my way that I just didn’t even know about. Embarrassing to say the least or was it and they are just fools? 

First you had to have the perfect cheese, then the wine list to memorize and of course the favorite coffee.  Now it is all about the water. You can’t stop noticing a woman’s perfect body without realizing she must only ingest water and not just any water, they must have designer water that is pricey. Go to any great hotel bar and you will see them there. This time of year most people carry water wherever they go. I know we need water from dehydrating or from getting grumpy but expensive designer water? A very popular designer water is called Beverly Hills 90H20. You know they are drinking it because it comes in a very distinctive blue bottle. It is reasonably priced at $72 a case.

Price points for some kinds of water if you can even say that can be anywhere from $8 to $20 per bottle. In Los Angeles they are having water tasting parties at $50 a head to attend. They taste and smell the water and look for clarity. There is natural spring water that is judged by the texture of the bubbles in it and the kind of salty taste. Martin Riese is a Water Sommelier, and expert of kinds of water. He will even notice the TDS levels and measure how much minerals are in the water.  I wonder if he could notice toilet water?  I will behave.

Image result for sexy woman drinking water at a partyPATINA is a restaurant that has a water menu that is 48 pages long. Where have I been that I have not read a water menu yet? Household names like Perrier and Evian  for $8  to Anada and Berg for $20 a bottle. Glacier water is the most expensive and must be imported and boasts that the water is 15,000 years old. Who gave them the permission to melt and bottle glaciers? Is unique water worth spending all that money on? Sure! If she has a smoking hot body give her an expensive cool one. Right?

Bottled water is now a $19 Billion dollar industry in America and growing. Yet just last week there was a “voluntary recall” whatever that means by Niagara. In fact 14 brands of water were taken off the shelves for having a “positive indication” of Ecoli.   There have not been any people reporting illness leading to the water but negative reports are not slowing down the industry. Martin recommends Beverly Hills 90H20 from the Santa Barbara Mountains in Northern California at $13 a bottle.  It is healthy to drink more and more water but I will stick to my boiled and purified tap water served in my very own recycled wine carafe! However, I will have to stock the bar with some of these waters now. Sigh!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day and hopefully you can be truly independent today and do whatever the hell you want to. It used to be a holiday when people were home with their families but now retail stores have big July 4 sales so you have to work there. Manufacturing used to give factory workers 2 weeks off in July for vacation. There isn’t any of those jobs here anymore.   If anything the hospital workers used to be on call all weekend to repair all the accidents due to people shooting off fireworks on their street. Now you can go to jail if you have fireworks. Things are just very different these days.

We live in a world now full of threats so it is not impossible to think that the world we live in could collapse in a heartbeat. Half the movies we “entertain” ourselves with are about preparing for the end of our world. In the movie The Hunger Games, the main characters live in an old missile silo. Usually real life is not so far off from the movies. After all, the new American way is to make as much money as you possibly can and then selfishly spend it all on yourself. Go to Raven Ridge, Kansas and buy yourself a luxury condo inside a missile silo just to be safe. Drive for hours to nowhere and meet armed guards at the gate until you get clearance and then the guns go down and you are met by very friendly people on the other side of the gate.

It is a former intercontinental ballistic missile site of silos. It is a structure that the United States built with doomsday in mind. Inside is 15 floors of buried underground happiness without real windows. All of the exterior walls are 9 feet thick. It is a condo tower where you can purchase space in it for anywhere from one to five million dollars. The large pool area has beach scenes painted on the walls and includes a man- made waterfall.   These survival condos are the high end of a booming business of which more than 3 Million Americans are committed to.  Disaster preparedness is now a $5 hundred Million dollar industry. There are companies that cater to the apocalypse. It is survivals for the rich.
There is game rooms and a full size theater with large leather chairs for all. There is a bar adjoining the movie theater. This is Larry Hall’s vision of survival. He is the developer of these places.  It would make you feel like you actually could sleep through a nuclear bomb. There is plenty of water with good pressure. The contractor Mark Menosky lives there on and off throughout the year. There are his and hers bunk beds for the kids and gas fireplaces in the living rooms. All rooms have virtual windows that are flat screen TV’s where you can choose whatever scenery you wish to display. There are high Teck Japanese toilet seats   that will clean you up without toilet paper if necessary otherwise it would take an entire floor just to store toilet paper.

They are pet friendly with areas for you to walk your dog. A school room where kids can continue with their studies and the other adults are the teachers. Part of the deal with ownership of the condo is that during a “lock down” everyone would be required to perform a 4 hour shift in assisting a need. Work in the on- site store or in the greenhouse where organic fruits and vegetables are grown and fish are farmed. They grow celery, lettuce, carrots, onions, blueberries, strawberries and kale. The one thing you have to keep reminding yourself is why this thing exists. Why does it have so much security measures?
They have air filters to neutralize a nuclear or biological or chemical attack along with an extensive armory with plenty of guns. It is a modern day fort. Outside it is clear that the underground place is a fortress.  There is an on- site windmill generating its own stored power. The silo is sold out. More sites are currently under renovation for more condos.  The last time they were opened was in 1967. Today the threat may be different to maintain our independence but the fear remains. At least for some rich people the accommodations during a disaster will be pretty good..  Enjoy your holiday if you have one.


Friday, July 3, 2015

America has always been known as the land of opportunity and a new beginning for many families. It is difficult to know anyone who did not experience some fortunate turnaround at one point in their lives in this country. Perhaps that is why people still want to come here and remain here and eventually call this land home. As we celebrate the most patriotic time of the year tomorrow, July 4th, put the beer and the hot dog down and take a moment to reflect and be thankful to whoever and whatever you want to for the ability to have another year of relative peace and love and stability in your life with safe food and clean water and brave soldiers and a good government that ultimately protects us all.

