ON GREAT EATS II

June 1, 2017

JUNE 1, 2017

Over two years ago (2/2015), I wrote an article titled “On Great Eats.” Since then, the newsletter has addressed topics concerned with economics, Hofstra Basketball, my book Basketball Coaching 101, Obama, Trump, school teachers, budget votes, random rantings, dieting, etc. There has been feedback with some of the more controversial articles. But the one that garnered the most interest was the “Great Eats” write-up; in fact, I’ve been bugged to write another piece on this topic.

After much deliberation, it was decided to follow-up on the first article that reviewed restaurants that I categorized as breakfast, Chinese, delicatessens, diners, fast food, Greek, hamburgers and Italian. However, based on requests from my readers, this article would primarily be on Italian restaurants. What follows is my take on Italian restaurants in Nassau County, but in particular with those in the Willistons, Mineola, Albertson, Carle Place, Roslyn, and Garden City areas. Here is my review on over two dozen of these restaurants (in alphabetical order).

  1. Angelina’s (Williston Park): Noah never offers specials or coupons and yet is a popular local restaurant. Kid-friendly and reasonably priced. The bar area is small but comfortable. A party room is available. The menu features some tasty dishes. Absolutely the best Caesar’s salad and Bolognese.
  2. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza (Carle Place): Reasonably priced. The pizza is OK. Other features are also OK.
  3. Barosa Pizzeria and Restaurant (Mineola): Very informal. Tiny nondescript bar. Lacks the atmosphere of the original on Woodhaven Blvd but the food is above average and the price is right. Some decent specials and coupons.
  4. Cafe Baci (Westbury): Reasonably priced. A host of pasta dishes, some of which are really good. Lunch there on two occasions was a pleasant surprise.
  5. Café Formaggio (Carle Place): Upscale. Good food but pricey. Comfortable bar. Try the lasagna – nobody makes it better.
  6. California Pizza Kitchen: I got introduced to “California” in Las Vegas. Very reasonably priced but the food is average at best.
  7. Da-Angelo – Pizzeria and Restaurant (Albertson): One of my favorites. A local gem. Very informal. Very reasonably priced. Home of the original and best Grandma pizza. Thank you Angelo. Dinner specials on Monday-Wednesday were recently eliminated but excellent luncheon specials. The Bronzini is a popular dish. Lovely, friendly staff.
  8. Domino’s: I don’t patronize “fast-food” pizza joints. One of the better of its kind.
  9. Frantoni’s (Williston Park): A cut below the rest. It’s tough to make a case for this place since it is surrounded by some really good restaurants. Not for me but it is conveniently located and reasonably priced.
  10. Gino’s Pizza and Ristorante (Williston Park): Their specials earlier in the week are ok. Reasonably priced but food is fair.
  11. La Parma Restaurant (Williston Park): The family’s favorite, but not mine. Large bar area. Grossly overpriced – grossly. Food loaded with garlic.
  12. Louie’s Pizzeria (Carle Place): Their specials earlier in the week are ok. Not for me but reasonably priced.
  13. Luigi’s Pizzeria of Mineola: Reasonably priced but food is fair at best.
  14. Maggiano’s Little Italy (Garden City): Food is good and the price is reasonable. Lots of specials and coupons. Worth considering.
  15. Mama Theresa’s Pizzeria (New Hyde Park):   I haven’t been there in years but it is popular. The pizza is good and dinner menu is ok. Reasonably priced.
  16. Matteo’s Restaurant (Roslyn Heights):   Upscale and expensive. Family style. Recent price increase have taken this restaurant off my radar screen.
  17. 17.Olive Garden:   Only for those who don’t know a good Italian dish. Very reasonably priced.
  18. Papa John’s Pizza:   Don’t even think of going there.
  19. Piccolo Bussola (Mineola):   Some good specials. Upscale. A bit on the expensive side but food is good.
  20. Pizza Hut: Not for me but one of the better “fast food” places.
  21. Positano Pizzeria Ristorante (Williston Park): My wife’s favorite spot. Excellent pizza. Reasonably priced. Claustrophobic environment and poor service.
  22. Pompei Restaurant (West Hempstead): I haven’t been there in years. Once a premiere restaurant with excellent service.
  23. Stella Ristorante (Floral Park):   Our favorite restaurant decades ago. I haven’t been there in years but I remember the food and service were excellent.
  24. 24.   Umberto Pizzeria & Restaurant (New Hyde Park):   Perhaps the best. Prices reasonable. Pizza very good. The chicken rollatini is to die for. Service is significantly sub-par.
  25. Vincent’s Clam Bar (Carle Place): Consistently voted the best restaurant. Jammed on weekends and some weeknights. Try the meatball appetizer (free with coupon) and the Caesar’s salad. Their $35 takeout family meal (M – Th) is the bargain of all bargains. Reasonably priced. Excellent $10 luncheon. Numerous coupons add to its “glamour.” However, it is much too noisy and the tight seating is not to my liking.
  26. Vincent’s Pizzeria & Restaurant (Albertson):   Absolutely the best pizza anywhere; no other pizza compares to theirs. Pricier than others but well worth it. I’m not a fan of their standard restaurant menu. Hopefully, Silvio and Ray will change that in the future.

