Saturday, December 31, 2016

My End Of The Year Wrap Up (2016 In Review)

This being my last post for 2016 I thought a few things worth mentioning as I'm prone to do at the end of each and every year. I'm really appreciative the amount of readers almost doubled in the last year. Be that as it may-- the fact remains the amount of comment interaction has not. Maybe people stopped commenting because they are turned off with my views or temperament. Who knows-- It's not like I'm seeking popularity nor confrontations, but it would be nice to hear other people's thoughts from time to time.

Going over the most popular posts many are ones I thought would be less important. Mostly daily fillers between the items I felt would be more of significance. I'm not sure why.

Although I asked this question many times w/o a response-- What most interest you?


Looking Forward Into 2017
Like in past years I will not limit myself on the number of subjects I find interesting. Whether it be local issues, technology, politics, science, entertainment, the environment, history, useful tips or anything else I come across in the next year-- all shall be brought to my readers' attention in the coming days ahead.

Who knows what may or may not be found here in the future. I certainly have no idea where the coming year will take me. With appreciation It's my hope readers of this blog continue to join me in what lies ahead in 2017.



Once again a great big thank you. Here's looking forward to 2017 and whatever it may bring.
LVCI

LVCI Revisits Some 2016 Posts (Part 6)

I decided to take a look back over the 398 posts I made in 2016 over the last few days. Although many weren't the most popular these will be the ones which seemed most significant to me. Some which you might have missed. This the last of my 2016 year in review.



My Grandson Doing His Karaoke Thing

video



Another Partial Clip From Last Halloween With The Band He Hangs With Time To Time
video


Friday, December 30, 2016

Morning Call- Where Credit Is Due

Some have criticized the Morning Call newspaper as being in the bag for the NIZ. However The Morning Call--to their credit--published on December 30, 2016 this article on How downtown Allentown's retail landscape changed in 2016 I think it's a fair assessment as to what's going on in downtown Allentown.


As one can read between the lines few of these businesses met with great success.

More then a number of these businesses moved out of the Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley failing to achieve the successes they expected.

For various reasons neither materialized here nor there. Nor have the city's coffers benefited from many of these NIZ projects' ongoing promises

What Are We To Conclude?


Barack Obama Opposing Israeli Settlements Anti-Semitic?

The Washington Times published, Obama’s refusal to veto anti-Israel U.N. vote ranked most anti-Semitic incident of 2016.

Later reporting in The Times Of Israel-- "President Barack Obama will not allow any further United Nations measures critical of Israel to pass during the remainder of his term, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes promised."

Because of the presidents inaction on the UN measure this has become the hottest issue of the week boiling over into the next administration. There's certainly a lot of passion on both sides of the issue. With all the rhetoric flying around it makes it very hard to dig down trying to find the historical truth. Since neither side are a bunch of innocents it makes the task more difficult.

There are always two sides to every story when it comes to history. Although I'm sure many will disagree-- here are two videos which I feel endeavor to present a more accurate accounting. Some may accuse them of being biased. I leave it to readers to decide for themselves.

Why Americans Shouldn't Support Israeli Settlements In Palestinian Land Abby Martin



Are Renegade Jewish Settlers Ruining The Two State Solution? (2012)




Fun Math- The Year You Were Born


            66
     - Your Age
          + 50

    The Year You Were Born


Donald J. Trump- No More Mr. Nice Guy (Cute Video)





LVCI Revisits Some 2016 Posts (Part 5)

I decided to take a look back over the 398 posts I made in 2016 over the next few days. Although many weren't the most popular these will be the ones which seemed most significant to me. Some which you might have missed. For the next few days consider them as a 2016 year in review of sorts.



This Is So Not PC !



Thursday, December 29, 2016

LVCI Revisits Some 2016 Posts (Part 4)

I decided to take a look back over the 398 posts I made in 2016 over the next few days. Although many weren't the most popular these will be the ones which seemed most significant to me. Some which you might have missed. For the next few days consider them as a 2016 year in review of sorts.



My New Year Resolutions And More

My Personal Resolutions For 2016
NONE
What's the point. I never lived up to any of them anyways. Still smoke, drink beer, curse, read less books then watch TV, don't exercise enough nor eliminated meat from my diet, On second thought yes I do have one. That is not to frustrate myself by making any. Alas I'm certain this time I'll be 100% successful for the first time!


Changes To This Blog
NONE
Are you Kidding. Face it, it's already as good as it's gonna get. If I wanted a better blog I'd have someone else write it. Since that isn't going to happen readers can look forward to pretty much the same garbage in 2016. Why change now?


Best Stories On This Blog In 2015
NONE
All of them pretty much sucked. Hell this post might be the best post you'll read in 2016. This could turn out to be a real time saver for many of my future readers.. You're Welcome.