The song says, “I got a girl crush” and is a big hit for the country western band Little Big Town. In Nashville, usually girls don’t go around singing those words even if the song is about jealousy of another woman. The song goes on to say, “I want to taste her lips because they taste like you” The song got bad reviews but still somehow climbed to number one on the country charts and crossed over into the top ten on the ITunes Pop Chart. The band of 2 guys and 2 girls have been around since 1998 but wasn’t too successful till now. Only in America can your dreams still someday be realized if you stick with it. It was a long hard road from where it started for the four in Birmingham, Alabama.

The girls met at Sanford University. In Nashville they recruited Jimmy and Philip to join them. Their amazing harmonies quickly got them a record deal. Their debut album in 2002 got bad reviews.  Then in late 2004 their label dropped them. Broke the band had to give up their tour bus and go back to their day jobs. Philip was giving phone dance lessons. Jeesh! and Jimmy was parking cars. Over the next year Karen and Philip got divorced from their spouses. Kimberly’s husband, the band’s lawyer died suddenly of a heart attack. The band mates sang at the funeral and somehow it brought them all back again. It became a tiny bit of healing for all.

Their next song,, Boondocks would be their break out hit. Back out on the road opening for other bands they suddenly realized that crowds were forming to see them again and begging for an encore song. They scored their country number one hit in 2012 with a summer hit and now they did it again with the song called Girl Crush.  Even though the lyrics of the song scared some country music stations and they were playing it less, friends like Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Reba stepped in and started wearing Girl Crush hats in support of the band and things turned around for the better.
What is America without controversy, then cross over? Failure then success? Hope and then prosperity? They are all married now. Jimmy and Karen to each other and working on new music. You can knock Little Big Town Down but they just keep getting up. Just like America!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

You wake up every day thinking and being non- judgmental   or highly   opionated    until you take a good long look in the mirror and it tells you who you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be thinking about and how you should judge others. If you see slanted eyes you should be good at math or run a laundromat or Chinese restaurant. If you have white features but dark skin you should work at a call center. If you are black you should resent white people and if you are white you should have the confederate flag on your shirt?
Before you looked in that mirror none of these thoughts ever entered your mind. You were just you and didn’t care about any race issues. Unfortunately the stereotypes are alive and well in society now more than ever. Trump hates Mexicans. Blacks hate cops and stupid young white kids hate blacks. What if there were no mirrors? Would we even know who we are supposed to hate? One thing about the aftermath of the killing spree in the “Black” church in Charleston somehow brought a moment of peace and unity among races since the act of killing people who are praying in a church was such a horrible thing to do.

The horrific killing of truly forgiving families who immediately forgave the soul of that stupid kid who killed their loved ones showed how really religious those families’ are. It then made the politicos take down the Confederate flag of slavery in the south down to rest in the museums where it belongs. They should also change the name of the bridge featured in the recent movie Selma that is still named in honor of a KKK member. How the killing of 9 innocent people praying in a church is associated with the Confederate flag is only linked through the white supremacy killer’s actions. Too bad he looked in the mirror and saw a killer.

The 21 year old 9th grade dropout did not learn from history books. He learned prejudice from news reports of black people rioting in the streets. In his drug induced rants he wrote on line his hate for Blacks, , Hispanics and Jewish people. Can racism ever be erased? Maybe in the year 2300 when the earth will become one mixed race and then what will the prejudice be based on? What is the future of organized hate in America? How often have we heard love one another but never really listened? Somehow we are all growing to accept the lack of boundaries in terms of who we get to make love to. The Supreme Court just voted that gay marriage is legal all over America. Now society has grown to accept that you can even change identities in your lifetime in terms of gender too. `

Is loving one’s people a crime? Too many unanswered questions. Since the year 2000 the number of hate groups in America has increased by 30% according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Most people are not raised in a racists’ environment. Does freedom in America mean we also have the freedom to hate? I guess so as long as we don’t act on it with violence.  The Internet has been a great source for hate. ISIS would not have the power it has globally if it were not for the Internet’s global reach for anyone to say anything at any time right or wrong.

One thing for sure, it always leads to violence. Racial and religious violence happens every day. In a few days America will be celebrating our political war from generations ago for political freedom. July 4th should mean much more to us all.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What the hell India? You are the largest democracy on earth. You have an advanced growing economy and a supposedly highly educated population and cutting edge technological capabilities such as space and nuclear weapons programs. Sounds like a very smart place to be. Then how can India be so stupid and live in such barbaric conditions? Where is the ethics in terms of cleanliness and birth control? Why is India still struggling to provide for its poor? Why can’t they get their sanitation and clean water under control? Even the ancient Greeks and Romans had systems in place for adequate sanitation and plumbing. How can a country literally forget and abuse the land and the people all at the same time?