Relative to the other categories of restaurants, everything else is pretty much the same. Jade King remains the King of the Chinese list (and still grossly overpriced) and the Old Westbury Diner – run by the Dimas family – is in a class by itself. IHOP is still the place for breakfast. The only positive addition to the old list would be Chipotle (Mexican).

I hope the above helps. Happy Eating!

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JULY 1:                      On Six Months Later

AUGUST 1:                On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXV

SEPTEMBER 1:         On When New York City was New York City

 


ON THE EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

Here is my opening paragraph from last year’s newsletter on the budget vote:

“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.”

 

I then proceeded to provide detailed comments on both above reasons which was followed by detailed proposed solutions to both problems. Guess what?  I not only didn’t hear from anyone but I also received no acknowledgements of my proposal. Isn’t this just great? I’m a taxpayer with no voice. You can thank Kamberg and his brood, Kanas, the teachers, the teachers’ union, and, of course, the pitiful PTO, for this sorry state of affairs. And, let’s not forget that it was the Bergtraum (incompetence)/Israel (greed) era that started the EWSD’s decline.

 

In any event, here’s what’s coming down. Per capita student cost is up (>$36,000). Enrollment is down. Hiring is up. School ranking is down. Student performance is down. College choice for students almost certainly is down. Waste has increased. Senior exploitation has increased. Student/parent exploitation has increased. You want proof? Try to FOIL these parasites in control for information. You’ll get what I got…NOTHING! What a wonderful state of affairs.

 

The community should be aware of the EW Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) 3/22/17 report to the EWSD Board of Trustees. I’ll spare you the details but here are the six FAC’s specific spending recommendations.

 

  1. Adapt recommendations to fund Program, Administration & Capital efficiencies
  2. Develop a framework to measure student achievement/investment
  3. Wages: take steps to continue to limit wage growth
  4. Healthcare: Increase employee contributions/eliminate opt-out
  5. Place a moratorium on contractual lifetime healthcare benefits
  6. Review opportunities to increase non-tax revenue

 

But, here’s the key.  Buried early in the report is “The Board has the responsibility and discretion to implement the FAC’s recommendations.”  Translated into simple English: they can, and will, ignore the recommendations as they have done in the past (I’ll comment on their action next year).

 

Regarding (1), the word efficiency is not in the Board’s vocabulary.  The teachers and their union have always opposed (2). The teachers and their union, the PTA, the Board, and Superintendent Kanas oppose (3). Obviously, the teachers and their union plus their stooges oppose (4) and (5).  Point (6) is a great recommendation that could be implemented by the brain trust in the FAC, but with teachers and their union, the PTA, Superintendent Kanas, and (in particular) the Board, there resides a group that is clueless on business/financial matters. Obviously, not a good situation since the FAC has wasted its time.

 

Here are my comments on reading the FAC report for the year 2017.

 

  • The District’s reputation is understandably on the decline (see later paragraph).
  • Tenure has created many of the problems. These positions should only last 5-years but can be extended if the individual has continued to demonstrate the freshness and enthusiasm of the early years of teaching. You know the teachers would never embrace this recommendation.
  • Need to spend time on converting thoughtless children to caring and thinking individuals.
  • Generate better relationships with students in order for them to maintain lifelong ties to the EWSD.
  • Teacher/community relations are at an all-time low.
  • I believe the rumors that all school boards have adopted illegal practices to undermine the school tax cap.
  • For goodness sake, do something positive about the WASTE.

