ELECTION DAY 2016

October 31, 2016

 

November 1, 2016

 

JANUARY, 2009:  “…I promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.  January, 2013:  “…I promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.  So spoke Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) on those two occasions.  JANUARY 2017:  Who will utter these same words?  And, which of the two candidates, unlike Barack Hussein Obama, is more likely to honor that promise?  Interestingly, BHO also promised the electorate (twice) a transparent Administration, to abide by the rule of law, and to eliminate corruption.  How many readers feel BHO honored these promises?  And, which of the candidates is more likely to …

 

Election Day will arrive in a week.  There are two facts the voters in New York State should be aware of:  most individuals have already made up their mind as to who they will support, and (unfortunately?) their vote will not count since the liberal-leaning electorate will once again insure the Democratic candidate will win.  Despite this, I feel obligated to briefly discuss eleven points that should be of concern to the voters.

 

  1. Election Integrity. The present Administration has used the federal court system to block

and/or overturn those states attempting to strengthen and maintain election integrity.  I seem to remember problems in Philadelphia with the Black Panthers during Election Day 2008 that the Administration ignored.  I believe the election laws should be expanded to require only those demonstrating a reasonable knowledge of current affairs be allowed to vote.  I also believe Trump represents a significant danger to career politicians (and the mainstream media).  And what about the government’s bribes via all the welfare programs (phones, food, free education and healthcare, citizen eligibility, etc.).  Seems our elected officials only seem concerned with their party and the next election.  I just wish that, as recently reported, engineers and scientists have “perfected” lie detector systems.  Can you imagine the effect this would have on BHO, Hillary, Bubba, lawyers, and others of their ilk?

 

  1. Illegal Immigration. The current Administration seems more concerned about illegal immigrants and criminals than law-abiding citizens.  Letting illegal immigrants into the country hurts the economy, drives down wages for lower and middle class workers, increases homeland risks, and brings about change to our country.

 

  1. Global Warming. Scientific and engineering data/information is important.  Conclusions reached by those scientists and engineers whose career and livelihood depend on the need for a global warming to exist is just plain insane.  Approximately 80% of my colleagues in the environmental field with no axe to grind believe there is no certainty that this is a man-made problem.  In effect, it is a scam begin perpetrated by BHO, liberals, Democrats and fanatical environmentalists.  What I do believe is that good things will happen to jobs, our economy, etc., if we allow the country to move to energy independence if there is greater reliance on fossil fuels.

 

  1. I need to personalize this.  There is no need for the working class to pay the health insurance for those who refuse to work or are in the country illegally.  Our insurance rates have gone up dramatically and we are receiving less coverage.  Furthermore, talk to any small business owner and they will tell you that Obamacare is a detriment to business success.  This plan is a perfect example of what happens when governments get into the business of business-related activities.

 

  1. Safety and Security. Appease, appease, and appease, has created massive safety and security problems.  Black Lives Matter has significantly and senselessly worsened race relations.  So has BHO.  Implementing stronger gun control laws will only drive the evil-doers to bombs, chemicals, nuclear options, etc.   The Dallas Cop Massacre by a sniper resulted in BHO blaming the criminal justice system.  The confrontational conduct of blacks has created the so-called “police” problem.  And, the immigration problem and Obama’s senseless early release of hardened criminals has only exacerbated the issue.

 

  1. Government Overreach. Czars?  Executive fiat?  What’s happened to our government and constitution?  BHO has redefined the residency status of millions and negotiated arms control treaties.  It is fair to say that “the legislative authority necessarily predominates.  The other two branches of government should come to grips with this statement”.  Unfortunately, we can expect more of the same with either Trump or Hillary. I believe excessive executive action and executive fiat was simply not in the thoughts of our forefathers.  Bypassing Congress was also not in the cards.  And, ignoring the Consititution – “…the laws be forcefully executed…” – was also not in their thoughts.  Controversial executive actions have been the rule with the present Administration.  Unfortunately, there are those who are committed to changing America although it appears no change is needed.  The Constitution designed a system where conflicts could be resolved by debate(s), and where the decisions of the majority would prevail.  And, here’s something to ponder:  Why does our government have trouble finding documents, delays turning over files and information, and even refuses to turn over files?  Does the promise of transparency BHO promised come into play here?

 

  1. Economic Turnaround. It’s simple.  Unleash our fossil fuel reserves and the economy will indeed turn around.  This includes both coal and fracking.  We have it in our power to release our near unlimited fossil fuel reserves.  However, I really doubt Trump’s claims that jobs overseas will return.  One thing is for certain:   There is nothing that can beat democracy, capitalism, and free enterprise; I’m living proof of this statement since I was born and raised in the slums of New York City.   The liberal’s welfare program (starting with FDR) has successfully lured the vulnerable into a lifetime of dependency via entitlement programs, stranding them in a misery from which there is no escape.  These policies have allowed the liberals to accommodate the vulnerable at the expense of society while moving toward a government with near unlimited power.

 

  1. Foreign Policy. O’Reilly said it best: “Aggressive conduct, if allowed to grow unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”  HBO’s three words describe the foreign policy of BHO and Hillary: failure, failure, and yes, more failure.  Both are not aware of history and both can’t seem to do anything right.  They just appear to be wrong nearly every time and on nearly every issue.  Here’s my summary of their performance:  bumbling, mishandling, total incompetence, and blatent insanity.  We are the world’s last and only hope: evil exists in the world and only a benevolent superpower will be able to contain BHO’s JV team and their ilk.  These two appear willing to accept slaughter, mass graves, etc.  There will be disastrous consequences associated with American weakness.  War is hell but peace can be significantly worse.  Something for those like BHO with a Neville Chamberlain mentality to think about.

 

  1. Un-American Activities. I’m a Greek-American…and proud of it.  But I am an American first.  I love my country and am lucky to be an American.  But, many of my friends, colleagues, and relatives don’t feel as I do.  They simply do not fit into my standard of what I would describe as an American.  For me, Barack Hussein Obama is not an American.  Neither is Hillary.  Or Reid.  Or Pelosi.  Or…We do not need a change in government – what we desperately need is a change in the mentality of those elected to serve us.  We do not need Bubba and Hillary (two thoroughly rotten individuals) involved in government.  We do not need Comey – a BHO hack, running the FBI.  We do not need Lynch – another BHO hack, running the Justice Department (remember her ½ hour meeting with Bubba on a plane?).  I remember BHO describing Lynch as “tough, fair and independent” your author would describe her as “unfair, biased and another BHO stooge”.  It might help if some (if not all) of the above be required to periodically take lie detector tests.  We know for certain that BHO, Hillary and Bubba readings would be off the charts.

 

  1. The Police. For me, the only reason our great nation has not plunged into chaos and anarchy is, simply put, the police.  Unlike elected officials, democrats, and fanatical liberals, the police have stood rock solid in terms of their principles, and refused to buy in to this PC mania and liberal media insanity.  The police can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.  I’m certain a cop will never shoot me because if stopped, I will not be confrontational.  And, another thing, I won’t be carrying a gun.  Bottom line:  stop being confrontational and do not carry a gun and the shootings of blacks by cops will end.  And so, who do you think will support our last defense against anarchy?

 

  1. The Media. There is an organized conspiracy to derail Trump.  And, it’s not just the media.  It’s Hollywood, TV, radio, the Democrats, the Republicans, the White House, plus Obama, Hillary and Bubba and their accomplices, labor, fanatical feminists, the U.N., fanatical environmentalists, Black activists, academia . . . the list goes on.  It is affectively, David against Goliath, or, even better, Trump against the world.  How is this possible when over 40% of the electorate support Trump?  If it’s not a conspiracy, then what is it?  You want proof?  Just check the headlines of The New York Times on a daily basis.  Folks, our government and our country has succumbed to corruption—there’s a cesspool in Washington, D.C. and “things” are rigged; the three keystones and backbone of oversight set up by our forefathers through the media, FBI, and attorney general have disappeared.

 

If there is to be a twelfth issue, it would be labeled remaining issues and would be concerned with qualities our next leader should possess.  Here’s my eight-point list.

 

  1. Understand how to run basic business and apply economic principles in order to efficiently run the government.
  2. Have a track record of pristine personal conduct.
  3. Have a track record of pristine financial conduct.
  4. Approach the immigration issue according to law with compassion without cheating the Latino community.
  5. Understand the role of America in foreign policy.
  6. Be prepared to essentially gut the present healthcare plan and replace it with a sound, intelligent program that is cost-effective to working Americans.
  7. Put an end to this nonsense about a “war on women”.
  8. Understand the need to stop the rampant lying of manipulation and cheating that has permeated both our government and society.