The United Nations has reported that without dramatic change in how we manage our water in 15 years 40% of the world will not have adequate access to usable water. Well the hell hole that India has already become is a water desiring mess of a land. The problems are so bad now that the land is in a water crisis already. In Meerut, India a small town in northern India livestock roam the streets freely, trash is littering the streets everywhere with dead carcasses of dogs and smaller animals rotting in the sun. There are small canals filled with human shit and waste next to every building and home. The air smells like a breath of raw sewage. There are open air sewers everywhere and what is worse is that it bothers no one but the people who dare to visit India.
There is no sewage facility at all. There are crude floor level toilets where you can’t sit on. Your defecation's flow straight outside into a canal or small gutter. Women use shit filled brooms to scoop it all out of the house separated by a wall into the gutter right outside the home. Locals hire people to continue to sweep the waste products to other streets. It is literally sitting contaminated urine and water and feces. The people breathe and smell this waste every day. Why? I thought they were an intelligent people? People are sick all the time. The sewage flows directly into waterways. One of the most polluted waterways is the Yamuna River in India that is just a larger toilet filled with untreated raw sewage. Why are these people allowing their rivers to be toilets?
The Yamuna River is a vital waterway that runs through New Delhi. Why ignore the filth? It is also considered one of the holiest Rivers in India. People come to pray there, cremate dead bodies and offer blessings. The people bathe in the river and drink the water and then get very sick. Sunita Narain is the Director General for the Center for Science and Environment there. She says that about 80% of the sewage that is generated in India’s cities is untreated and disposed of in the water bodies that include rivers, lakes or even ground water. Well if you are aware that there is an existing   problem; then   do something about it!

They need to reinvent the wheel of sewage management in India. It is unacceptable as human beings to not to provide health security and water security for an entire population. We all know that the connection between sanitation and water is critical. It is not just a lack of infrastructure of toilets   that is posing a problem, in many parts of India open displays of deification is widespread. How could these so called educated people just decide to drop their pants and take a crap in the middle of a sidewalk , leave the shit on the street and continue to walk into someone else’s pile of shit on the street? What is wrong with these people?

Because less than half the households have toilets open defecation is rampart. In India 638 Million people shit in the street. At least there have been some protests asking for better living conditions. Even members of their political system find it odd that there are more temples to worship at than toilets. ODD! Do something about the problem! They say that it is a habit and that a large portion of toilets provided aren’t being used by the people due to their habits of shitting in the streets. As a result of all this 97% of India’s people do not have an adequate source of clean drinking water. It is the main reason that a million children under the age of 5 die there every year.  The diseases brought on by the filth is becoming resistant to antibiotics. A major problem is the increasing population. Over the last 40 years India’s population has doubled in size from 600 Million to 1.2 Billion people.  In that same time span more than 30 Million water wells and pumps have been constructed which is draining India’s water table. When will they address the problem of water management?

Clean water has become so scarce that cities depend on water trucks for their basic needs. Four oil delivery size tankers will arrive for about 1,200 people who carry plastic jugs they can carry. Soon it is like a riot of people shoving and pushing to the trucks that throw out pool tubes that land in the contaminated shit filled dirt. So, already the new water has been contaminated from the soil. The chaos continues. The United Nations or Red Cross or someone sensible needs to save India from themselves. The globe needs some real tender loving care.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

They are modifying genes in everything these days especially food ad we don’t even know it. Is it ok or is it another set up for disaster? Our food was ok before science got involved in it wasn’t it? Between the pesticides they spray on our food and the gene tossing inside the food are we in a space of chemical warfare on our kitchen table?

GMO’s Genetically Modified Organisms were introduced to the agricultural market in the 1990’s. Since then GMO’s crops have been planted on almost half a Billion acres of land globally. That is most of our farming territory. So what? Well GMO’s are created by the transfer of material from one species to another and their introduction to the food supply has created tremendous controversy. What do you think? There are issues from patenting lab created life forms to concerns if they are actually safe to consume. It has sparked protests around the world. Some European countries have banded genetically modified corn like Germany.

What is the future of our food? In Svalbard, Norway in the Arctic   Circle where there is nothing but snow and ice there exists the Global Seed Vault thankfully. In case there is a global catastrophe we have our last resort saved for replanting the earth. Built 400 feet under the earth and built to survive a nuclear attack is a place that collects seeds from all over the earth.  Cary Fowler is the founder of the Seed Vault. He has compiled over 13,000 years of agricultural history. There are a lot of seeds stored there. The idea was a way to put an end to the possibility of extinction. He is just trying to preserve options for the future because right now our options are dwindling.

The fear that our agricultural system might collapse seems like a far and distant possibility but we must take precautions to save all the gifts we were given here on earth in their natural and biological state.  For thousands of years farmers would save their own seeds. Today many farmers just buy their seeds from GMO manufacturers. In Homestead, Florida Dr. Major Goodman a corn breeder and a member of The National Academy of Sciences, believes that the widespread use of GMO seeds can be a disaster waiting to happen. It is also known as Transgenic Food. The same gene is already being used almost worldwide. So why is that a problem?
It is a problem in that should it be prone to get a new disease it can affect all of our food supply since it is the only genetic food being grown now. Variety has always been the spice of life. Would we want only one type of human just because it follows all our criteria? No. Diversity is safer and nicer. Now one disease could potentially wipe out all the corn in the world. Save those damn seeds please.  Today more than 90% of all corn and soy beans grown in America are genetically modified and just a few large companies control the world’s seeds. The biggest of all is Monsanto with Dow, DuPont, Bayer and Syngenta Over the last 20 years Monsanto that has a Research Center in St. Louis Missouri, has transformed from a chemical company known for making the devastating Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War to  becoming the largest agricultural seed company.