 

The landscape has changed. My experience suggests that today’s students leave high school more aware of what they want to do and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Nobody I know feels the EWSD is doing enough to adjust to this change.

 

I’ll close with some general thoughts. The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. The mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. There is a need for accountability for not only these upstart programs but also for traditional programs such as at Wheatley. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment. On the positive side, I believe absenteeism has decreased; although there are more cars in the North Side parking lot, there is less of a reduction of cars on Monday and Friday. Finally, I stand by my earlier statements that at least two members of the Board simply cannot be trusted; the Community should not expect them to act in the best interests of the students and taxpayers.

 

You don’t have to believe me regarding much of the above material.  Here is the 4/25/2017 Newsday headline:  “7 LI Schools in the Top 200.”  Guess who didn’t make the top 200 nationally.  Guess who also didn’t make the top 50 statewide (there were 14 LI schools who did).  We also didn’t make the top 100 STEM schools in the state.  These are the FACTS, and the numbers don’t lie.  And yet, many of the uniformed parents refuse to accept that the self-serving EWSD Board, the teachers, the PTA, etc., have failed and betrayed both the students and the community.

 

 

Remember, it’s OK to vote NO on the budget. A NO vote represents a call for better education for our students, fair and responsible treatment of seniors, a call for new leadership for both the Board and the District, and a rejection of the corrupt self-serving policies currently in place.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JUNE 1:                      On Great Eats II

JULY 1:                      On Six Months Later

AUGUST 1:                On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXV

 


ON PURELY CHASTE, PRISTINE, AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXIV

February 1, 2017

 

February 1, 2017

 

No one has recently requested my thoughts on life in general.  It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  Notwithstanding this embarrassing dilemma, I am forging ahead with a host of points of potential interest to the Newsletter readers.  However before proceeding, I need to bring one interesting fact to those with interests in the U.S. economy.

 

Here is a list of the percentage of recent past president’s cabinets who had previously worked in the private sector:

 

FDR            50%         Eisenhower       57%

Truman        50%         Nixon               53%

Kennedy      30%         Ford                 42%

Johnson       47%         Reagan             56%

Carter          32%         G. H. Bush       51%

Clinton         39%         G. W. Bush      55%

Obama        8%           Trump              ??

 

The left column are/were Democrats.  Is the difference statistically significant?  You be the judge.  Obama never worked for a corporation, never really had a job, and his cabinet came primarily (92%) from academia, governmental “non-profit” groups, and community organizers.  Perhaps this explains our nation’s current economic state of affairs.

 

Back to the standard one-liners; here’s 2 dozen of them.

 