#1 Reader Of This Blog In 2015
ME


My Favorite Blogger
ME


6 Wishes For Myself In 2016
Grow back a full head of hair. Being able to wear 30" waist pants. Weigh 130lbs once again. Climb the steps to the second floor w/o becoming out of breath. Having $100,000 a year to spend. Having one wish left for six more.





Wishes For All My Readers In 2016
That each and everyone of you I sincerely hope will have a better 2016 then you had the year before.


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LVCI Revisits Some 2016 Posts (Part 3)

I decided to take a look back over the 398 posts I made in 2016 over the next few days. Although many weren't the most popular these will be the ones which seemed most significant to me. Some which you might have missed. For the next few days consider them as a 2016 year in review of sorts.



Greatest Political Speech Never Made
I first posted this on April 13, 2013. It is just as true in it's time as it is today. This is the kind of candidate I wish we'd have speaking these kind of inspirations over the one's we're being offered to choose from in 2016.

Charlie Chaplin in the 1940 movie "The Great Dictator"




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Should Employers Run Credit Checks?

Lehigh Valley Live:
Wegmans workers file class-action lawsuit over credit checks-- "Two Wegmans employees in New York have filed suit against the grocery chain, alleging it ran credit reports on them as part of the hiring process without telling them first."

MY THOUGHTS
Talk about kicking a person when they're down. First off none of this is their bee's wax. There's lots of reasons why even the most conscience person may fall upon hard times. You'd think these would make for more desperate employees who'd show up to the job. Instead-- not to single out Wegmans-- many employers assume these individuals might be prone to steal out of desperation.

What this all boils down to is giving someone a chance to prove themselves for whatever number of days before condemning them. I'm so damn glad I'm at the age where I don't have to deal with these kind of things. In a world where people make assumed judgments against others before these persons' have been given an opportunity to prove otherwise their worth.



It isn't as if these grunts were applying to be directors of the company.

Just some crappy job restocking shelves or rounding up carts to put back in the store.

GIVE ME A BREAK !

LVCI Revisits Some 2016 Posts (Part 2)

I decided to take a look back over the 398 posts I made in 2016 over the next few days. Although many weren't the most popular these will be the ones which seemed most significant to me. Some which you might have missed. For the next few days consider them as a 2016 year in review of sorts.



Food For Thought From Two TV Series

There's lots of junk on TV. Here are some brief clips I've edited down from two outstanding TV series programs which once aired , 'The West Wing' And 'The Newsroom'. Much is as relevant with today's issues as they were when they first aired.



Other then 'Madam Secretary' and '60 Minutes' these type of well researched quality written programs have all but disappeared.

Thoughts?



Monday, December 26, 2016

LVCI Revisits Some 2016 Posts (Part 1)

I decided to take a look back over the 398 posts I made in 2016 over the next few days. Although many weren't the most popular these will be the ones which seemed most significant to me. Some which you might have missed. For the next few days consider them as a 2016 year in review of sorts.



2 Videos From The LVCI Vault




Way back when in May 2007 when I first started to screw around on YouTube I made of a couple of these GTV news video thingies. I noticed this one in particular seemed to be similar to some of the stuff going on in the news today.





video
 




The next is a rock video I pieced together from various clips
video

Hope you enjoyed em'


Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Music Videos (Plus Lots More Stuff)




My Christmas Music Playlist (44+ Videos)


A Christmas Gift Suggestion


A Christmas Video I Made Years Ago
video






A Child's Christmas Prayer For The Poor

"Dear God, this year please send clothes for
all those poor ladies on Grandpa's computer,

Amen."






Sam Harris's Christmas Eve Yule Log Video






Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus?



Have a VERY Merry Christmas everyone!


Holiday Reminder To Pickup U'r Flu Shots



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Can We Make America Great Again?

As They Say Around Here-- No Hess's Department Store Isn't Coming Back
When people speak of making America great again they're speaking towards the 50's (after the war). Indeed America boomed mightily here's why. During the war Europe's factories were devastated. Fighting forces targeted car plants that could manufacture tanks, planes and vehicles which could be used against them. Europe's producers of steel also suffered from bombings. So did the textile and food factories.


I would think it shouldn't be hard to understand why we did so well after the war. The United States escaped all the damages to it's factories that Europe suffered. Europe needed everything to rebuild. Factories from the U.S. were humming along at full steam hiring and producing untold amounts of textiles, steel and whatever else Europe could get it's hands on. We were the only game in town.



Europe purchased these by the United States granting credit. Whether all of it was paid back is not the issue. Every company in America was getting paid to produce these supplies therefore hired huge numbers of workers to produce them.

Herein lies a three fold problem. (1) As Europe rebuilt their factories they bought the latest equipment available at the time. (2) Since our factories weren't destroyed they were still operating with equipment from the 30's and 40's. (3) Thus as more and more of Europe's factories came online they needed less and less of our stuff.