The opposite view and the reason to have large seed companies with GMO seeds is explained by Dr. Robert Fraley the Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto. He says that we have 7.2 Billion people today to feed. By the year 2050 the world’s population will increase to about 9 Billion people. That means that we have 35 years to practically double the food supply. We will need to produce more food than has ever been produced in the history of the earth. They are experimenting to create the plant with the best combination DNA. What made Monsanto famous was when they genetically modified their seeds. The scientists used bacteria to create abilities never seen before in a crop.
One trait allows the crop to have a protein so that when a bug starts to eat the plant it dies and falls off. The most profitable breakthrough was to modify the crops to be tolerant to pesticides. Tolerant to the most deadly pesticide called Round Up. Monsanto crops are now genetically engineered to be resistant to Round Up or GLYPHOSATE. This means that you can spray Monsanto plants directly with the weed killer and while the weeds around the corn will die the corn will live. Great for crops but what does it mean for us? Since Round Up tolerant crops were introduced in 1966, this most deadly Round Up product is being used more than ever.

Paraguay in South America now grows more soy beans than any other country in the world using Monsanto GMO seeds and Round Up pesticides. Because the seeds belong to Monsanto the farmers there are not allowed to replant the seeds from last year’s crops. Instead, they must buy new seeds every season. The problem is that now nature is fighting back. The weeds are becoming more resistant to the Round Up and new more deadly bugs are eating the so called resistant plants. CROPS ARE DYING and the economy has done away with any other source of seeds or pesticides to use. Stop fing with nature corporate America.

The past three years has been a decline in crops.  To combat the more resistant weeds and hungrier bugs the farmers are being forced to use even more poisonous pesticides on our food. Now Monsanto wants to add a more potent pesticide to GLYPHOSATE called DICAMBA. Why has farming become chemical warfare? 80% of the farmed land is owned by corporations. A small farmer can not even afford Monsanto’s super seeds. Paraguay had to increase its food imports by 300% because they don’t even have land to grow the food they need to eat. Hunger in Paraguay had doubled in the past decade. Monsanto’s claim was that they want to feed the world but in fact much of the world they have taken over is suffering from their highly experimental farms.

The fact that Monsanto’s worth as a company is more than the total worth of some of these poor countries makes it easy for a giant like it to just take over a land. Monsanto is also pushing people around in the United States government as well. Once you take control of the seeds out of the farmer’s hands they are just workers for someone else. Now the world health organization has declared that Round Up is a health hazard to humans. More evidence has come up that it causes cancer. Let’s hope we can get this nightmare under control before we all die from cancer from the only source of food being grown now.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What happened to Haiti? It is bad enough that the people of that country is so irresponsible to completely deforest their land beyond repair but must the rest of the world be irresponsible in the handling of all the Billions of dollars that were supposed to help those poor people after the earthquake many years ago? It has been 5 years since the earthquake and most of the people still do not have homes or clean water or even a toilet. Almost 10 Billion dollars had been pledged from all over the world in relief aid to Haiti. Where did the money go?

It was one of the world’s quickest and largest relief efforts. In January 2010 the devastating earthquake struck Haiti and left an estimated 3 hundred thousand people killed and another 2 Million people were forced from their homes.  When disasters like this strike the natural human instinct is to want to help but even after Billions of dollars in foreign aid was given the country remains a disaster 5 years later. Now hundreds of thousands of survivors are still displaced. People still live in tent cities made up of trash being used for shelter. Plastic random sheets is the roof over their head as they sit in the dirt. There is no plumbing, clean water or electricity.

Water is brought in by a truck. They crap in buckets and they   wait for food in trucks too. The human buckets of waste is tossed just about anywhere and the disease from their disgusting ways are now a new source of death for the people of Haiti.  Haiti suffers from the world’s largest outbreak of Cholera from   waste products polluting their water supplies. This easily preventable infection has killed 9 thousand people just from the countries inability to organize and enforce a sanitation place for trash and feces.  Jake Johnston from the Center for Economic and Policy Research has done research into what happened to all the relief money and where did the educated   help  from professionals  disappear to?

The private donations were supposed to go to clearing the broken buildings away. The long term aid was to come from the developing government.  Our Congress alone appropriated $3.8 Billion dollars to the organization called USAID. USAID then contracts other organizations like CRS, NATHAN that are for profit and non for profit that should have actually done the work there. For every dollar spent less than a penny went to any Haiti organization. Rather than give the Haitian government any money all the supplies were imported everything including the construction companies and were supposed to build 15,000 houses at a cost of $53 Million dollars.  Rapidly the costs ballooned to $93 Million dollars   and instead of building 15,000 houses only 2,600 houses were built.

The United Embassy gave a contract for over $70 Million dollars and built town houses for them and their employees with unground pools for their own staff. We didn’t build many homes for the survivors that needed them. In Zoran, Haiti, Bill Clinton headed a building contest through his aid organization where various   styles of homes were built from log cabins to metal structures not equipped with any plumbing or electricity. It was a $2.4 Million dollar showroom where international firms competed prototype homes with the hopes of winning a contract for mass production. No real homes were built after the expo left and the sample homes are used by squatters on land they do not own with no plumbing or electricity.
It gets worse. In the mountains of Cannon there is a camp that goes on for miles that has been built out of trash without any relief money. Now the government is forcing them out because the people don’t own the land. There is one structure there that was approved by the international community and will remain there. It is a $18Million dollar state of the art soccer field and recreational structure built by the Olympic Committee adding insult to injury to the poor people of the country who have nothing.   I am not done yet!