  1. Watching cable news has been pure entertainment since the election. The liberals are a comedy group but, I’ll say this – and this may sound like Michelle – I’ve never felt more proud of our country.
  2. The liberal media continues to berate and insult Trump. They can’t find anything right/good about him.  After all, he is going to reduce health care costs, eliminate sanctuary cities, address the anarchy dilemma, help solve infrastructure problems, etc.
  3. I hope this Administration will somehow pass an Amendment to the Constitution that will require that voters possess reasonable intelligence, be aware of current events, and speak, read, and understand English.
  4. Hopefully, disdain (and perhaps hatred) for the working class, military, and police will come to an end with Trump as president.
  5. Which three states have more people on welfare than they do employed? [If you guessed California, Illinois, and New York, you would be right. Surprise, surprise.]
  6. I shudder to think what would have happened to our country without Rupert Murdoch, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, and even Roger Ailes.
  7. Megan Kelly turns me off – big time.
  8. Do I have this right? Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) is attempting to release those in jail who were planning to kill me.
  9. The inauguration was truly a sight to see. We are all so blessed to live in the USA.
  10. My parents worked hard for their money. I worked hard (well, sort of… remember, I’m a teacher) for my money.  No one gave us anything.  Why am I now being asked to provide health care and education for people who do not want to work and/or have no legal right to be here?
  11. I sell and bill myself as the foremost environmental authority in the world. (Modesty isn’t my middle name.) I can tell one and all that Al Gore’s preaching on global warming is a scam. His/the proposed carbon tax would bankrupt our nation.
  12. Forget about the fact that both the Hill and Bubba are involved in criminal enterprises. BOTH ARE TRAITORS!
  13. Seven years ago, I wrote: “Despite his shortcomings, rooting for Obama is appropriate because we are Americans.  Let’s not carry on like the Bush haters.”
  14. World Series play in freezing weather is both insane and a disgrace.
  15. Advertisements abound that make the white male look like a fool.
  16. I’m still trying to get Jack Powers into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.
  17. My latest undertaking is to write a book about optimization – a subject I know absolutely nothing about.
  18. Football, with its concussion dilemma, is a dying sport.
  19. Perhaps mankind’s greatest miracle occurred when Churchill chose (like the people of Greece) not to submit to the Nazi “hurricane.”
  20. I’m still on a diet that will be “featured” next month
  21. Hopefully, Trump will stop the lies, the deceit, the manipulations, etc., in government and will finally be replaced by the transparency BHO promised 8 years ago.
  22. Good riddance to Meg Kelly at Fox. She’s a flaming liberal masquerading as a moderate.
  23. Geraldo Rivera has joined my 20 $ club. I’m prepared to pay 20 $ to put my left shoe up his rear end.  He’s another flaming liberal masquerading as a moderate.  Even worse, he is a totally full of horse manure guy.  His conduct during the inauguration was disgusting.
  24. I’ve had multiple requests for a follow-up on my earlier article titled “On Great Eats.”

 

Is that it?  Not quite.  Earlier, I got to see BHO’s “Farewell” address in Chicago where he teary-eyed and blatantly lied non-stop about his (and Michelle’s and Biden’s) accomplishments over the past 8 years; he chose not to mention the carnage that occurs in his home city of Chicago and hundreds of thousands that died in the Middle East due to his deficient policies.  He took time to, once again, lecture us, and then frantically attempted to rewrite history before the historians set his legacy of numerous massive failures in stone.  Unfortunately, he won’t go away and will continue to attempt to undermine our new president.  His last actions involved releasing hundreds of drug dealers, traitors and societal misfits.  What a guy!

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

MARCH 1:                  On the Ideal Diet—That Works

APRIL 1:                     Hofstra Basketball 2017 Revisited

MAY 1:                       On the EWSD Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                       On Great Eats II

 


ON THE 2016-17 HOFSTRA BASKETBALL SEASON

January 1, 2017

 

 

January 1, 2017

 

Thanksgiving and Christmas is now a near distant memory.  What’s the significance?   It primarily means one thing for basketball buffs in the Nassau County area: the 2016-17 Hofstra basketball season is now in full swing.

 

Every year, at about this time, I introduce the readers to Hofstra’s men’s basketball team and start the prediction process for the season.  This year is no different – so here goes…

 

I begin with some comments about last year’s team.  There were concerns, hopes, and expectations: third year Coach Joe Mihalich was back with a team that featured Juan‘ya Green and Ameen Tanksley – the two Niagara University transfers and Brian Bernardi, plus power forward Princeton transferee Denton Koon and second year center Rokas Gustys.  So what happened?  They had a great season, winning the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association).  The CAA tournament was up for grabs and I felt they had a chance to win it and earn a berth in the NCAA tournament.  We were at the CAA tournament during March 4 -7 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore when they ran out of gas (as I had predicted earlier) in the championship game.  Nonetheless, it was a pleasant vacation and an exciting four days.  This year’s tournament is scheduled in Charleston, S.C., and it is currently on our radar screen.

 

Three of last year’s super starting five are gone.  As a former educator, I’m always interested in the disposition of the players once they graduate.  It was tough getting straight answers this year but this is what I know at this point in time: Koon is playing somewhere in Europe, with Green and Tanksley playing (I hope) in the NBA Developmental League.