 

What’s the bottom line?  I would vote for Putin or one of the Ayatollahs before voting for Hillary…voting for Hillary is simply insane.  When the Republican primary started, I had Carson on top and Trump 17th.  If there were another primary today, I would have Trump on top.   He is the man – our only hope for a return to traditional American values.  This election is about those who really DO love our country and those who DON’T.  In the final analysis, WikiLeaks proved beyond a doubt that Trump’s claims about Hillary and Bubba were true . . . and, it appears that 50% of the electorate—some of whom have IQs to match their age—plan to base their vote on hearsay comments from Trump’s past rather than their (and their loved one’s) future.  And, it is just a matter of time before everyone will realize that corruption reigns at every level of government-including the once untouchables that include the aforementioned Attorney General and the FBI.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

FEBRUARY 1:          On the Ideal Diet—That Works.

 

 


ON INCOME INEQUALITY II: PROVIDING A CURE FOR INCOME INEQUITY (PART I: REVIEWING THE INEQUALITY PROBLEM APPEARED EARLIER ON JULY 1ST)

August 1, 2016

 

 

August 1, 2016

 

Most governments do not know how to spend capital wisely because they do not understand or consider basic economics.  They treat money as something in a budget to be spent.  There is no consideration whether the expenditure will generate a return of the capital spent.  Even if there were such consideration, there is no mechanism to measure performance or punish incompetence. There are benefits to society if government is small but a lot of downside if government just keeps growing larger and larger.

 

The primary reason for a government to exist is to provide law and order, defense of the country, regulations to insure public safety, regulations for suitable use of land and the environment, a stable currency, and an infrastructure for the common good.  If government limited itself to these responsibilities, then the tax burden on those who work would be quite low. However, most governments go way beyond this primary purpose.

 

Taxation eats away the capital able for job creation and eats away at the spending power of the population.  There are two other options available to governments to operate instead of more taxation.  One is to borrow money.  The second is to inflate the currency and eventually devaluate it.  This is the mode of operation for many governments of the world. But borrowing is very risky because an economic downturn jeopardizes the ability to pay money back and inflation can rapidly increase interest costs which also make it harder to pay money back. Bankruptcy is another solution when there is too much debt but this is terribly painful as many countries have found out.  The United States is a late joiner to this club but it is already seeing much of its capital wasted by uneconomic projects and concepts.

 

The fundamental problem of socialistic government is that there is no desire by those in control to be governed by basic economics.  Money is spent for causes, i.e., reduce poverty, provide welfare, provide pensions, provide medical care, provide jobs, etc. But monies spent for so-called “good causes” usually are not effective because the fundamental cause of the problem is not addressed or solved. The usual result is that problems get worse, not better. Much government money is spent to buy votes and to reward friends and vested groups.

 

There are two ways to reduce income inequality between those who are rich and those who are poor. One way is by wealth transfer. This means taking money from those who have money and giving it to those who have little. This may sound like a noble and wise thing to do on behalf of poorer people but it doesn’t work well. It doesn’t make the poor richer for very long. Instead, everyone becomes poorer except for the elite in government who control the wealth transfer.  The wise thing to do is to create a mechanism whereby everyone who can and wants to work can get a good job (i.e., one that is productive and contributes to capital generation) at a living wage. Almost all good jobs come from the private sector from businesses that make a profit. Of course, some jobs in government are essential for it to carry out its key responsibilities. But “make work” jobs and those created by unnecessary regulations destroy capital and lead to a failing economy; they are not a solution to reducing inequality.

 

If creating jobs in the private sector is the key to reducing inequality, then it behooves us to find ways to maximize the number of people employed in the private sector.  Here are some suggestions.

 

The first priority should be to help young people. If young people are to succeed and lead productive lives, they must have basic skills and have a positive attitude and behavior so they will be worth hiring.  But government must also decrease the costs they impose upon businesses and employees that make it too costly to hire young people and pay them a livable wage.  How can this be done? Suppose that up through age 28, young people would have no deductions from their pay stubs: no tax withholding, no deductions from pay for Social Security or medical insurance. They could take home all that they earn which would help them to get a place to live, pay off debts and to begin thinking about having a family one day. The government would not lose too much revenue because new hires have low salaries. The loss in revenue to government would be quickly made up once the young people are over 28. Then they will begin to pay taxes and have deductions but they will be paid more because they will have gained experience and be of more value to their employer.

 

The second priority must be for government to reduce the cost to businesses for hiring, training and maintaining a young person on the payroll. Remember that every business has to work hard to be profitable. So businesses are very concerned whether a new employee will add to profitability or take away from profitability. Every cost that government adds to a business for paper work, regulations, benefits, litigation, penalties, etc., adds to the cost of having an employee on their payroll and their ability to contribute to profitability. This is especially problematical for a new employee because they have the fewest skills and ability to contribute to profitability.  When government or other factors, such as unions, add too much to the cost to having an employee, businesses turn to automation so they can use machines rather than people. If they don’t, other countries with lower costs will take away the business.

 

The third priority is that government payments to individuals not working must be significantly less (not just less) than what one could earn by working. What is the incentive for a young person to learn a skill or be industrious or responsible if he or she knows they can scheme to get the government to give them more money than they could earn by working at a job?

 

The more people there are who are creating a useful product or service, the better off the society will be.  The more people not working or creating something useful, the poorer is the quality of life in a society. Why are some cities so decrepit and full of crime? Because there are not enough people there doing useful work and creating capital for investment. Instead, too many people in these decrepit cities are skilled at destroying what has been created by others.

 

There is an axiom that every person should understand. It explains where wealth comes from. The wealth and the creation of capital for investment by a society is generated from the sum of each individual’s creation of a useful product or service.  In other words, people who work and do something useful, create a society’s wealth. People who do not produce something useful, consume society’s wealth.

 

A forth priority is that taxes on business profits should be eliminated because this tax directly destroys capital, increases the cost of products that people buy and increases the cost of having workers on the payroll. What do taxes on profits of a business do? Do they make the business more responsible? Probably not. Do they reduce high salaries of the top executives?  Probably not. Do they increase the amount of money businesses spend on lobbying Congress.  Definitely yes. Does it increase the cost of products.  Definitely yes. Does it increase the pressure on a business to cut costs unmercifully to try to maintain profitability? Definitely yes. The ultimate payer of taxes on businesses is the consumer. They pay the tax in the form of higher prices. Politicians try to keep taxes hidden from those who really pay them because you, the consumer, really pay them in the form of higher costs. When I was a boy, a postage stamp cost 3 cents and a loaf of bread was 15 cents. Today costs are 15 to 20 times higher. A major part of this increase is due to business taxation, excess paper work and the extensive printing of new money (another form of taxation).

 

Consumers are led to believe that taxing businesses is a way to shift a tax burden from them to someone else. They are wrong. They are paying the tax anyway. On the other hand, when taxes on business profits are reduced or eliminated, then it becomes easier to pay higher wages to employees and keep product prices from rising. It is a way to reduce income inequality and raise the quality of life for the poorest.

 

Everyone knows that it is desirable in a society for people to find jobs that will provide them enough income so they can survive, raise a family and have a good quality of life.  We often heat politicians claim that they can create jobs. But this raises a key principle. “Creating a job is simple but creating a “good” job is difficult”. What is the distinction?  Once again, a “good” job is one that produces something of value and service or a useful product.  It must be something that someone is willing to pay for. But there is a caveat. If a wage for a job is more than the value it creates, then the cost for a business will rise. The business must then increase its prices or else it will be harmed. If we agree that it is desirable to create “good” jobs, then it means that the more wages that an employee can keep will help the employee and the more skills the employee; and, has makes him more valuable.

 

Bottom line:  A job that is created for the sake of a job but which creates nothing useful but waste and “red tape” hurts everyone but mostly the poor and the young.

 

Politicians use charisma and promises to get you to vote them into power. Some are ethical and honest but many use the communistic “Saul Alinsky” campaign strategy which is to lie like crazy and castigate your opponent unmercifully. These unethical candidates usually promise lower income voters all kinds of freebies and benefits. They may look like a good deal for these voters but the reality is that most of these freebies are so-called Ponzi schemes. This is a scheme where the initial recipients get something good but then the money runs out.

 

It is time to recognize that economics counts when it comes to reducing income inequality.  The poor are not going to be helped in the long term by government spending which wastes capital. The poor will be helped by understanding that capital must be spent wisely to create good jobs and by making it easier for businesses to make a profit and hire the young.

 

I close with a comment on income redistribution.  Unfortunately, income redistribution is an employed strategy for cultivating the favor of large blocks of voters.  In this manner, voters maintain loyalty to those who promise to take from Wall Street and the “evil rich” to support the government.  Since voters with lower incomes have the incentive to vote for higher taxes on the wealthy.  The end result is a smaller tax base that supports a financial burden that increases exponentially with time.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the Nesmith Basketball Hall of Fame

OCTOBER 1:             On the OHI Day IV

NOVEMBER 1:         On “THE” Election

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             One Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

 


On Income Inequity

June 30, 2016

July 1, 2016

 I.  Reviewing the Inequity Problem

 For the past 40 years (WOW!), our family regularly vacations for a week in or around the Easter break at the fabulous Sandcastle Hotel in Sarasota.  During this period, I always make time to visit with my fraternity brother and fellow Cooper Union graduate (chemical engineering) Dick Graven.  Dick had a long and successful career at Mobil, ultimately rising to become Head of all engineering.  Last year, Dick, a prolific writer, penned an article titled “A Cure for Inequity.”