More nonsense was built seven miles north of the earthquake site with $800 Million dollars in foreign aid   in the District of Caracol. This town was not destroyed by the earthquake but yet another sports center was built here.  Inadequate poorly built structures were built for high prices in the millions and all by a contractor called CHEMONICS. This company got lots of money to rebuild Afghanistan as well.  Audits show widespread corruption. As usual no one ever bothered to ask the locals what they needed.  Most of the money was spent on a $260 million dollar industrial park that looks like a sprawling factory in America complete with outdoor lighting, paved roads. Inside electricity and plumbing to house clean running water for workers from a South Korean garment company that employs 10% of the workers to make cheap cloths all day. They go home to sleep in the dirt under a plastic roof.  What a horrible shame.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Now Univision will not air the Miss Universe Pageant and the two Hispanic hosts left the show too. Thanks Mr. Trump for ruining that too for everyone because of your stupid uneducated comments about Mexicans. I wish he would do some recent research before he opens his mouth and alienates an entire sector of America’s population. Illegal immigration is one of the most controversial issues in American politics. In the fall of 2014 President Obama signed an executive order protecting immigrants from deportation which in turn has inflamed the debate.

Obama said, “Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?” His opponents want the executive order overturned and to pass even stricter laws that will make it so difficult for the undocumented worker that they simply have to return back to the countries that they come from. Senator Ted Cruz a Republican from Texas said the “President’s amnesty is lawless and unconstitutional.” Donald Trump and Ted Cruz just needs to look at Alabama in 2011 that already tried this hard approach and failed miserably. Millions of potatoes and watermelons did not get picked for market and rotted in the fields because there was no one to pick the produce.
In 2011 Alabama passed one of the toughest immigration laws in American history. What happened when illegal immigrants were forced out was a disaster for them and the crop owners and for the nation. Mexicans work like ants. Somehow they are strong and can lift 3 times their weight. They work in groups of relatives including families of a wife and children in the fields too. Harvesting watermelons is back breaking. It is all done by hand. People stand in lines tossing large watermelons and catching them passing it to the next person till it reaches the end of the field and then carted in large boxes.

In Albertville, Alabama there are abandoned trailer parks where the workers would sleep. They left because they were afraid. Cops were pulling people over for just looking Mexican. The law was Alabama House Bill 56 which was passed in 2011 after a landslide vote in Alabama’s House and Senate. It not only went after illegal immigrants but went after anyone who would “shield or harbor an illegal immigrant” It effectively criminalized interacting with illegal immigrants. Since Latinos made up the bulk of the states immigrant population, they felt the overwhelming weight of the laws enforcement.

Mr. Trump should ask the police in Albertville if the drug trade and if rapes were down after they drove all the illegal immigrants out of their city and they will say NO. It really did not slow down crime a lot.  Potato    farmers tried to employ Americans but most showed up late, worked slower and were ready to head home after lunch. The gross annual product shrank by 2 Billion in one year. The law caused a large decline in the state’s economy.  At the Buttram Poultry Farm, they couldn’t find workers to catch chickens as fast as the immigrants could. Jonathan Buttram said that white people did not want the back breaking job of catching chickens. A Hispanic will catch 5 times more chickens than a white person.

Produce farmers went to Facebook to recruit workers in their Birmingham Farms to pick tomatoes. People came from the soup kitchens and the streets and halfway houses but none of them were adequate workers. One Hispanic would do 300 boxes of tomatoes in one day. Not one American was able to do that rate of back breaking work. Finally the farmers resorted to getting the prison chain gangs out on the fields to pick fruit and they were lazy to. The prison crews were interested in smoking more than picking quickly. Every type of alternative labor force failed.

Due to its overwhelming failure, Alabama’s lawmakers have been quietly dismantling the tough 56 Immigration law but the damage has been done. Many good workers have not returned. Now it is a  lose, lose situation. The farmer is losing money because they do not have enough workers and the workers have no representation anywhere so they continue to lose a fair wage. Until you have a good answer to solve this social and economic need in America just shut up Donald Trump and Alabama lawmakers who never provided a solution to the problem. They only created more problems for all.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

TV was invented about 65 years ago and our lives have never been the same since. This entire generation has been flooded with new gadgets that we as Americans said we have to have. One of the most recent inventions that has taken over our lives is the new way we prepare our morning coffee. We don’t prepare anything. We don’t even have to clean a coffee pot. Coffee used to be discretionary but now it is a necessity thanks to the easier way we can get a cup of the stuff from a Keurig machine. Pour your cup of water in. Put the round thing of beans in the slot. Put the handle down and there it is all hot too.

The inventor of your instant not so instant powder coffee is a guy who used to work for General Electric in the satellite division and managed to put a few satellites’ on rockets and has them in orbits now. Yeah he is a smart guy, Kevin Sullivan Chief Technology Officer of Keurig Green Mountain also invented the machine. He is now the maker of coffee machines that will brew tea and soup now. He got his start in aero-space and defense. Should it take literally a rocket scientist to make a good cup of coffee? I guess so because it is a good idea and lots of Americans are hooked on their machines.

He had the problem of solving how he could balance the electrical input and the thermal balance in a device so we make sure it is dispensed and a consumer can walk away. The idea of making a cup of coffee a cup at a time started catching on about 10 years ago. It turned out to be a high-tech challenge. Yes, a scientific experiment. Break one apart and you will see just how complicated these machines really are. Yet, it   can’t be complicated for us cranky bears just trying to wake up in the morning.  He managed to make it easy with the closing of a handle and a touch of a   button literally then the magic begins and leaves you with a cup of hot coffee in less than a minute.

Now we have speed and convenience right on our kitchen counter and variety too. There are all kinds of coffee flavors available now like pumpkin spice, mountain blueberry, French toast coffee. Today single serve machines are in one out of every three American homes.  The peculator and the drip machine has been moved to the historic basement. The single serve machine filled the need in us that we didn’t know we had.  The machine that can cost a few hundred dollars has turned itself into a $4.7 Billion dollar business. It is not a cheap cup of coffee but if compared to a Starbucks it is much cheaper without the foam. Last year Americans spent more than $3 Billion dollars on single serve capsules’ alone. Now the controversy is what to do with the millions of pods when the coffee is gone?