Which brings us to situation we find ourselves in today. Yes we still are a major player, but it never will it be like it was in the 50's. Even if we could brig back every company that relocated outside ours-- these still wouldn't bring back the same number of jobs. If companies were forced to return they (like Europe did) would rely on more automation then the cheap labor in foreign countries they do now. One thing's for sure-- there's no way any would have the need for the amount of laborers required to make things like they did in the 50's.

When we speak in terms of "making this country great again" like it once was in the 50's-- it ain't never going to happen in the same way it once was made possible for us after the war. A lot happened over the last sixty years. Although there's been lots of battles fought none have been devastating to any of the major players since then. This has allowed Europe, China, Russia and a whole host of countries to develop countless factories in global competition with our own. No amount of trade deals, tariffs or embargos can undo the history of the progress made over these past six decades. Other countries can go lots of other places if United States attempts to put the hammer down.

The only way the United States can remain a major player is by outsmarting others with new and more efficient technology then their own. This involves creating new products people want and need. This doesn't necessarily mean cheaper but rather more inventive and better products then our competition.

Another step we can take is keeping our techniques as secret as possible in hopes of preventing knock-offs. It's important to do an even better job at our nation's ports by preventing job stealing knock-off's from gaining entry into this country.

CBS NEWS- December 16, 2016


Turning wind, solar, hydro and waste byproducts into energy can play a further role It's important to find alternative cheaper ways of producing energy as well as more efficient devices powered by these generators.

Buying local can be another contributor.

Government's Role In The Economy
Too many feel the taxes we pay government is wasted. Not necessarily. Going back to the 50's--after World War 2 the United States extended credit worth $51 billion in 1940's dollars. Some of it was paid back. Much wasn't-- however all of it went directly into American labor and companies pockets. Think of it in modern terms as a stimulus package. It fared well for us.

Last year (2015) the United States out of a budget of $3.36 trillion spent $35 billion on foreign aid (just over 1%). Excluding the pallets of loot we delivered in Iraq & Afghanistan as part of our defense supplemental appropriations-- all the rest went right back to the shareholders (taxpayers) in this country in the following ways.



One could argue who should or should not get the money-- but other then those mentioned-- none of this money is magically disappearing. It's going right back here to the good ole United States workers, investors, retirees and so forth. Indeed some could be redirected more wisely into weaker areas that require support to maintain a healthy economic balance.

Too many are arguing for spending cuts at each level of government. These people need to keep in mind this kind of spending is the largest reason why the economic wheels keep getting greased even if not done the wisest way possible in each and every case. It makes no sense constantly harping on how enacting tax cuts will eventually bring in more government revenue and be better for it's citizens.

Let's put it this way. My cable company and utility companies want to generate more revenue for their investors. What do you seriously think they'd do-- lower bills? If this garbage theory were true every year our bills would be going down instead of up. The government can be thought of much in this way. Less income means less going out to taxpayers (government's form of investors) in the form of grants, subsidies and all the other things government helps support.


IN CONCLUSION
No Hess Brothers department store isn't coming back again-- neither are the 50's. Those days are past. We must move on realizing the challenges we faced then are different from those we do now. At one time everyone went downtown to shop. Then malls sprung up all over the place. Such as it is with American manufacturing not being the only place the world shops. Nobody can be forced to shop downtown-- neither can the United States force the world buyers either.


Unless we come up with more creative and innovated ideas to compete much of our nation will be left behind looking like downtown Detroit and the Kentucky coal fields to name but two. Nobody- not even Donald Trump-- can succeed if we don't acknowledge the situation we're in. We can't BS our way out of this one.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Voting Recounts Questions Remain (Cont'd)

"This is the opening ten minutes of 'Hacking Democracy', HBO's Emmy nominated film that proved America's elections can be stolen using a few lines of computer code."


Source: http://www.hackingdemocracy.com/


The point I'm trying to make is-- Jill Stein was prevented from verifying the software used in these machines in all three states-- including Pennsylvania. Here's the only way we'd know for sure everything was kosher...

Springfield, Massachusetts (October 2016)


As far as I can tell-- before the recounts were stopped-- none of these machines were tested in such a manner. Nor were hand recounts allowed.


Here's one more clip in which Allentown, Pennsylvania's voting machines were specifically mentioned..




As I mentioned in my previous post this isn't about Trump/Clinton, Republicans/Democrats but rather whether machines could have possibly been hacked.

Point is we'll never know since forensic investigation into the software itself wasn't allowed to proceed. As such I remain suspicious as to why this wasn't allowed. You'd think everyone from the top down would want to put these doubts to rest by conducting a full audit of these voting machines in a very public way like Springfield had done in October.

If not-- why not?