Dick has provided me with permission to use part or all of his article, and after some deliberation, I have decided to provide the readers with an edited 2-part series for the AS I SEE IT Newsletter.   The edited versions are titled “Reviewing the Inequity Problem” and “Providing a Cure for Income Inequity.” This article addresses the first topic.

************

The magic formula for a society to escape poverty is when money flowing from a successful business in the form of profits and employee wages finds its way to start or expand other businesses which also become successful.  In other words, businesses that are profitable create capital for investment.  Profit is the engine that energizes the process.  Profit is like a good virus.  It spreads far and wide to industrialize a society so that it generates jobs, salaries and more profits.  That is what happened in the United States since its founding and it is why it is such an industrial powerhouse.

Communism was once the ultimate political system to accomplish wealth transfer.  It proposed to do this through government control of all the means of producing goods.  Private ownership was eliminated.  All land and all businesses would become the property of government.  All of industry and farming would be controlled by a centralized government through collectives and strict conformity.  Wages would be uniform based upon the communist principle of “each according to his ability, each according to his need”.  This meant that there was no reward for merit or hard work.  Dissent was not tolerated and was punished because “the end justifies the means”.  In others words troublemakers would be eliminated by death or internment because the cause of communism was so noble that any means to eliminate dissent was justified.  Profit was eliminated as a criteria for running any enterprise.  Production quotas were the substitute for the concept of profits.

Propaganda and control of information is an essential weapon of communism.  This political system takes every opportunity to demean free enterprise societies and the concept of profits and/or the wise use of capital.  It is particularly adept at infiltrating education systems to corrupt young minds toward radicalism and class warfare.  Lying and twisting the truth is a common weapon, once again, because “the end justifies the means”.  Sadly, once a communistic society is established, it is almost impossible to return to a free society.  Those in control have a secret police, an army, and a sophisticated propaganda system.  Whenever insurrection brews, it is put down forcibly and life returns to a government controlled environment.  Since capital is always in short supply there is little priority for “doing things right” or improving the environment, preserving the planet, or conserving energy.  The shortage of capital is aggravated by the need to inflate the monetary system to pay off debt.  That, of course, hurts anyone who relies on savings.

It took 75 years before the available capital of the Soviet Union was used up.  The country went bankrupt in 1991.  Russia is the biggest remnant of the Soviet Union and it survives as a police state and a capitalist oligarch.  Profit is still an unappreciated term there and worker productivity and product quality is very poor.  There is no significant competition to give the customer a choice and insure the wise use of capital.  Capital growth and domestic product growth are also very poor.  However, the leaders and the elite of a communist state live very well indeed, even when their people are starving.

A word about China.  The first 40 years of this country under strict communism were a disaster for the people of China.  Tens of millions died due to starvation or persecution.  Now China is more enlightened.  It does permit some private ownership and some free enterprise industries.  Also, the Chinese are hardworking and many are very well educated and skilled.  Still, it is a police state controlled by a privileged elite that often spends capital recklessly and unwisely.  They could face very severe economic problems in the future.

Socialism is a less militant form of Communism.  This political system now recognizes that government run businesses are not a solution to create prosperity so instead it relies on massive government and massive control of free market businesses.  Socialist governments are very large and very inefficient.  They consume a great deal of the wealth of a country.  As per Greece, and to lesser extent in the United States, government workers are seldom fired for incompetency and it is difficult to reward merit.  There is little accountability for misspending, projects that go awry, and gross inefficiency.  Pensions and benefits are very generous.  As a result, taxes are very high.  The goal of socialism is to maximize social benefits to its citizens while giving power and benefits to its elite and its bureaucracy.  Helping businesses to be profitable or using capital wisely is not a priority of socialism.  Instead, tax rates on businesses and individuals are often so high as to be confiscatory, and raising taxes further makes the economy falter and does not generate additional government revenue.  The expansion of social benefits can become so great that socialistic societies often must borrow vast sums of money because government revenues from taxation are insufficient.  This created debt eventually leads to bankruptcy, currency devaluation, and poverty for its people.

Communism and socialism fail because they do not appreciate the importance of capital and the essential need to use it wisely.  Most people today are unaware of this fact.  A society that wastes too much of its capital with no way to replenish it will eventually fail.  Borrowing money may keep it going for a while but eventually debt will get so high that the day of reckoning comes and the country goes bankrupt.  Where is there proof of this statement that wasting capital leads to the demise of a society?  The proof is all around us.  It is demonstrated by the failure of societies which have taken available capital and spent it as if it were free money with no consequences as to how it is spent.  Consider the poverty of Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela and other heavily socialistic countries.  Capital in these countries is just something to be squandered.  Greece has done the same thing and its people are now facing unpleasant remedies and difficult times.

Communist and excessively socialistic countries demonize free societies that are concerned about sustaining capital and profits.  They do so because societies that do appreciate the importance of capital and profit, such as South Korea and Singapore, make communistic and socialistic societies look very bad by contrast.

In the United States we have been conditioned by the media and leftist propagandists to react to the words capital and profit as something bad.  The media often needs a bad guy in their stories so who can they choose?  It is not politically correct to choose a nationality or a race or a country or a religion or an “ism”.  So why not make business people into the bad guys who want to destroy the world.  How many business people do you know that actually have tried to destroy the world? None that I can think of.  However, I know of many dictators and nations that have tried to conquer others.  I know of many businesses that were destroyed by governments but I know of no governments that were destroyed by businesses.  The idea that all businessmen are just greedy souls trying to make outrageous profits is absolutely wrong.  Any successful business knows that it must act in the interests of its customers first – otherwise, it soon will not have customers.  This not true of government.  Government is a monopoly.  They don’t have to be nice to customers because their customers have nowhere else to go.  It is true that businesses can also misuse and divert capital and profit.  But this abuse can be and should be controlled.  The big problem is that governments are the major misusers of the capital derived from profits.  Meanwhile, the media keeps condemning businesses as the source of the problem.

There are many other things that are needed for success.  Here is one of the most important things that people must realize is that no society can elevate itself from poverty unless capital for investment is treasured, valued and used wisely.  It is only investing capital wisely that a society can create the products and services that are vital for creating a civilized, high standard of living society.  Obviously, just having capital available to start or expand a business is not all that is needed to make a business profitable.  There are so many other things that are needed for success.  Here are some of the most important:

  • There must be adequate numbers of people willing to work and they must have skills and knowledge that are useful and appropriate.
  • There must be law and order, plus honesty and truth.
  • Money must have a stable value.
  • There must be an incentive to work rather than not to work.
  • Innovation, creativity and efficiency must be encouraged.
  • Government must not stifle business through excessive taxation and/or regulations, or siphon off business capital funds by intimidation, bribery or confiscation.
  • Government must provide or allow adequate infrastructure so businesses can function efficiently.

These attributes of a society do not occur by chance.  Society must be made aware that these items are important if inequity is to be addressed.  It is up to parents, schools, government, religions, media and all leaders to teach that these are the attributes that create a successful society.

Visit the author at:

http://www.theodorenewsletter.com or on Facebook at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

AUGUST 1:                Providing a Cure for Income Inequity II

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the Nesmith Basketball Hall of Fame

OCTOBER 1:             On the OHI Day IV

NOVEMBER 1:         On “THE” Election

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             One Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIV

 


ON THE EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

April 30, 2016

 

East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception.  Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget.  Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget.  Why?  Two reasons come to mind:  (A) Waste and (B) Senior Citizen Exploitation.

 

A comment for each of the above two concerns.

  1. Waste.  Here are the facts as best as I can ascertain.  (The District has a long-standing policy of ignoring FOIL requests.)  The annual per capita student cost is approaching $35,000.  The student teacher ratio is below 10:1.  There are over 21 secretaries!!  Teacher absenteeism remains a problem.  Add to this waste the failure of some students to attend the college/university of their choice, the lack of preparedness of some of the students for post-high school education, and the continued decline of the District’s national and local ranking.  Why has the waste situation worsened?  Once again, here are the facts.  When enrollment increased, the teachers and their union convinced their puppet Board and indifferent Superintendent that there was a need to hire more teachers and administrators (guidance counselors—they are still a joke, an assistant principal, etc.).  Now that enrollment has decreased, the add-on positions have either been retained or replaced . . . not eliminated.  No doubt some of you remember when Gordon argued for a 3rd secretary . . . and got one !*!?!
  2.  Senior Citizen Exploitation. Once again, here are the facts.  Senior citizens are required to pay for the education of students of other District members.  They are also required to pay for all additional accommodations provided these students.  In effect, they are paying for services they do not receive and have no say in the matter.  I believe this is borderline criminal.  Remember that despite the voting process seniors are in the minority and thus have no say in this matter.  Add to this is that the beneficiaries of this exploitation have refused to correct the injustice.