There have been environmental concerns about making coffee this way. Keurig has been hard at work to solve   the   problem.  By the year 2020 the company expects to have all cups recyclable. Customers are not deterred by either environmental concerns or price. These days a cup of hot coffee is cooler than ever. What will the invent by the year 2020 that we all just gotta have?

Friday, June 26, 2015

I like Bernie Sanders for President because he is an experienced lawmaker and seems to be honest. He is the longest serving Independent in the United States Senate who is running for President as a democrat. He is gaining popularity daily and is within ten points needed for New Hampshire. Where he speaks they have to find larger places because he is gaining popularity.  It must be because he has the right message from the first time he opens his mouth. Apparently he has very radical ideas.

He simply says that he is going to tell the truth. The truth is that for the past 40 years, the middle class has been disappearing. There has been a huge transfer of wealth from these families to the one tenth of one percent of wealthiest people in the world. The people of this country has said enough is enough our government and our country belong to   all of us and not to just the wealthiest people in America. Is he just going to represent the older men vote because he is an older man?

Being from Vermont, he might be able to lure young voters in because he has a very active internet presence and has many friends on Facebook more than any other in the Senate.  Go to Sanders.Senare.Gov where you can see how aggressive he is reaching out for young people. He wants to tap into the idealism of young people and what they are saying is that we should lead the world in transforming our energy system in dealing with climate change. The Republicans got us into all these wars and forgot to figure out how to pay for them and all they suggest now is new wars.

In Germany and many other countries a college education is free.  Bernie Sanders has already introduced legislation to make all public colleges and universities in this country tuition free. We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. America is not sustainable when so much wealth lies in the hands of a few. He wants to redistribute the wealth to the middle class families.  In reference to ISIS and the problems in the Middle East. Let Saudi Arabia the place that has the third richest Army in the world, the biggest defense budget there police their own region.  We need to stop supplying the world with weapons.

Bernie wants the trade agreements halted and for manufacturing and jobs to remain in this country. 
After all the trade agreements in the past there were still unresolved issues like child labor laws, environmental laws of which there are no laws that these countries follow. The trade pact with 11 other nations , almost a $500 billion dollar thing involving 500 million workers overseas, is an enormous thing to police.  Keep our manufacturing in America and forget about that enormous nightmare.  So far he sounds like my new President.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The newest act to throw his hat into the Republican cast of characters to run in the next Presidential race is good old Donald Trump. Yes we will not need his TV show to find drama from him, now his dramas will be plastered on our nightly news.  He created lots of drama in his first time at bat when he announced at his contrived press conference in one of his buildings. Within ten minutes he managed to insult an entire race of people in this country mostly who are his employees, Latinos. Meanwhile Jeb Bush another Republican in the race spoke in pretty good Spanish to appeal to Latino voters.

It has been three years since the last election where every conservative republican agreed that if they are to win the next election they are going to have to reach out for the Latino voters. Donald Trump opens his campaign by saying that Mexicans bring drugs and crime to this country and they rape American women. Was he at some Latino fraternities? How can he just make a statement like that? He went on to say that Mexico does not send us their best. I didn’t know that America was on some kind of mailing list. 

The speech was off the cuff unsearched filled with inaccurate statements.  He said that economic growth has never been below zero until the last quarter. The fact is that it has been below zero 42 times since World War II. He said that there are no jobs to be had. The fact is that there are 5.4 million openings out there which represents the most jobs available within the last 15 years.  He said we have never beaten Japan at anything. Really? Has he forgotten how World War II ended with a nuclear bomb dropped on them? He looked like a clown up there and the morning after the cover of The New York Post had him in clown face.

Afterwards it was revealed that he paid people $50 dollars to hold up posters and stand there to listen to him. So sad if he is buying votes the first time in public as a candidate. The saddest part was when he said he wants the Mexicans to build a wall along the border to keep them out of the country. Has he learned nothing from Ronald Regan who said tear down walls between people when he spoke about the Berlin Wall? Concrete walls is not the answer. He must have forgotten that even his wealthy family came to this country once as a not so wealthy family and was accepted. The answer is to accept anyone and everyone that wants to be here. They should all be documented and taxed heavily till they get their citizenship. People come here for a better life and are willing to work hard for it. If they act like a fraternity then simply deport them. Problem solved.

Mr. Trump needs to know that he needs to worry now about the Latino employees that just want to spit in his coffee as they serve it to him for offending the entire Latino population in America.  There are 50 million that are here legally and work very hard doing occupations that most people wouldn’t do. They care deeply about this country especially because their country is such a mess. The bad Latinos that he talks about are these good people’s friends and relatives. A million Latino’s turn 18 every year in America and become citizens of the United States. They now become the basis of the new American coalition. They care for this country and alienating an entire race of people will never help him to win a race for the White House. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our currency our money is a work of art. Don Everheart is the lead sculptor for the United States Mint in Philadelphia. People talk all the time about making money but this guy actually makes the money. His designs are on the state quarters and on medals presented to world leaders. It is probably the most unique job in the country since there are only seven jobs like it in the country and they all work in the same building. He has created designs in the thousands.

