Jun 18, 2013
Ever since I can remember, my parents have always put some money aside to purchase US Savings Bonds.
In May of this year, my mom got a notice from the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia that one of her bonds was coming due and they wanted to know how to disburse the money. The letter apparently gave some options and also said she could call the Richmond office to discuss those options. Mom called the office and was told that if she filled out some paperwork and returned it to the Richmond office, the Reserve would put the value of the bond directly into her checking account and without her having to wait for a check or anything. In addition, the Reserve would put the money into the account either on June 1, June 2, or June 3, and pay the interest through June 30, 2013 when the bond actually had fully matured.
My mother, bless her heart, is often meticulous in these matters. She wrote down who she spoke with. She wrote down the address of where she was to send the paperwork in Richmond to. (Even though the person talking with her told her the address would be on the forms, mom wanted it written down.)
The forms came and mom dutifully filled them out as required.
As also required, she sent the forms back to a division within the Federal Reserve offices in Richmond and sent them via certified mail.
June 1, 2013 came and not only was the money not in mom’s account, she also hadn’t gotten a confirmation of the forms being delivered.
June 2 came and went.
June 3 passed by sunny and warm but no funds in her account.
June 5th and 6th passed with nothing appearing in her account.
Dec 5, 2012
A friend of a friend and long time reader of the blog is out in the less than cozy world of Denver, Colorado where besides doing all the normal mom stuff, she works in the office of her husband’s trucking, landscaping and snow removal company.
One of the larger jobs the company is involved with is for the Denver International Airport (DIA.) As the airport expands and grows, the new construction allowed the company to bid upon and be awarded a contract to move dirt around the construction site. While the company was not the only company to win the contract, they are on site moving loads of dirt 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On a technical side, the tracking of the dirt loads is pretty interesting. Each truck is given a GPS tracking device which shows the drivers actually moving loads and where they went. At the end of the day, each driver is given a ticket to turn into the company to show how many loads of dirt they moved during their shift. This means that the agency administering the contract and the trucking company both have a record of the number of loads, what the trucks were doing, and where the trucks went during the driver’s work day.
The contract stipulates how much each driver must be paid. This is not something where the company says “we can do the job for ‘X’ amount of dollars.” The government tells the companies how much they must pay the drivers. The pay itself is out of whack with the the going rate in the area.
For truck drivers who are not “over the road” drivers, the normal rate in the Denver area is $15 – $18 per hour. The government demands the drivers be paid $22.40 per hour. Of course, the difference in money comes out of your pocket and mine through tax dollars that are going into the project.
Apr 14, 2012
At 11:40 GMT, one hundred years ago to this day, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic. Two hours and forty minutes later, the ship some claimed as “unsinkable” sank, resulting in the deaths of over 1500 men, women and children.
It is impossible to overstate the effect the sinking of the Titanic had upon society. Some will note the Titanic marking the end of the “build it bigger” phase of the industrial age. Some will note the deaths of men worth billions of dollars. Some will note the discrepancy between the number and percentage of passengers traveling in first class rescued versus those in second and third class.
No matter what one cares to focus upon, the sinking of the RMS Titanic is a seminal moment in history.
It is a moment from which liberals should learn, but will not.
To illustrate, we need only to examine the views and actions of society now, and compare them to the views and actions of society in 1912.
First, as we noted in our discussion on Sandra Fluke, the Titanic pushed back the women’s suffrage movement by at least a decade. When it came to filling the lifeboats on the Titanic, the rule was “women and children first.” Men – husbands, fathers and brothers – stayed back until there were no more women or children at the lifeboat loading station. Then, and only then, did men enter the boats.
The reason was simple: in the age of the Titanic, society protected, guarded and uplifted women and children.
Wheyan Deaver of the Washington Times describes the actions of millionaire Charles Guggenheim and his valet George Giglio on April 14, 1912:
Apr 5, 2012
The start of the professional baseball season is here, and so our “rule 5” lady to the left reflects this time of the year. In case you have forgotten, our “Quick Hits” are short comments on stories that we believe are of note, but don’t work out to a full post.
With that said, here we go….
First, we want to note that our friend and radio buddy Steve Bussey of SteveBussey.com has a post up where he asks a crucial question in the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman case: “was there probable cause to charge Zimmerman?”
The answer is “no.” This goes out to all the people who demand that Zimmerman be arrested (he was) and held in jail pending the outcome of the investigation. While the police have the right to arrest you (and once again, Zimmerman was arrested,) holding you and charging you are different things. In this country the government must have a legal reason to hold a person in jail.
Steve goes into the reasoning as to why the night of the shooting, the police had no such reason.
One of the things that always terrifies us about the government is how inefficient and sloppy it is. For those who always want the government doing more and more, we believe the government is rarely able to do anything correctly, and even worse, seldom cares whether it does or not.
Case in point is the tale of Anthony Garcia, a convicted murderer who received over $30,000 in unemployment checks while sitting in jail. Garcia, friends and family cashed checks for between 2008 and 2010, depositing a portion of the money in the prison account for Garcia, and splitting the rest amongst his girlfriend, his father and members of his gang.
[Spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Capt. Mike] Parker said the unemployment money was “used to benefit a criminal gang.”