 

One could expand on both the above two issues but it would be a “waste” of time.  However, since I am often accused of complaining and not offering any remedies, I will now propose a solution to both problems.  So here goes.

 

  1. Waste.  Provide outside companies/individuals/consultants the opportunity to review the overall operation of the District from both an academic and financial perspective, and then provide recommendations on how to reduce/eliminate the waste.  The suggestions would be acted on only if approved by an omniscient individual/group (or the equivalent).  Half the savings of the first year would be provided to the reviewing entity.  Can you imagine the field day some of these efficiency experts would have?  Keep in mind that this was recommended earlier during the Kushner/Zatlin/Fiorello era (when the Board was really concerned about waste) and was naturally flatly rejected by the union.  Why?  They knew better than anyone about the rampant waste.  After all, eliminating waste is a win-win situation for parents, school children, and seniors.  Remember that the elimination of waste will improve the QUALITY OF EDUCATION and increase PROPERTY VALUES.
  2. Senior Citizen Exploitation: My recommendation here is not only relatively simple but also relatively harmless.  Reduce the school tax of all eligible senior citizens (≥65 years of age) by 10% the first year, 20% the second year, to 50% of the tax the fifth year.  Potential further reductions could be discussed following the 5th year of reductions.  I checked with the Village office and was informed that 15.5% of the taxpayers are senior citizens.  Thus, my proposed action on senior tax reduction would increase the school tax burden on “non-seniors” by approximately 1.5% each year.  Now, that doesn’t sound that unreasonable to me.  The problem is that it is sure to be unreasonable to “the exploiters.”

 

I also feel it necessary to provide the reader with an abbreviated review of the present state of the EWSD.

 

Elaine Kanas, Superintendent of Schools:  Successfully misrepresented herself during the interview process for the job of Superintendent.  Kamberg and his crew chose not to vet Kanas; however, four of us did their job.

 

Mark Kamberg, Board President:  I trust him as far as I could throw him.  Really.  This guy is not to be trusted.

 

Robert Fallarino, Board Vice President:  Betrayed some of his followers earlier when there was an attempt to correct the EWSD abuses/waste.

 

David Keefe, Board Trustee:  A career union hack who is there to only serve the union and his family.  Continues to represent the retired teachers and their union at the state level . . . an inexcusable conflict of interest that has been ignored.  According to my files on Keefe, I once confronted him about the duplicity . . . and he laughed at me.  Face it.  He is not concerned about the best interests of our community.

 

Barbara Stone, Board Trustee:  An absolute nonentity who knows about as much about education as my left toenail.

 

Leonard Hirsch, Board Trustee:  Where did he come from?  I’ve got nothing in my files on him.  Another Kamberg stooge?  Has he done anything to correct the abuses and reduce/eliminate the waste?

 

Sean Feeney, Wheatley Principal:  I believe he is one of the “principle” causes for the post-high school woes of some of our graduates and the District’s decline.

 

PTO:  An absolutely comical organization that has been successfully duped by the teachers and their union.  It continues to serve the best interests of the teachers’ union at the expense of both the school children and taxpayers.  I’m not aware of the PTO every questioning the waste and senior school tax exploitation . . . and I doubt they ever will.

 

 

What about the budget?  Here is my take on it.  I found myself aggravated and annoyed during a review of the budget.  They didn’t make it easy to find, there are numerous omissions, and it often didn’t make sense.  They would be run out of town if they were out in the business world.  In effect, I couldn’t figure out what they were doing and you can be certain that is the way they want it.  There was nothing on balances and reserve funds.  High school information (and for good reason) was particularly confusing.  Enrollment information was missing.  It appears 3 million dollars were not spent this year, leaving one to wonder why there is a tax increase.  There is a family and counseling science (!?I!) high school teacher being paid 91K; what the hell does this person do?  The aforementioned North Side Assistant Principal has been replaced by an Interim Assistant Principal.  There are now three (no longer one) psychologists—one at every school—costing 134K, 102K and 138K; one can only wonder what they do all day.  There is a substitute clerk (20K) for secretaries (I suppose); would you call for a substitute if your secretary was out?  If I could dig in more, there would certainly be more flagrant waste.

 

Is this not a sorry state of affairs?

 

No doubt many of the parents are aware that there is near universal agreement that the teachers’ unions are destroying education in our country.  Although it is worse elsewhere, Long Island school children have also suffered with the selfish abuses perpetrated by the unions.  Nowhere is that more true than in the EWSD where many of the school children have been deprived of the opportunity to achieve their true potential, primarily due to the programs at Wheatley.  The parents have Kanas, the Board, the union, the Wheatley principal, many of the teachers and (of course) the pitiful PTO to thank for this unfortunate state of affairs.

 

Here is a belated New Year’s resolution:  My hope is that responsible individuals in the education community will band together and start an organized campaign to awaken America to the abuses being perpetrated by the teachers’ unions and many of their members.  It would certainly help in the EWSD if parents/taxpayers wised up to the negative changes that have occurred in recent years; it was the Bergtraum/Israel era that started the EWSD’s decline.  And unfortunately, the present School Board/Administration/PTA troika are content to allow the exploitation of both the taxpayers and schoolchildren to continue; in effect, the EWSD is being run for the teachers, not anyone else.

 

Back to the above two recommendations:  Any chance either of the above two suggestions will be taken seriously and acted upon?  I guess you know the answer to this question.  That’s why it’s okay to vote NO on the budget on May 17th.  I would also issue a call to members of our District who are concerned about taxes, seniors, and (most importantly) schoolchildren to consider running for the Board in the future.  I hate to put it this way, but almost anybody would be better than what we have now.  And maybe—just maybe—the Board will stop ignoring complaints and listen to all members of our community; their confuse and/or ignore policies need to end.

 

P.S.      For Wheatley High School readers:  I attended a party this week for my student’s 25th anniversary of teaching at Manhattan College.  I kissed her on the cheek.  TWICE.  Now I’m waiting to see if any fines, penalties, or charges are going to be brought against me.

 

Visit the author on Facebook  at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

JUNE 1:                      On Barack Hussein Obama V

JULY 1:                      On Financial Inequity


ON HOW TO WRITE A BOOK … AND PUBLISH IT!

January 31, 2016

To begin with, why would anyone want to write a book?  Well, it depends: is it a biography, autobiography, historical novel, technical work, workbook, how to get rich, a guide to starting a business (as several of my students are planning), a medical book, a basketball coaching book (as with my recent Basketball Coaching 101 work), etc….etc…?  The reason for writing and publishing a book will vary with the individual.  For most of us simple folk, it boils down to one or a combination of the following 10 factors:

 

  1. Ego
  2. Provide a written document for family
  3. Provide a written document for friends
  4. Make money
  5. Keep busy
  6. Attack the status quo
  7. Get retribution
  8. Waste time
  9. Waste money
  10. Express your opinion

Irrespective of the subject matter and your interests, the probability of getting a traditional house to publish your book is close to ZERO!!  Alas, there is hope.  Today, anyone can SELF PUBLISH…and at a cost as low as $150.  Yes, the number is correct.  Not $1,500.  Not $15,000.  But $150.

 

For me, the reasons for my 105 technical books were (1), (4) and (5).  For my BASKETBALL COACHING 101 book, it was (1), (2), (3), (5) and (10).

 

Back to the main theme of this article.  This is obviously a 2-part piece.  First, how does one write a book? And second, how does one publish the book?  Here is what I have to offer on each of these questions.

 

On to one of the main theses of this article:  how does one write a book?  You have to have a strategy (or plan) as you move forward towards publication…and this will vary for each of us.  Here is what I have drawn from my notes:

 

  1. Decide on a title.
  2. Prepare a Table of Contents.
  3. Write the Preface.
  4. Write the Introduction (optional).
  5. With reference to (2), set aside a folder for each chapter.
  6. Research material (where applicable) for each chapter and fill the folder with notes, references, written material, etc.
  7. For each chapter, decide on Section headings, e.g., Introduction, Early History, Recent History, . . . , References.
  8. Gather material for each Section.
  9. Write the first Section of the chapter.
  10. Following the procedure in (8), write the remaining Sections of the chapter.
  11. Following the procedure in (5) – (10), write the remaining chapters.
  12. Carefully edit the manuscript.
  13. Carefully proof the manuscript prior to submitting it for publication.

Confusing?  Contact me at www.theodorenewsletter.com and I’ll make every effort to get back to you.