Most coin designers use computers but not Everheart. He prefers a lump of clay. After he has sculpted his design with a toothpick   sized tool on the tiny piece of clay, his design goes before two Federal committees.  He doesn’t have to abide by what they say but he does take into consideration what they say. He does have a lot of artistic freedom in his designs. The committee likes to see new and refreshing angles and textures.  They want to see something that is indicative of the present. In 1782 our founding fathers knew that their new found democracy couldn’t be truly independent without its own currency.

So, the Mint was born. It was the first Federal building erected under the Constitution. He Mint has improved much since then.  One machine now uses lasers to trace Everheart’s sculptures.  It notes every nook and cranny so it can shrink the image down to scale.  Then they make a stamp using anywhere between 40 and 60 tons of force that stamps blank pieces of metal into the ornate coins we know now. The United States Mint turns out $2.7 million dollars in coins every day.  Thousands of them could be Don Everheart’s designs.  Although no one really knows him, he does put his tiny initials on all his designs usually in the lower right corner. Making money is a cool way to make money.

The first penny that was produced was in 1796 and is known as the flowing hair penny and was twice as large as today's penny. People thought her hair was to wild and unkempt. The wild Liberty woman was being sent back to the stylist throughout the years for a more tame hairstyle. By 1857 she has a headband and her hair is shifted high on her head and the penny srunk to its current size. Lincoln didn't show his face on our penny till 1909. It was the 100th Anniversary of his birth and Teddy Roosevelt thought it would be good to honor his hero. Yes a woman was dumped for a man.

Soon it has been voted on that Jefferson will be dumped off the ten dollar bill for a promenant woman. I wish more people would care about him. He deserves to still be present on our currency. He was a lone man who came to America from the Carribean and who fought for more finance and business in America. I say bring back the $500 bill since everything costs so much money these days. Women would love to see other women on the face of their favorite bill. A $500 note. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

When you get arrested, bail is set and seems to help only rich people. We have become so used to it. It sounds like a simple system but it only benefits rich people. If you are charged with a crime the court may ask for an amount of money as bond that will be returned to you once you show up for your trial.  If you have the money it is no big deal but if you don’t have the money as a possibly innocent person you can immediately be thrown in jail with convicted criminals till your trial which could be months away.

For example, say you are arrested for driving with a suspended license, yes a paperwork problem. The court set bail at $1,000 and your choice is to pay it or wait for your trial in Riker’s Island a maximum security prison. So you don’t have the money. You go to jail even though you pose no threat to society.  Let’s look at the now famous life of the rich millionaire Robert Durst who has been accused of murder in Texas. He had a completely different bail experience. He was told that bail was set at $250,000 because he does pose a threat to society. Mr. Durst simply said,   ”Good-bye money and good bye jail.”  

The problem with all this is that the frequency and the cost of bail has risen dramatically and is disproportionately hurting the poor. In 2013 an analysis of New Jersey’s jail population found that 38% of the total population were being held solely due to the inability to meet the terms of bail. This is crazy! Jail is supposed to be for dangerous criminals not for poor people. What is a poor person’s choices? Many do sit in jail till their trial but that poses even more consequences to their lives and families. Poor people have low earning jobs where if you are absent, you are fired. Poor people live in shelters or transitional housing so that if you are not there for the night, your place is gone. So now the poor person with just a suspended licence who doesn’t have $1,000 has now become jobless and homeless while trying to stay alive in a maximum security prison for about 2 months.
If you are in jail for even just a short while, it can destroy your life. The only other option if you are poor is to plead GUILTY even if you are not. The option there is “plead GUILTY and you are out wait to plead your innocence and you are in jail.” Poor people are regularly choosing to plead GUILTY just to get out of the court house. Now they are guilty of a crime that perhaps they did not commit. That follows your record for the rest of your life now. Now on any new job application you have to check off Yes to the question, “Have   you ever been convicted to a crime?”  Yes, now you have to admit that you are some sort of criminal.

The final option is to hire those crazy wild bail bondsmen. Now these guys promise to pay your bail to the court and in exchange you pay them 10-15% of your bail amount. They will keep their fee regardless of how   your trial goes. So if your bail was set at $5,000 dollars, you have to pay the bail bondsman $750 dollars for doing absolutely nothing. If you don’t show up for your trial then the bail bondsmen hire bounty hunters. The law allows these thugs to do whatever they want to catch you including crossing state lines and breaking laws. There are 18 states where in theory anyone can become a bail recovery agent regardless of education, training or prior criminal record. Now there is the nut job bounty hunter looking for   you too.

  The answer to this mess is to stop watching bail hunting shows on TLC,  The Learning Channel where you learn nothing but get to see humans hunting humans. Often bounty hunters stalk and harm innocent people that never had a bail problem. The answer is to revamp our bail system. Set bail only if you can afford it. There is no reason why the courts can’t give ankle monitors, or call people to remind them of their trial dates once they have determined you are not a danger to society.  We need a system of communication for pre- trial situations. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Who;s your Daddy? Where he at? You ever see him? These are common questions asked from kids to each other on the playground and in schools. In fact in many schools the teacher doesn’t instruct students to go home and remind their parents about blah, blah. They say, go tell whomever you live with at home or who takes care of you to remember blah, blah.  Everyone just cheered Bruce Jenner for killing off his Dad image to his 10 children. Now that he is Katlin can his kids still call him Dad? It is no longer the image of the strong athlete they knew. But it is all just fine somehow in this generation. Truly anything goes. Anyone can fill that Dad position in any kind of family.

