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Posts from the ‘Current Events’ Category

23
Aug

I’m Struggling to Understand

I’m struggling to understand what’s going on in this country.  We’ve been dealing with a pandemic for about 18 months and we just can’t seem to get control over a killer virus that we have vaccines for. Nearly 1,500 people died in the US from Covid on August 20, 2021 with more to come if we don’t get this virus under control.

The US has about 330 million people. Approximately 50 million are under the age of 12, which leaves 280 million eligible to take the vaccine. To date, about 170 million people have been vaccinated leaving 110 million Americans age 12 and over eligible for the vaccine. But, they won’t take it for a variety of reasons.  As a result, we are losing the battle by allowing the virus to mutate:  causing more illness and killing people. Read more »

4
Mar

I Am Not Alexa

Just a few short months ago, we were doing simple things – turning the lights on and off, playing music, and shopping on-line – all by ourselves.  But, things changed around the holidays when the cloud-based voice service called “Alexa” entered our home. Thinking her dad would love to have someone turn the lights on and off, give a weather update, or turn on whatever music he wants to listen to, my daughter decided to give him “Alexa” for Christmas.  But, my daughter was also thinking of me. Read more »

20
Feb

Executive Compensation at ERCOT

Most people outside of Texas had not heard of ERCOT (Electrical Reliability Council of Texas) until this past week when the company was slammed for the massive loss of power across the state.

Although ERCOT is considered an independent system operator, the organization is a membership-based tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) (4) governed by a  board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature (who decided decades ago not to allow power to come from outside the state to avoid having to comply with federal regulations that kick in with interstate transactions). In other words, the responsibility to provide power falls upon the management of ERCOT and Texas state officials – not the federal government.

ERCOT’s members (303 as of 12/31/2018) include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned public utilities, transmission and distribution providers, and municipally-owned electric utilities. Read more »

14
Feb

Covid and the Future of Pandemics

It should come as no surprise to anyone that China refuses to give the World Health Organization (WHO) full access to Covid data. There’s no upside for them to cooperate and so, WHO and many of the other scientists who (no pun intended) know that Covid-19 was transmitted from an animal, likely a bat to a human, claim they won’t get the answers they need to understand how this virus erupted and evolved to produce a worldwide pandemic.  But, I think they know. The cause of Covid-19 and most viruses is the elephant in the room that no one really wants to talk about, and so people blame other nations and politicians instead of really trying to prevent the next worldwide pandemic virus.  Read more »

6
Feb

Majorie Taylor Greene is Allowed to be an Adult but Chooses Not to be

The controversy surrounding Marjorie Taylor Greene has become a national obsession over the past few weeks.  Greene, who was elected to Congress this past November to represent District 14 in Georgia has a colorful past (check out You Tube for videos she made in the past few years leading up to her Congressional run before the PR people got to her) that has shown her support for controversial issues, of which there is insufficient space to go into. Read more »

25
Jan

Israel’s Discriminatory Policies on Covid 19 Vaccination

Israel clearly values some lives more than other lives and its no more apparent than in the distribution and rollout of the Cover-19 vaccine in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

Five days after Hanukkah (the 8-day festival of lights that commemorates the Jews rising up against their oppressors), Israel began vaccinating its citizens, which includes Israeli settlers living inside the West Bank and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.

Excluded are the nearly 5 million Palestinians (including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers) who live in the West Bank (under Israeli military occupation) and the Gaza Strip (which is considered by most people to also be occupied by the Israeli military), according to Amnesty International.  How is it that a country who just celebrated rising up against its oppressors exclude Palestinian doctors, nurses, and the elderly in the West Bank (a territory that is not a part of Israel) and the Gaza Strip?  Read more »

12
Dec

The Future of Birthday Cake Candles is Dim

Remember back when we used to eat cake after someone blew all over it?  Man, we were wild….

Have you ever wondered why we put candles on a birthday cake? Many historians believe the Greeks started the tradition to honor the goddess Artemis’ birth on the sixth day of each lunar month.  Another group of people believe the origin of birthday candles came from the ancient belief that fire is associated with power and that evil spirits visit people on their birthday so celebrants surround the honoree and make noise while the burning sticks of paraffin scare the offenders away. Ironically, if anyone blows out the candles on a cake nowadays, the evils of coronavirus are a real possibility.  Which brings me to modern day birthday celebrations: Read more »

8
Nov

The Tortoise and The Hare

I’m not sure how the rest of the American public is feeling right now, but I’m guessing half the population is relieved while the other half is disappointed. This election has been going on for nearly 2 years, and besides being incredibly redundant and boring, the whole process has been a waste of time, resources, and money (Do we really need 2 years to elect a president?). Stupid me thought that come November 3rd, the process would end but it wasn’t until yesterday, November 7th that a winner – Joe Biden – was finally announced.   Read more »

26
Jul

Yoho is a Yahoo

Over the past few days the public has watched and listened to the back and forth discussions about the incident that allegedly happened between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ted Yoho on the steps of the Capitol.  It’s a she-said, he-said kind of moment that goes to the heart of the hatred and intolerance some people have for others who have differing opinions, except that it went too far. Read more »

26
Jun

The IUPA, the IUPA Call Center, and Office Space in Sarasota, FL

The IUPA (International Union of Police Associations) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (5) based in Sarasota, Florida.  A labor union representing the police, IUPA is also the largest police union in the AFL-CIO with an estimated 23,000 members.

From 2005 to March of 2020, IUPA rented office space in Sarasota to house their employees (about 25 over the past few years). Occupancy costs in recent years (based on the Form 990’s the IUPA submitted to the IRS) ran about $400,000-$450,000 annually.

In November, 2019, IUPA closed on a 17,400 square foot office building in Sarasota they purchased for $2.6 million, putting down about $500,000 and obtaining a mortgage for about $2.1 million. In March of 2020, IUPA moved from their previously rented space (1549 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL) to the newly acquired and renovated office space at 5632 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota with the intention to occupy about 10,000 square feet and lease out the remaining 7,400 square feet. Read more »