 

I leave you with this very important piece of information.  Any government publication is in the public domain.  This means that you own it and may use it in any manner you deem fit.  You do not even have to reference it although the professional and ethical thing is to do so.  Naturally, anything you have written in the past also belongs to you.  You might also consider submitting your manuscript to the Copyright Office ($40), but I haven’t recently.  If you need help writing, proofing, editing, publishing, etc., your manuscript, I suggest contacting my editorial consultant,  Rita D’Aguino at:

 

RDAQ Publishing Consultants

(646) 418-6678 ©

rdaquino515@gmail.com

 

She has proven invaluable to me for several publications.

 

So, now you have written your book.  What’s left is to publish it.  As noted above, forget about a traditional publisher and instead self-publish which involves the Print on Demand (POD) approach.  That’s what I did with my Basketball Coaching 101 book and it was a terrific experience.  I would tell you about that experience but there is something better available.

 

I recently became reconnected – after nearly 60 years – with Neal Gillen, an old basketball nemesis from my coaching days.  Shockingly, Neal graduated from robbing cars at age 16 – to an immensely successful career in politics and business.  Although I can detail my experience in POD, here is what I recommend for prospective authors.  Neal very recently published a book on Amazon titled How to Publish Now.  His book (back cover) does the following:

 

DEMONSTRATES how to publish efficiently at minimal cost.

 

DEMONSTRATES how to properly prepare your manuscript for publication.

 

REVIEWS over 25 Print on Demand (POD) publishers that specialize in self-published books.

 

REVIEWS the services offered by these POD publishers.

 

COMPARES the costs and benefits of those services.

 

ALERTS you about the services to avoid.

 

SUGGESTS appropriate publishers for your book.

 

SHOWS how to utilize social media and the Internet to market your book beyond your personal universe.

 

Furthermore, here is his Table of Contents:

 

Chapter 1:       Introduction

 

Chapter 2:       The New Publishing Landscape

 

Chapter 3:       The Journey to Publication – Getting it Done

 

Chapter 4:       The Self-Publisher is a Publisher

 

Chapter 5:       Your Business Plan

 

Chapter 6:       Overseeing the Process – Preparing for Publication

 

Chapter 7:       From Manuscript to Book

 

Chapter 8:       Selecting a Publisher

 

Chapter 9:       The POD Publisher

 

Chapter 10:     What Do They Offer You?

 

Chapter 11:     Comparing the POD

Publishing Packages

 

Chapter 12:     Caveat Emptor on Marketing Services

 

Chapter 13:     The Factors That Will Determine Your Choice

 

Chapter 14:     Analyzing the Critical Cost Factors

 

Chapter 15:     Analysis of Potential Profit or Loss on Publishing, Purchasing and Selling

Of 100 Books From Selected Publishers

 

Chapter 16:     Decision Time

 

Chapter 17:     Marketing Your Book

 

I close with this.  If you are considering writing/publishing, Neal’s book is an absolute must…an absolutely terrific bargain at $10.95.  And believe me, you too can write and publish–trust me; it’s not that difficult.  If you need help here, I do suggest you contact Rita.

 

So there you have it.

 

Visit the author on Facebook at Basketball Coaching 101.

 

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

MARCH 1:       On Random Thoughts XXIII

APRIL 1:          On Financial Inequity

MAY 1:             On the 2016 East Williston School District Budget Vote


ON BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA UPDATE V

October 1, 2015

October 1, 2015

 

I’m tired of writing long-winded articles in traditional format.  Since this article is concerned with Barack Hussein Obama (BHO), I decided to check the notes in my files on BHO.  Below is what I’ve adding since the previous article – Barack Hussein Obama IV – that was posted onto this newsletter in late 2014.  Here are a handful of “recent extracts” that directly apply to BHO.

  • I can say, with absolute certainty, that lying is a way of life for BHO.  And The Hill.  And, of course, Bubba.
  • BHO unveiled his first major federal regulation on “fracking” five (5) months ago.  There is no end to the stupidity of this guy.
  • I don’t think BHO knows the difference between a “hand up” and a “handout”.
  • I feel BHO has set our nation back 20 years.
  • I still maintain that BHO is a racist and stoking racial animosity.  His true feelings can be found in his indifferent position on whites killed by blacks and blacks killed by blacks, and his outspoken position whenever a black is (almost always justifiably) killed by a cop.  He has nothing to say about the former and everything to say about the latter.
  • Over 150 years ago, Blacks in America were slaves to the plantation owners.  It seems to me that today, many have become slaves to the government because of their dependence on entitlement programs.
  • Although this may sound hard to accept, I believe that Hillary will win (if she runs) because of the women’s vote.
  • You heard it here first – I predict Michelle will divorce this egomaniac soon after 2016.
  • There is no question that Debbie Wasserman Shultz of the DNC is as dumb as Biden, Pelosi and Barack.
  • I’m still trying to figure out if Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden are dumber than BHO.
  • A side headline in the 10/22/14 NY Times read “A Steady Loss in Confidence”.  How would one know from the headline that the article was essentially based on the confidence issue associated with BHO?
  • I think The Donald is good for America, but not as President.  He is a big boy who can dish it out but seems to have some problem when he’s on the receiving end.  I hope Trump keeps dishing it out and the media keeps returning the fire.
  • The Donald did a great service to our country.  The first debate in August helped to open the eyes of those individuals brainwashed by the liberal media as to what is really going on in America.
  • How dumb can the American public be?  One recent poll claimed that Barack was doing a good job!  Ouch!
  • Any chance Barack’s Administration will attempt to analyze the effect environmental rules, regulations, and laws have on businesses, society and the environment?  How about reviewing them to ensure clarity and reduce the conflicts between them?
  • I think it is tough to decide on the merits of the Iran nuke deal.  We have a choice of believing Barack or believing the Republicans.  Given that Barack is dumb, a liar, untrustworthy, un-American, and an egomaniac, the only intelligent and rational choice is to believe (ugh!) the Republicans.
  • I don’t think Barack is a communist.  But he unquestionably is a socialist, even though it has never worked since The Big Bang.
  • Seems to me that the liberals/democrats have turned away from democracy (as per the founding fathers) and capitalism.  I can’t figure out why, since it has worked successfully for nearly 250 years.
  • Most successful people, in discussing their career, stress family values, hard work, and love of our great nation.  Anyone ever hear Barack talk about any of the above three points?
  • What is Barack’s magic formula for a society to prosper and have a good quality of life? “Take from the rich and give to the poor,” and “it is the duty of the government to provide for our needs.”  Unfortunately, this populism strategy always accomplishes the opposite of its intent – it is an unalterable fact of economics.
  • It was approximately 2,150 years ago that Publitius Syrus wrote in his classic work Maxim: “Pardon one offense, and you encourage the commission of many.”  Can anyone relate this to the non-existent immigration policy, mass murders of Christians in the Middle East, condoning sanctuary cities, the war on women in the Middle East, Syria’s “red line,” the refugee chaos in Europe, the Iran nuke deal, Holder’s conduct as AG, etc.”
  • I’m trying to get a handle on how many people (including women and Christians) have suffered and/or died because of the weak-kneed liberal policies of BHO.
  • My vote for Loser and Enabler of the 21st Century is BHO.
  • How in the world can 42% of potential voters think that BHO is doing a good job?
  • BHO obviously doesn’t believe there are two sides to police and community relations.
  • BHO and I agree that “war is hell.” But, does BHO understand that “peace at any cost can ultimately (as in the past) be significantly worse than war.”
  • Have I gone off the deep end?  Every now and then I find myself comparing Churchill to BHO. Ugh!

Finally, can the reader guess who swore under oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United State” …. TWICE!!!

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative)

NOVEMBER 1:         On Paying Student-Athletes III

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2015-16 Season

JANUARY 1:             On How to Write a Book


ON PURELY CHASTE, PRISTINE AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXII

August 30, 2015

Once again, here is another of the “random thoughts” articles.  These are easier to write and appeared to be enjoyed by the readership.  So, here comes 20 of the random variety.