I was happy to meet a girl that finally took me seriously,   that believed in me and who wanted me in her life. Most women do not need men anymore. Women are opinionated, intelligent goal driven machines that seem to have their lives planned out. They can have a baby anytime they want to and not necessarily include a man into their lives to have that Dad role to their children. Men are just sperm flowing geysers but a woman is the vessel, the nurturer, the suffering martyr who has to pass a human being through her tiny body,   and if you are lucky enough to have her want your geyser of sperm, want to change her entire life to bear your child that could come out looking just like you, it is a wonderful thing. The cherry on top is when she says she wants you in her life for the rest of your life and she wants you side by side her to raise the most wonderful child in the world.  Your child and you now have a new name DAD.

Many new roles for Dad is that Daddy is home. Mommy can get a better paying job now so Dad is home raising the kids. Dads are   raising   kids that don’t look like them at all and are not from their gene pool but they are being Dad. Some Dads are lucky to be able to get parental leave from their jobs, as much as six weeks off, to spend some time at home with their newborns but many companies in America still do not offer that to their employees. Price Waterhouse is a great company offering Dad paid leave. According to the United Nations, 71 countries offer paid leave for their Dads. The United States is not on that list. The United States also lags behind in the world for paid mothers. In fact we are   one of two countries in the world that does not provide paid maternity leave for the mothers. The other country is Papua New Guinea a small country in Australia. Sounds like a joke but it is a reality.

Congress could care less about American families. There have been some small changes. In 1993 President Clinton signed into law The Family and Medical Leave Act. Or (FM LA). It grants citizens up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and is only offered to companies with 50 or more employees. You also would have had to have worked 1,250 hours in a 12 month period. That leaves an estimate of about 40% of other workers out of luck. Most people can’t afford to take 12 weeks off from work unpaid so they don’t even take advantage of the law. There is evidence out there that seems to indicate that if Dad’s take off from work when their children are just born, they tend to be more in the child’s life throughout the years to come.

A Boston College study says that most Dad’s take off about two weeks. Many Dads fear that even taking off only two weeks may have adverse effects on their careers. There is still a stigma that Dads have to be the primary bread winners for the family. There is plenty of work place pressure to even make a Dad feel comfortable taking a leave from their job for Parental   Leave weather it is paid or unpaid. Daniel Murphy The second baseman for the New York Mets was critic sized in the press for taking off from games. Yet according to another survey 80% said they would be in favor of paid leave for new parents.

This year at his State of the Union Address President Obama who grew up without a father pushed for a vote by congress for paid maternity leave for Americans. The Democrats responded with a proposal called The Family Act that would provide three months paid leave up to 66% of a monthly salary.  California passed the countries first Paid Leave Law back in 2002 offering workers six weeks of paid leave at up to 55% of their wages. It is employee funded through a parole tax. Since then 91% of employees have no problem with the extra tax on their check. No law is going to make a person a better parent but perhaps if there were more Dad’s present in kids’ lives we would have better kids. A 21 year old kid just shot up people praying in a church.  Maybe if divorce was outlawed until kids had a chance to mature less buys would be holding guns making their own poor decisions. So Happy Father’s Day Dad. You earned it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

People used to just want to be equal in everyone’s eyes. Now we got Bruce Jenner a male athlete who wants to be a woman and everyone cheers. We got an educated woman who identified with black people all her life who wants to be black and everyone jeers her intentions and most recently we have young white men randomly killing black people in church just because they are black. What the hell is going on out there? Senator Lindsay Graham thinks the Confederate Flag should still be held high in South Carolina. What the hell? In the transgender world everyone seems willing to accept everyone for whom ever and whatever they believe in. Why is it so different when it comes to race?

There is a woman who built a personal and professional life around her that isn’t who she was born to be. Until her biological parents came forward, everyone accepted that she was black and was a respected black activist who rose to become the President of her local NAACP Chapter the National   Association   for the Advancement of Colored People.  The 37 year old woman Rachael Dolezal was posing as black for most of her adult life. In her youth she was a straight haired freckled faced blond teenager. Rachael went to the historically black University Howard to complete her Graduate Degree and was hired as a professor to teach   African Studies. She is an artist often painting pictures of black people in the struggles of their lives often getting upwards of $10,000 for her paintings.

She grew up with her adopted 4 other black siblings. Married a black man. Her child looks black. She quit her job and since has caused much controversy since she calls herself “transracial” a term no one has   ever heard of or used before.  Recently at a pool party a white policeman was cuffing a young black teenage girl after tossing her to the ground and no one knows her name but when a white woman pretends to be black everyone knows her name. Posing as a race other than your own isn’t anything new. Historically black people tried to pose as white people because of racial discrimination. I guess the trend is shifting now.

We got popular singers like Iggy Azalea who is a very white Australian rap singer who sounds very black and everyone accepts her. Even with the guys like Macklemore who also is white sounding very black in his rap music. He won a lot of Grammy Awards and no one judges him. I guess when it comes to music it is ok for white people to take on black persona's.  Then there is the brother of actress Mindy Kaling who is of Indian descent posed as a black man to get into Medical school. He is Vijay Chokal-Ingam who wrote the book called Almost Black. He hid his real identity for 15 years.

It brings light to a bigger issue. If everyone can lie about their gender or race on an employment application then Affirmative Action will fall apart like a house of cards.  The woman who thought she was white all her life, Lacey Schwartz who is the writer/director of the movie called Little White Lie now embraces that she is bi-racial. Few people ever acknowledge our President Obama’s white heritage and he is often referred as being our nation’s first black President. He certainly acts white. What if he also came out looking white like the singer Mariah Carey who is also bi-racial and looks very white?  We should all go back to wanting to be equal and stop all this racial bias. By the year 2300 we will all be one race anyway just due to the many spices of race in the gender pot.