Criminal Acts That Went Badly




Philly.com (12/17/2016)--
Pizza delivery driver shoots alleged robber
".The man... was shot once in the left leg and once in the right leg."







This so reminds me of this scene from "Boston Legal" a few years ago...


As much as I'm weary of people having a bunch of guns it's always nice to see when it goes really bad for criminals. I realize most of these thugs don't have brilliant minds but did they ever think not all of their intended victims are helpless?


Video Courtesy: "TOMO News"






Some of these jokers should seek a less hazardous profession given how quickly things can turn against them.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Voting Recounts Questions Remain

"In the 2016 Wisconsin presidential recount, Liz Whitlock and her team find an error rate of almost 5% in the optical scanner vote in ward 1 of the Village of Elmwood Park. A similar error rate applied across all of Wisconsin’s 2,976,150 votes – could produce an error of 140,000 votes. Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes."



See also:
Philly rejects forensic audit of voting machines


WHAT ARE THEY SCARED OF?
This isn't about Trump or Hillary the Democrats nor Republicans. It's about the election process itself.

I've been told time again there's no way these machines could be infected if not connected in some way. This overlooks the fact each of these machines had to be loaded with the candidates running for office. Other then hand entered via a keyboard each and every one of these machines used a memory card of some sort to load information. Therein lies the problem. All it takes is one very cleverly designed master program to infect all the rest once these duplicate cards are inserted to list the candidates in each and every machine..





Such would be the same with automatic hand ballot counting machines as well.

This is not to say it happened-- nor does it say it didn't. Voters deserve to know.



Although hand tabulations may take forever-- it's the only way to trust in free and honest election results. Anyone who's been around computers as long as I have know computers will say whatever you program them to do. In-so-much as this election was decided by machines I'll never fully trust the results without fully verifying the software wasn't compromised.

Apparently something these folks and the courts are unwilling to do.

Politicians What They Say & Do...

     .. Are Two Different Things.

George W. Bush-- Campaign 2000



The Issue Of Nation Building...
Iraq Had Nothing To Do With 9/11



November 16, 2003



Still An Issue Boiling Over Into The 2016 Election Campaigns

At the end of the clip Trump shouts about George W. not following CIA's advice.
Now he seems to indicate his own lack of listening to the CIA in recent weeks.



Then on the other hand Trump said in 2003

The point is-- even though Donald Trump may seem like a flame thrower you never know what he actually will do in office. We didn't with George W. Bush nor several other Presidents both before and after the many campaign promises they spoke.

Yes Donald has lots of bluster. Like those before-- what politicians say and do are two very different things. I am concerned about his fiery talk, However looking back 16 years ago I no longer find comfort in the words George W. spoke. Words of a more "humble nation". It doesn't square with the mess he created throughout the middle east our next president in 2017 is still left to deal with.

Will Donald Trump soften on many of his hard issued statements?

He already has on a number of them. Let us hope he succeeds well for the sake of the United States & the world by actions not some of the past words he's spoken in haste. All of us know of certain individuals who's bark is worse then their bite. Let's hope Donald is one of them once in office.



Greatest Voices You Never Heard (Music Videos)



Very early on I tried to help a young singer/composer. I learned quickly there's a whole bunch of singers. What's needed beyond is not just the ability to sing but a whole lot of luck, great connections as well as the ability to compose and arrange great tunes. None of which I could provide.

Fortunately there are opportunities available to young performers today which weren't back then.




A few years ago a close acquaintance tried to audition for 'American Idol'. He found out it isn't as easy as it sounds. He had to sing acapella at the same time as four others among a dozen groups doing theirs all at the same time in a large field. This after judges were exhausted listening to 100's of others who were grouped in this way.

Undismayed he moved to New York. He did manage to find some work. However he found it a much better opportunity to further his education becoming a real estate broker. Today he deals in multi-million dollar properties. A few years ago he returned to the "State Theatre: in Easton for a "Freddie Awards" show in a cameo appearance. Yes he still performs occasionally for fun but relieved he doesn't have to depend on it for a living.

God bless those you see below-- may they have success if they choose to stay in the music field.












Friday, December 16, 2016

Forget Snow Tires This Is Better






PCN Tours- Allen Organ (Macungie, Pa.)

Factory & Museum Tour 2016



We Three Kings - Four Manual arrangement by Barry Holben



Allen Organ GeniSys Voices - We Three Kings Explained


A lot of things changed since I worked "final inspections" in the late 60's. I'd be so out of place-- left technologically behind. All of this is now has gone way over my head !

Might Want To Check Out Tony Bennett Special

Tony Bennett-- 90 years old-- is still going strong. You might want to watch his special coming up on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 at 9:00: PM on NBC.

Guests include-- Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Elton John, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Rufus Wainwright, Stevie Wonder, and more.



Some People Are Good Sports (Fun Video)

Random Parade Leader