 

  • I’m convinced that cooking over burning charcoal can’t be good for your health.  The meat is exposed to emissions that contain unburned hydrocarbons, including small quantities of carcinogens.
  • In football, it seems that every time the quarterback changes the play at the line of scrimmage, it’s a running play.
  • How in the world can 40% of the electorate feel that BHO is doing a good job?
  • I maintain that the best program on TV is “The O’Reilly Factor”.  It’s informative, hard-hitting, interesting, and entertaining.  Nonetheless, I’m still annoyed that O’Reilly failed to acknowledge my dedication to him in one of my recent books.
  • Something has to be done about the lack of productivity of civil servants.
  • Who would you rather have running the country – a liberal or conservative – if you are here illegally?
  • Who would you rather have running the country – a liberal or a conservative – if you are a criminal?
  • Who would you rather have running the country – a liberal or a conservative – if you and/or your family may be harmed by evil individuals?
  • I’m still trying to get an estimate on how many millions of people suffered and died because of the weak-kneed liberal policies of Neville Chamberlain.
  • I’m trying to get a handle on how many people have suffered and died because of the weak-kneed liberal policies of BHO.
  • I’m still trying to figure out who is more corrupt and inept – the NCAA or NYRA.
  • I’ve often commented on how dumb Obama is.  But the two dumbest individuals in government are Nancy Pelosi and (especially) Joe Biden.
  • People are now finally coming to grips with the corruption within the NCAA.  The recent findings of the phantom programs, inflated grades, no-show courses at the University of North Carolina for the past 20 years is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • A side headline in the 10/22/14 New York Times read “A Steady Loss in Confidence”.  How would one know from the headline that the article was essentially based on the confidence issue associated with Obama?
  • Prior to leaving for an engagement of sorts, how many times has your wife commented, “You’re not going out dressed like that, are you?”
  • My vote for Man of the 18th Century is George Washington.
  • My vote for Man of the 19th Century is one the pioneers who settled the West.
  • My vote for Man of the 20th Century is Winston Churchill.
  • My vote for Loser and Enabler of the 21st Century is BHO.
  • Have I gone off the deep end?  Every now and then, I find myself comparing Winnie to BHO.  Ugh!

 

Enough?  See you again in 6-12 months.

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative)

OCTOBER 1:             On Barack Hussein Obama Update V

NOVEMBER 1:         On Paying Student-Athletes III

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2015-16 Season


ON ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

August 2, 2015

Well, what about environmental matters? I, for one, am anti-environmental…well, sort of. I’m actually anti-environmentalists. These misguided fanatics have gone nuts. It’s so bad that part of our state is considering seceding from New York due to Cuomo’s idiotic fracking policy. But then again, am I qualified to pass judgement on environmental matters and the USEPA? You be the judge, but I was employed (one year) and served as a consultant to the USEPA (for thirty-eight years).

Here is where we are today. The air has never been cleaner. The water has never been cleaner. The land has never been cleaner. Period. End of report. Conclusion: environmentalists no longer have anything to hang their hats on. But, wait! They have today set out to cripple capitalism, American businesses, and the American Dream. Bad enough? Here’s more. Thirty-five years ago, our environmentalist friends (they are actually our enemies) construed that the Earth was cooling and there was a need to, once again, rally the troops against the new enemy on the block – global cooling. But, wait! The Earth is not cooling. The Earth is actually warming. Finally, they have a cause to create havoc. But, wait! The Earth is not actually warming. But, wait! The Earth is undergoing climate change. Another opportunity to rally the gang for yet another environmental disaster facing mankind. But, wait! Many of the climate changes occurring today also occurred in past. What to do? What the hell. We can still lie, manipulate, deceive, fabricate, etc., since most of the electorate aren’t that bright. In fact, they’re dumb. No problem. Full speed ahead. Keep the donations and support coming in. I seem to remember that someone once said something to the effect that, “you can always convince a sucker of anything.”

So there are two environmental problems (there are, of course, more) vexing your author: global warming/climate change and the USEPA. Each is addressed separately below.

The “greenhouse effect” is a phrase properly used to describe the increased warming of the Earth due to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases, called greenhouse gases (GHGs). Just as the glass in a botanical greenhouse traps heat for growing plants, GHGs trap heat and warm the planet. The greenhouse effect, a natural phenomenon, has been an essential part of Earth’s history for billions of years. The greenhouse effect is the result of a delicate and non-fixed balance between life and the environment. Yet, the greenhouse effect may be leading the planet to the brink of disaster. Since the Industrial Revolution, the presence of additional quantities of GHGs may be threating to affect global climate and the predicted effects of this increase are still debated among scientists and engineers.

The greenhouse effect works as follows. The energy radiated from the sun to the Earth is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, and is balanced by a comparable amount of long-wave energy emitted back to space from the Earth’s surface. Carbon dioxide molecules (and GHGs) absorb some of the long-wave energy radiating from the planet. Because of the greenhouse heat trapping effect, the atmosphere itself radiates a large amount of long-wave energy downward to the surface of the Earth and makes the Earth warmer than if warmed by solar radiation alone. The GHGs trap heat because of their chemical makeup and, in particular, their triatomic nature. They are relatively transparent to visible sunlight, but they absorb the aforementioned long wavelength, infrared radiation emitted by the Earth.

Some believe that the warming of the Earth over the last 100-150 years is part of a long-term, natural cycle that has little to do with the production of GHGs. Many remain unconvinced that the accumulation in the atmosphere of GHGs is concrete evidence of any rise in the average temperature, explaining that any warming of the Earth in the last one hundred years is better explained by the variation in natural climate and solar activity. According to this theory, the most probable source of global warming appears to be variations in solar activity.

The amount of solar rays reaching the Earth is controlled by three elements that vary cyclically over time. The first element is the tilt of the Earth’s axis, which varies 22° to 24.5° and back again every 41,000 years. The second element is the month of the year in which the Earth is closest to the sun, which varies over cycles of 19,000 and 24,000 years. The third element is the shape of the Earth’s orbit, which, over a period of 100,000 years, changes from being more elliptical to being almost fully circular. Finally, the amount of solar energy released by the variation in sun solar flares has a significant effect.

Scientists and engineers have also stated that changes in the Earth’s temperature have followed changes in solar activity over the last 100 years. When solar activity increased from 1880s to 1940s, global temperatures increased. The observed global temperature rise of 1°F was during this period, before 67% increase of global GHG emissions had even occurred. When it declined from the 1940s to the 1960s, temperatures also declined. During this time period, some environmentalists spoke of doomsday tales as a result of “global cooling,” blaming this event on the use of hydrocarbon fuels. When temperatures began to climb again with an increase of solar activity and sunspot numbers in the 1970s and 1980s, environmentalists began singing a different tune. Instead of the devastating effects of worldwide temperature drops, media campaigns began stressing the importance of regulating GHG emissions.

Obviously, the debate among these so-called experts continues to rage. What may be needed is to bring together a group of qualified experts–with no vested interests in the results — to impartially examine this problem analytically via a Delphi Panel Approach.

Here is my take on the global warming/climate change/greenhouse effect/CO2 emissions issue. The entire issue is bogus at this time. The policies of the EPA are bogus. The changes recommended and advocated by environmentalists are bogus. The present ideologies of environmentalists are bogus. Why bogus? There are no hard facts to back up doomsday predictions.

Is carbon dioxide (CO2) a problem? The scientific answer is one cannot say for certain. The engineer’s answer is that it probably is not due, primarily to the complexity of the overall issue. It would therefore not be unreasonable for one to conclude that any effort to curb CO2 emissions into the atmosphere that involve significant economic changes that can impact man’s social behavior cannot be justified. Any effort to reduce and/or eliminate CO2 emissions is thus virtually certain to downgrade the quality of life and lead to an increased state of poverty and instability.

Let’s face it. Any mandated imposition of CO2 emission reductions will dramatically impact our economy. It will result in the loss of at least (depending on the severity of the cuts) 100,000 jobs with little to no opportunities for these jobless to secure satisfactory replacement employment opportunities. All of this will compromise the ability to defend ourselves from the enemy, particularly the Jihadists. This is an example, pure and simple, of EPA know-it-alls (KIAs) involved with energy decision policies, who haven’t thought through the problem and included all the ramifications associated with their policies. Touting solar and wind technologies as the answer is ridiculous since these industries almost certainly will not be cost-effective–a term not in any environmentalist’s dictionary¬¬until mid-century (at the earliest). The KIAs have just chosen not to consider costs and dangers in their analysis.

Environmentalists justify their assessment by arguing that over ninety percent of the technical community support their position. This is misleading since nearly all of the 90% they refer to have vested interests in there being this catastrophic problem facing society. If there is no problem of this nature, most will be out of a job. At a minimum, there will be no tenure, no promotions, no articles, no books, no contracts, etc. And, the environmental organizations who also support this scam will have greater difficulty in generating funding donations and government support. (My experience with government grants is that the likelihood of receiving support is enhanced if the project can in no way serve mankind.) Gone are the days when scientists and engineers were beyond reproach. The reality is that today’s scientist/engineer is as corrupt as the lawyers society has come to detest. In any event, whichever theory one chooses to accept, it is clear that the issue is far from being resolved. Hopefully, unbiased, unadulterated science and not politics or fanatics will call the shots in the future.

On to the USEPA. The present problem that exists with the EPA is an intricate one, consisting of primarily five (5) main concerns:

1. Economically efficient measures are seldom, if ever, adopted, causing little progress in achieving environmental goals.
2. Data collection often has limitations, and when insufficient data is used for legislation, an ongoing string of amendments is attached.
3. The legal issues involving environmental problems have rocketed, brought on mainly by the complex legislation.
4. The EPA is presently primarily a legal organization that is serving the best interests of the law profession rather than the environment.
5. The EPA is presently a politically motivated organization.