 

This year’s team?  Here is my analysis at the time of the posting of this article (December 25).  The loss of last year’s BIG three was indeed BIG – the two top scorers (including Player of the Year Green) and the power forward.  The team had a decent recruiting year.  (Note: Every team claims they had a great recruiting year, so I no longer believe these press releases.)  Notable additions include Deron Power (Hampton transfer), Eli Pemberton (freshman), Hunter Sabety (Tufts transfer), and Ty Greer (Daytona State transfer).  Notable returnees – in addition to Gustys and Bernardi – include Desure Buie (out for year), Justin Wright-Foreman, and Jamall Robinson.  Are there any concerns?  Should there be concerns?  The answer is YES.  The team is presently in a developmental stage and only time will tell to what degree they will develop and improve.  They have demonstrated an ability to score – sometime almost at will, 8but the defense is still somewhat porous.  For example, they were unable to adjust and negate St. Bonaventure’s two excellent guards during an earlier loss.  And, to compound this problem, the team continues to primarily play zone defense.  On the positive side is that Coach Mihalich is playing 8 players, so fatigue will not be a problem this season.
More on this year’s personnel.  All the noise is about freshman Eli Pemberton.  Mihalich claims he will have a super career at Hofstra.  An NBA scout told me that Pemberton’s number will be hanging from the rafters at the end of his collegiate career.  He is a great scorer but (contrary to Mihalich’s comments) is short on speed and defense–but I have been wrong many times in the past.  I believe that Hofstra’s hopes this year lie with two others.  Powers is the fastest guard I have seen in years–he is grease lightening.  What an absolute great addition to the backcourt.  Ty Greer is listed at 6’6” but I think is 6’8” tall (and growing?) with a long wingspan and tremendous leaping ability.  He’s the sleeper.  However, I have repeatedly claimed that it is great guards that get a team to a championship game, but it is great defensive guards that get you to the Promised Land; i.e., win a championship.  I’m not sure that Mihalich has someone to fill that role.  Bottom line: this may be Hofstra’s year.  Then again, it may turn out to be a rebuilding season for a host of reasons.

 

Attending Hofstra games for me still remains the best sports buy in the New York Metropolitan area; its’s even cheaper than going to the movies.  There is ample free parking, easy access in and out of the Mack Sports Complex, the concession stands are not a rip-off ($3.50 for a dog, $3.00 for a soda, etc.), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  Did I mention that its $6 for seniors and children, and the whole exciting atmosphere is conducive to family attendance?  I don’t think this is an exaggeration, but almost every home game last year turned out to be a thriller.  It was raw excitement.  Share it with someone you care about.

 

In the meantime, my Basketball Coaching 101 book is still out in the marketplace at either amazon.com or createspace.com for $17.95.  It makes an excellent New Year’s/post-Christmas gift.  Consider buying the book – I really do need the royalty money to help subsidize my gambling habits.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

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

MARCH 1:                 On the Ideal Diet—That Works

 

 


ON THE RESULTS!!!

December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

 

As many of the readers know, this month’s article was to be titled “On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season.”  But something happened on the way to the forum.  And yes, you guessed it – it was the results of the presidential election.  And, as Al Michaels once said (on the USA Olympic hockey team gold medal victory): “Do you believe in miracles?”

 

In some respects, the unthinkable happened.  Our great nation was probably saved from four more years of higher medical insurance costs, a crumbling infrastructure, a more weakened military, a disastrous foreign policy, a struggling economy, massive illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, an increase in un-American activities at home, the fostering of the insane global warming policies, the legitimization of Black Lives Matter, anarchy in the streets, the erosion of academic integrity, the disappearance of traditional American values, increased lying/manipulation/cheating, fostering the myth of the “war on women,” furthering of racial tensions, etc., etc.  Well folks, we’ve indeed been saved.  Thank you Donald Trump.

 

Come January, Trump (like Obama) will swear to “.…I promise to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States…” And, there is a reasonable chance that this time, unlike BHO, Trump will honor this pledge.  And, hopefully, during the next four years, he will provide a transparent Administration, abide by the rule of law, and eliminate the cesspool we refer to as Washington D.C.