“Theft, drug sales and violent crimes are an integral part of the gang culture,” Sgt. Kevin Lloyd of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau added in a statement. “We will continue to go wherever gang members and their associates commit their crimes. Our goal is to reduce violence and solve crimes and that is what we are doing. This investigation is continuing.”
Yeah. Why not continue to investigate how a guy sitting in jail is getting money from the taxpayers while you’re at it.
Speaking of being in jail, the city of Burnsville, Minnesota has managed to lock up the dangerous criminal Mitch Faber
. Faber has since been released:
After two days locked up, a judge agreed Mitch should be released but required him to submit to electronic home monitoring. In Dakota County, that process requires participants — no matter what their crimes — to blow into a drug and alcohol device every time an alarm goes off.
If you are wondering what dastardly crime Faber committed, he was arrested for failing to finish installing siding on his house.
We are not kidding.
Jul 6, 2011
Once again we venture into some topics that are not able to support a whole post, but are noteworthy nonetheless.
First up, Spread the Panic!
Cocoa and West Melbourne police are warning residents to be on the alert after several reports of con artists attempting to scam victims out of cash through email or personal contact.
“We want people to realize this is going on,” said Cmdr. Steve Wilkinson of the West Melbourne Police Department. “It appears that there’s some activity going on in our area right now.”
To illustrate how much there is “going on,” and how timely these warnings are, the article goes on to say,
In one case in Brevard County, callers from Canada convinced two West Melbourne residents to send several thousand dollars to help get their grandchildren out of jail, officials reported. That incident happened in 2009.
It is not that we don’t think that computer scams and cons are a real threat to people. A good friend of ours here at ROH has a step-son that found “true love” on the internet and the woman only needed $5000 to come to this country. Of course, once she got here her father who owned a manufacturing plant in California would reimburse the guy for all the money he spent, but by then, they would be together and their “everlasting love” be clear for all to see. When the kid told his parents, they clued him into the scam and he stopped talking to the girl. He then started to get threatening emails and texts saying that the people wanted money for his broken promises. Because the kid had told the woman a lot about his family, the family started getting texts threatening them. One even said that if they didn’t pay up, they would kill the entire family. That text came from the supposed president of a tile manufacturing company in Miami who “knew people.”
Apr 29, 2011
We mentioned the other day about the “well qualified” Helmut Kohler my City Council has hired to educate the rest of us poor stupid minions on energy and sustainability. In the same issue of the City Newsletter, the aptly named “Beachcaster,” the vice-mayor of the city has an article describing a “town hall” meeting over which he presided concerning “progress” within the city and the “progressive view” of the future. In fact, vice mayor Chase was so thrilled with the idea of “progress,” every time he used the term in his article, he capitalizes and italicizes it. As an example, Chase writes,
On March 3, I had the opportunity to host a Town Hall Meeting where we continued down the path of those early volunteers to discuss PROGRESS. A few of the PROGRESSIVE ideas we shared that evening include:
No less than 17 times in a one and a quarter page article does Chase scream “PROGRESS” at us.
Apr 26, 2011
Years ago I lived next to a lady who was very big on environmentalism. While her passion was noble, her sense of reality and physics was lacking, to say the least. Her first major “activist” purchase was an old time reel mower. My parents had one of these things when I was growing up. Unless you kept it in perfect condition, it was a real bear to operate. So when my neighbor bought a used reel mower, I smiled. I knew what she was going to face.
The mower lasted two weeks before she gave up on it. It was hardly surprising or shocking that she abandoned her environmentalism in the face of cutting a half an acre of Saint Augustine grass in the 100 degree, 80% humidity that is Florida’s weather. What was shocking was that she replaced the reel mower with an old 2 cycle mower than burned and leaked oil. I guess when it came to her comfort and her wallet, she didn’t really care about the environment.
The most interesting conversation I had with her on the environment was on electric cars. She was excited about them and when I asked her where people would get the power to electric car, she said “you plug it in.”
“No no,” I said to her. “You are missing the point of the question. Where are you going to get the electricity from? You are against power plants of all types. So if everyone drives an electric car, where is all the electricity going to come from?”
“From the wall,” she said, clearly exasperated.
Such is the life and times of some people. Electricity and money for “green” projects just come out of some magically, unknown box somewhere.
Which brings us to the Nissan Leaf.
Mar 12, 2011
The Florida Today newspaper has a somewhat heart wrenching story on people who are struggling to pay their water bills.
I understand the plight of people that are forced to either pay a water bill, eat, or have electricity. In a county with a 12.4% unemployment rate, a major industry in NASA laying off people as the shuttle program winds down and NASA’s emphasis shifts from science and space exploration to reaching out to the Muslim world, the area is clearly hurting.
For the record, I am against illegal hook ups and stealing water. I am against not paying water bills.
I am also against the hypocrisy shown by this statement:
The (city of Melbourne) tries to work with customers who are having trouble paying their water bills, city public information officer Mike Moore said. With 17 percent of its customers delinquent on their bills, the need for that assistance is growing.
“The city is willing to temporarily accept a partial payment, in some circumstances,” Moore said. “Some customers are given information about nonprofit organizations that may be able to assist with utility payments.”