Complicated legislation passed based on insufficient data is by no means a solution to the environmental problem. Costly control measures are taken, and in some cases, the public’s risk is increased. As noted, constant amendments are needed, often doing little to alleviate pollution. Regulations can only help if they are based on sound scientific data. When the legislation is unclear, lawyers are often brought in to “clarify” it. Instead, they usually complicate the problems further since lawyers are not trained in engineering and scientific methods.

When the EPA was formed in 1970, it was – in a very real sense – a technical organization. The Agency was manned primarily with engineers and scientists. Most of these individuals were dedicated to a common cause: correcting the environmental problems facing the nation and improving the environment. The problems these individuals tackled were technical, and there were little or no legal complications or constraints. The EPA was indeed a technical organization, run and operated by technical people, attempting to solve technical problems. Much was accomplished during these early years but something happened on the way to the Forum.

The present state of the EPA? Forty-five years later, the EPA is no longer a technical organization – it is now a legal organization. The EPA is no longer run by engineers and scientists. It is run and operated by lawyers. And, the EPA is no longer attempting to solve technical problems; it is now stalled in a legal malaise.

How in the world did this occur? It happened because EPA evolved into serving the best interest of the career bureaucrats in and out of Congress, most of whom are lawyers, and it happened because the technical and business community did nothing to stop it. The result is that this nation is now paying the price for an environmental organization with nearly 20,000 employees and an annual budget approaching ten billion dollars that is not serving the best interests of either the nation or the environment.

Interestingly, all of the administrators to the EPA have been lawyers. Though lawyers are required in every industry to help settle disputes over legalities, protecting the environment was previously beyond their scope. In the EPA today, for every three engineers, there is one lawyer; it is indeed (as described above) a legal organization, serving the legal profession and not the environment. Actual proposals for regulations and control, based on good scientific data, should be designed by scientists and engineers, or those who have come to be defined as problem solvers. They can analytically break down a problem, initially assess the damages, and then fix them.

Something has gone afoul. In our society, engineers are the problem solvers, but rarely the decision makers. Although the world known today has been called a product of engineering, engineers play a minor role in important decision making.

In 1995, the silver anniversary of the EPA, I was requested to submit an article outlining my thoughts on this twenty-five year old (at that time) organization. Five other articles were ultimately accepted for publication (Environmental Manager, 1, Nov. 1995). My article entitled, “Dissolve the USEPA … NOW!!!” preceded that by Bill Ruckelshaus, the first EPA Administrator, who also provided somewhat less than positive comments on the EPA. My thoughts today? It is a useless organization, run by career lawyer bureaucrats, that is not serving the best interests of not only our nation but also society in general. It should be dissolved.

NEXT POSTINGS: (tentative)
SEPTEMBER 1: On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXII
OCTOBER 1: On Barack Hussein Obama Update V
NOVEMBER 1: On Paying Student-Athletes III
DECEMBER 1: On Hofstra’s Men’s Basketball: 2015-16 Season


Basketball Coaching 101

June 30, 2015

Since my eight-first birthday is a fleeting memory, what has become apparent is that a good part of my life is now limited to writing and basketball. That being the case, what would be more natural than for me to write a book on basketball, something I’ve dreamed about doing for years. After all, I’ve written over one hundred technical books (all of which have one thing in common–they don’t sell) and also recently launched my monthly newsletter (www.theodorenewsletter.com) that probably has an audience that, at last count, is approaching a dozen readers. In addition, I have been involved with basketball for over seventy years, part of which time involved playing, coaching, officiating, recruiting, and announcing as well as covering Hofstra men’s basketball the last nine years. In effect, all the ingredients were in place for the writing of a book on basketball coaching.

Since I have never played, coached or officiated basketball at the college or pro level, critics may claim that I am not qualified to write a book on coaching. They may be right. But I did serve as the coach of a local bar team–Killeen’s Tavern (I was part owner)–during the mid-1950’s to the mid 1960’s. Several of my players later played in the NBA, and some of them went on to successful coaching careers at the collegiate and pro levels.

Regarding the book, I was able to contact university presidents, athletic directors, coaches, officials (referees), announcers, journalists, recruiters, players, and yes, even fans, in my quest to write an authoritative book on basketball. Each was asked to detail their thoughts on the qualities a coach should possess to develop a winning and successful program. Hopefully, this approach either reduced or eliminated, or both, some of the trepidations of others regarding the quality of the book.

This is clearly not a book of fiction prepared by an author with an agenda; it is primarily a product of the aforementioned experts, written by these insiders with something more than firsthand experience. Their contributions helped make my dream of writing an informative book on coaching basketball a reality. And the title? You got it – BASKETBALL COACHING 101.

And who were these experts referred to above? The reader is introduced to each of the experts in the book. I categorized the experts into ten sets – starting with presidents and ending with fans. A separate chapter in the book is devoted to each of the above categories. Contacts with these so-called experts, e.g., Louie Carnesecca, Rollie Massemino, Bob Hurley, Sr., Mickey Crowley, Wally Rooney, Ray Lumpp, Vince Boryla, Danny Doyle, Jack Powers, Jay Bilas, Bill Raferty, Howie Garfinkel, Bob McKillop, etc., to name a few, were conducted via e-mail or phone or a face-to-face meeting, or some combination of these three information technology communication processes.

This is a very unique book in many respects because I made a decision to include more than just basketball coaching in the book. The book has it all: coaching hints/strategies to employ to achieve a successful and winning program, history of the game, reliving the fabulous 1950’s and 60’s, the aforementioned Killeen’s Tavern’s basketball team, the dark corrupt side of the NCAA, the disgraceful Joe Paterno saga, the future of the game, etc. And, there are also dozens of stories never told before, many of which I believe are hilarious.

Back to basketball coaching. If there were to be a summary analysis of important qualities a coach should possess, it would be–based on the contributions of the aforementioned experts–the following:

1. ability to recruit and retain top players;
2. superior organizational skills;
3. ability to develop team chemistry;
4. hire super assistant coaches;
5. knowledge of game;
6. dedicated work ethic;
7. a great motivator and a great communicator;
8. love of the game;
9. social/people skills;
10. leadership qualities;
11. ability to work with school administrators and the media;
12. concern for the players’ education and future;
13. ability to accept losses;
14. being a role model; and,
15. character builder.

Ranking the above in terms of importance can vary with the coach, the academic integrity of the school, the level of (Division) play, etc. However, I would rank the first ten qualities as the most important, particularly the first four. Details provided by the experts on these qualities and how a coach can help achieve these qualities are discussed in the book.

Below is a sample quote from Chapter 23, Part II, titled “On Paying Student-Athletes:

“In any event, here is the “paying S-A” situation as it exists today. At the college level, the coaches get paid millions and the players get paid nothing. At the next level, the coaches get paid millions but the players get paid many more millions. Intelligent and objective readers/fans should attempt to explain this dichotomy. This author provides the answer with four letters: NCAA.”

Finally, a few of the early reviews are already in.

1. Jack Powers (Former Executive Director, NIT): “The basketball world can now formally welcome to their midst one of the game’s brilliant strategist. His name is Dr. Lou Theodore, and his new book – Basketball Coaching 101 – has established him as one of the premier authorities in the game.”
2. Danny Doyle (Belmont Abbey/Detroit Pistons): “The annoying little creep first asked me to write a Foreword. Now he wants a review. Here’s my review: Don’t buy the book – he’d just lose any royalty money betting on horses. Yet, it is special and unique from my perspective. This basketball book is written by a legitimate authority without pulling any punches. It is a book for the basketball know-it-alls who are interested in coaching and/or coaching strategies. The back end of the book was touching and brought back yesterday’s memories of our guys.”
3. Louie Carnesecca (Retired coach): “This is an excellent and informative book on coaching strategies, written for all basketball coaches and fans.”
4. Bob McKillop (Basketball coach): “The numerous contributions from authorities in the field (including the author) on coaching strategies make this an invaluable resource for coaches.”
5. Marty Bunce (Former Executive Director, Boy’s Club of New York): “It’s a great basketball coaching book. I lived the Killeen’s era. But the key feature of the book is the NCAA material and the future of the sport. Lou is right. The NCAA‘s reign will soon be over. Their only hope of surviving is to accept that their cheating, lying and exploitation will end. I suggest that the NCAA hire Louie, Neal Gillen, Jay Bilas, and Jon Wagner to develop a solution to the SA problem that will make everybody even richer using Louie’s Delphi Panel Approach.”
6. Wally Rooney (Former NBA basketball official): “Basketball has come a long way. But Lou has somehow managed to capture both the history and the present state of the game. Kudos, Lou. This is a gem. An absolute delight. Beautifully written. Easy to read. Full of basketball information. Entertaining. Unique (an inverted triangle and two defense?). Funny. A winner in every respect.”
7. Jackie Ferrara (NYC cab driver, sports buff): “This is the book for the individual who wants to become an intelligent basketball fan and get a glimpse of the dark side of the NCAA. It took guts to provide a no-holds-barred discussion of the shameful marriage of convenience of Dean Smith, Boeheim, Izzo, Donovan, Pitino, Calipari, Valvano, etc., with the corrupt NCAA.”
8. Dr. John J. McKenna: “(Pres., ETS International): “A very funny book. This is definitely the best basketball book I have ever read. There is a decent chance that it is the best basketball book ever written.”
9. Robert Sansavarino (Mathematical Advisor, Checks & Balances, Inc.): “The book is no bargain. The basketball coaching stuff is OK but it needs more on the gambling aspect of the game.”
10. Alex Zouncourides (Former minor league baseball umpire, teamster rep): “The technical stuff wowed me. Every coach should read this book – it is loaded with information. Plus, I couldn’t stop laughing in spots.”
11. Rita D’Aquino (Former CEP senior editor): “An extraordinary work written basketball works will be judged.”