 

The results?  What about them?  Here are some notes from my files since November 8:

 

  1. It was not only the Democratic Party but also the Republican Party that failed our country. But fear not, the “Tea” has returned stronger and unified.
  2. I never realized how corrupt our nation has become.
  3. Let us not forget Trump’s tremendous contribution that awakened the electorate to the evils associated with Black Lives Matter, being politically correct, disparaging the Constitution, etc.
  4. The Clinton “Foundation?” How do they get away with this scam?  It seems to me to be an organization that is based on influence peddling along with money laundering.  They have redefined charity.
  5. It should be obvious now that both Clintons are not only criminals but also traitors.
  6. Our government can’t solve problems because they are the problem.
  7. I doubt Trump will be able to bring back manufacturing jobs, but energy and infrastructure – both of which cannot be farmed out overseas – are another matter.
  8. The election pitted an insider vs. an outsider and the general public saved America by voting in the outsider – not the insider more corrupt than BHO.
  9. Three classes of people voted for The Hill: morons, liberal fanatics, and those wanting to retain their handouts. What a sorry group.
  10. The Hill and Bubba plus BHO and Michelle consistently played the sex and race card in an attempt to distract the voters.
  11. Anyone who loves our country and voted the Hill is an ass.
  12. Trump did our nation a great service by exposing the corruption at all levels of our society, media, academia, business, the FBI, DOJ, government, Hollywood, etc., etc.…..
  13. The movement toward socialism has failed.
  14. Remember it was The Hill and Michelle who claimed that “when they go low, we go high.” Of course, they had to be joking when both couldn’t have gone much lower toward the end of the campaign, and then said, nothing about the demonstrations that followed the Hill’s defeat.
  15. The reaction of the millenniums immediately following the election was disgusting and was in line with the conduct of The Hill, BHO, Michelle, etc. They remind me of spoiled brats after losing at a sporting event.
  16. Many other liberals have also gone berserk.
  17. Anybody really believe BHO will help the Trump transition team?
  18. It is now official. BHO will go down as our worst president…hands-down.
  19. I’d love to have an opportunity to interview the young Trump boy. I wonder what he is thinking.
  20. I still maintain that individuals should be required to pass a simple current events exam to qualify to vote.
  21. BHO and The Hill had great “ground games.” That’s where you bribe a clueless voter with transportation and a pint of rye, a cellphone, some grass, and $20 to vote for someone he/she knows nothing about.
  22. Am I alone in thinking that the voting haws should change?
  23. The Hill didn’t get elected, but she’s still a criminal, traitor, and multi-millionaire.
  24. The Hill and BHO’s legacy are not more.
  25. I’ve instituted a new $20 policy. I’m willing to pay $20 to put my left shoe up the ass of certain individuals.  I’m prepared to pay an additional $20 to also use my right shoe on Megan Kelly of FOX.
  26. BHO and The Hill have caused untold suffering and millions of deaths, and created havoc in most of Europe.
  27. The New York Times apologized for its unprofessional conduct during the campaign, then promised to change course, and then reverted back to its old ways.
  28. BHO went on a world tour lecturing the American people.
  29. When are some of the fanatical liberal Hollywood elites going to honor their promise and flee our country?
  30. BHO is truly delusional. He told the foreign press (not our press) that he did a great job as President – and that no one could deny that.  I guess he forgot about the 60+ million voters who rejected his policies and voted for Trump.
  31. I’m disgusted with the conduct of those fanatical liberals who have been crying, moaning, and claiming foul.
  32. The demonstrations/riots provide proof that the electorate made the right decision.
  33. You should boycott “Hamilton” if you’re an American.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JANUARY 1:             On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

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

MARCH 1:                 On the Ideal Diet—that works.

 


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 THE OHI DAY IV

October 1, 2016

 

 

A QUESTION!  Here’s a question for those in my reading audience who consider themselves history buffs.  What was the turning point during World War II that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany?  For some, it was Churchill’s resolute stand against Hitler’s blitz of England during the early stages of the war.  For others, it was the unforgettable door-to-door battle during the successful defense of Stalingrad.  And who can forget Montgomery’s date with destiny against Rommel in North Africa at El Alamein.  But for me, there is the one event that stood above them all.  And, that’s what this short revisit to the Fall of 1940 is all about.

 

I would be remiss not to mention that, on October 28th, Greece and all Greek-Americans will celebrate the OHI Day.  “OHI” is the Greek word for an emphatic NO!  This October 28th marks the 76th anniversary of Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas’ courageous refusal to submit to Fascist Nazi Germany occupation demands of Greece during World War II.  Against far superior military power and insurmountable odds, the proud Greek nation resisted the Axis power, delayed their advance, and ultimately changed the tide of the war.  This special day pays tribute to a very special nation with a very special group of individuals during a period of time many have either knowingly or unknowingly chosen to forget.