The book recently came off the press and is available for your scrutiny and possible reading pleasure/enjoyment(?). It costs $17.95 and can be purchased online at Amazon.com or Createspace.com.

NEXT POSTINGS: (tentative)
AUGUST 1: On Environmental Matters
SEPTEMBER 1: On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXII
OCTOBER 1: On Barack Hussein Obama Update V
NOVEMBER 1: On Paying Student-Athletes III
DECEMBER 1: On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2015-16 Season

Note: The East Williston Recreation Committee hosted a book signing for Basketball Coaching 101 in the Village Hall on Wednesday, June 17 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. The packed house was well attended by family, friends, basketball aficionados, well-wishers, and many of the contributors to the book. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to talk about basketball and get their books signed. They also had the opportunity to imbibe in the refreshments that were served through the generosity of the E.W. Recreation Committee. Our thanks go to Caroline Debenedittis for all her help.


On East Williston School District Taxes

April 30, 2015

It’s not like me to report material from previous years, but the next several paragraphs appeared in 2014. I suggest the reader carefully note the contents before moving to more recent happenings. Here is what came down last May.

East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception. Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget. Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider what limited facts have been made available to them.

As many of you already know, I will vote NO on the budget. Why? I simply need to, once again, provide the readers with an earlier (2012) note delivered to Superintendent Kanas following a 1-hour meeting that year. Here is that unedited note:

Dear Dr. Kanas,

I believe that the following current problems are adversely affecting the East Williston School District (EWSD).

1. The per capita student cost is $30,000+/yr.
2. The student/teacher ratio is 9.75:1.0
3. The EWSD employs 21 secretaries.
4. There is rampant teacher absenteeism.
5. There is a failure of some students to attend the college/university of their choice.
6. The EWSD national ranking is in free-fall.
7. The school tax burden continues to increase despite reduced enrollment.
8. There is a lack of preparedness of some of the students for their post high school education.
9. There is a failure of the previous administration to, in accordance with the law, act on FOIL requests.

As a taxpayer and member of the EWSD community, I am requesting your assessment of the above nine problems, plus what steps you intend to take to either remove or reduce these problems. If a response is not received by October 1, 2012, I shall assume that you have concluded that there is no reason for concern. If you do respond, I would then appreciate a follow-up notification on the success/failure of your actions on or before December 31, 2012.

I await your response.

Guess what? Three years have passed, and I’m still waiting for a response. One simple question: Do I deserve a response? Both Kanas and the present Board have chosen to ignore my request. Yet, unlike Kanas and the Board members, I’ve dedicated my life to education, serving as not only a professor and administrator at the College level but also as a member of the Admissions Committee. I also continue to provide free advice to those senior students requesting guidance (apparently there is little to no meaningful guidance presently available at Wheatley) on university and career choices.

That was last year. Another year has passed and things really haven’t changed In fact, they’ve gotten worse. You want proof? Here is what the School Board’s appointed Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) reported in late March on the Board’s request that they provide an objective view on issues facing the District. Suprisingly(?), the FAC did an excellent job. Note, however, that the FAC acts only in an advisory capacity to the Board. In effect, the Board has the discretion to either implement or ignore the FAC’s recommendations. Please keep the word ignore in mind as you delve deeper into this article.

To no one’s surprise, the FAC concluded that there were two obstacles obstructing the EWSD’s path to success: wage and benefits growth.

Here are some specific conclusions from the FAC:

1. Funding for student programs and staff development initiatives continue to increase.
2. The budget and cost per student continues to increase.
3. The Board should explore if there is a positive correlation between spending and student achievement (of course, everyone already knows that there is no correlation).
4. Contractual costs continue to exceed the tax cap growth limits.
5. The budget growth exceeds both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) index.
6. The EWSD budget is growing faster than CPI & GDP due to the rate of increase of wage and benefit expenses.
7. EWSD wages and benefit costs are growing faster than the private sector (any reader think otherwise?).
8. Enrollment has declined approximately 7% from its peak and has been relatively flat recently (actually, it has decreased nearly 10% over the past 9 years).
9. Per student annual costs (approximately $33,000) have increased faster than the budget … and they have never decreased. This has to be shocking when compared to the average annual student cost for County public schools of $25,000 and County private schools of $15,000. Do parents and taxpayers truly understand this disparity?
10. Item (9) explains why the average (note the word average) teachers annual compensation is approaching $175,000.
11. Items (9) and (10) have produced a growth in compensation that is at least twice that of the private sector.

The above disturbing statistics are due to healthcare costs and retirement costs. The teachers only pay 20% of healthcare costs. Healthcare has caused a dramatic increase in the Post Employment Obligation Benefit (PEOB); this is an estimate of the cost to provide post-employment healthcare. This explosive growth would likely bankrupt a private company – and it did for General Motors. The only way to control this is to have employees pay a significantly higher portion of the healthcare costs. Retirement costs have risen from 0.0036% of salaries to approximately 13% of salaries. Thus, for an employee making $100K, these annual costs have risen from $360 to over $13,000. This is simply not sustainable. In the private sector where employees work for a living, the likely result would have been a reduction in salaries.

The FAC also provided a host of recommendations. However, here are two that are worthy of mention.

1. Limit wage growth and increase healthcare contributions.
2. Develop a framework to measure student achievement relative to costs.

Any chance the Board will take action on either of these two meaningful and critical recommendations? “Not hardly,” as John Wayne would put it. Let us not forget that the Board and Kanas are there to represent the teachers, not the taxpayers, seniors and children.

And where does the PTO fit into all of this? Forgive me, but it would be more appropriate to refer to them as TO since they do not represent the parents and their children. As I’ve said in the past, this is unfortunately an organization whose members are just uninformed, or lacking intelligence, or educator/teacher ideologs, or some combination of the three. Not a healthy situation

The teachers’ upcoming contract (salaries and benefits) is the next order of business. The mettle of the FAC will be tested at that time. I predict that the Board will, once again, disregard the reasonable recommendations of the FAC and “accommodate” the teachers at the expense of the parents, seniors and children. If they don’t, many of those who refer to themselves as teachers will go on the warpath as they did 25 years ago. They will, once again, be wearing black armbands, intimidating parents and students, claiming poverty, accusing the community of not caring about education, etc. In fact, they might even parade down to the EW train station at 3:00PM to demonstrate to those parents returning home from work. Last time, the teachers (many of whom are not that bright) were not aware that those who actually work for a living (5-days per week, 50 weeks per year) put in a full day (plus travel) – not a half day like teachers. A truly sad commentary on both past and present EWSD teachers considering the important influence they have on kids.

I conclude with three earlier comments, repeated for the reader’s benefit.

1. Dr. Kanas misrepresented herself when she applied for the position of Superintendent of the EWSD. I repeatedly brought this FACT to the attention of both the Board and PTO. And, guess what? Both ignored the comments regarding Kanas. You’d think that if Kanas had my professional pride, she would offer some response. But I know she can’t defend her earlier behavior. Others in sports, education, business, technology, etc., are automatically dismissed for this sort of conduct.
2. CONNED!!! That’s what has happened to the EWSD parents and taxpayers. They have been sold a bridge on the quality of education and the dedication of the teachers. They have simply been duped.
3. The turnaround will come when the community comes to realize that Board members – in almost every instance – are there for self-serving purposes. If they really cared about the kids, they would not move on once they have graduated. Think about past Board members who were so vociferous and outspoken about defending the status quo … a status quo that has resulted in higher taxes and a decrease in the quality of education.

The bottom line: It’s OK to vote NO on the budget. Don’t be a glutton for punishment. Stop being taken for a fool. Stop being an enabler for the EXPLOITERS on the Board and some PTO officers.

Lou Theodore

NEXT POSTINGS: (tentative)
JUNE 1: On Memorial Day VII
JULY 1: On My Book
AUGUST 1: On Environmental Matters
SEPTEMBER 1: On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXII
OCTOBER 1: On Barack Hussein Obama Update V
NOVEMBER 1: On Paying Student-Athletes III
DECEMBER 1: On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2015-16 Season