 

My first article on the OHI Day was written 11 years ago, and what I had to say then still applies today.  Here is that unedited article.

 

“I was baptized Elias Theodorakos since it is the Greek custom to name the first son after the paternal Papou (grandfather).  Within a few years, the name Elias (our first grandson is named Elias) was displaced by Louis, its American counterpart.  In second grade, my immigrant parents were told by several public school teachers that it would be in the best interest of the family to Americanize the last name.  The name was soon legally changed to Theodore.  Although I am an American first I remain proud of my Hellenic roots. And, it is for this reason that this short piece was written.

 

The media, novels, movies, television (particularly the History Channel), documentaries, etc., have done a superb job of educating the younger genera­tion about the background and struggles of World War II.  The battle for Britain and the defense of Stalingrad are two examples that come to mind, as well as the continuing, repetitive and perhaps overdone coverage of the horrors of the holocaust. But there has been little to nothing about the role Greece played on the events and final outcome of the war.

 

On to the theme of this article.  The 65th anniversary of the repulsion of fascist forces by the Greek Armed Forces was recently celebrated several weeks ago on October 28.  (The day came and went without a whimper here in the United States.)  The Greeks refer to this as the OHI (no!) Day.  OHI was Prime Minister Metaxas’s response to Hitler’s order to peacefully surrender.  What followed Metaxas’s response to Hitler was 219 days of fierce battles.  That in turn was followed by intense guerrilla warfare that resulted in a bru­tal occupation that included executions, sufferings, famine, and severe infla­tion.  The rest is now history for some people and all Greeks.

 

For comparison purposes, the days of resistance of the various combatants to the Nazi-Fascist invasion are listed below:

 

  1. Belgium                             18
  2. Czechoslovakia                 0
  3. Denmark                             0
  4. France                                43 (the supposed superpower of that time)
  5. Greece                              219 (13,696 Greek soldiers died)
  6. Luxembourg                       0
  7. Norway                                 7
  8. Poland                                 30
  9. The Netherlands                4
  10. Yugoslavia                            3

 

The total number of human losses in percentage of total population are also listed below.

 

  1. Belgium                                 5%
  2. France                                    0%
  3. Greece                                    0%  (750,000)
  4. Poland                                    8%
  5. Soviet Union                         8%
  6. The Netherlands                  2%
  7. Yugoslavia                              7%

 

Here is what some of the more important players of that time had to say (citations available on request) about the heroic Greek accomplishments against the armies of not only Germany but also the armies of Italy, Bulgaria and Albania.

 

Adolph Hitler: “As a matter of historical truth, I must ascertain that only the Hellenes, of all the adversaries that confronted me, fought with daring courage and the highest disregard to death… ”

 

Sir Robert Anthony Eden: “Regardless what historians will say in the future, what we can say now is that Hellas gave a memorable lesson to Mussolini, that she was the reason of the resistance in Yugoslavia, that she kept the Germans on the soil of Ipiros and Crete for 6 weeks, that she changed the chronological order of all of the German Major Generals’ plans and, thus, brought about a general alteration in the entire war’s journey and we won.”

 

Sir Winston Churchill: “The word heroism, I’m afraid, does not reflect in the least the Hellenes’ acts of self-sacrifice that were the defining factor of the victorious ending of all the nations’ common struggle during the 2nd WW for human freedom and dignity.”

“If it were not for the bravery of the Hellenes and their courageous hearts, the ending of the 2nd WW would not have been clear.”

“Until now we were saying that Hellenes fight like heroes. Now we will say: Heroes fight like Hellenes.”

‘The Hellenes” in fighting against the common enemy will share with us in the prosperity of peace.”

 

Charles DeGaulle: “I fail to give the most needed gratitude that I feel for the heroic resistance of the people and the leaders of Hellas.”

 

Maurice Schumann (French Minister of Foreign Affairs): “Hellas is the symbol of martyric, enslaved, bleeding, but live Europe.  Never has a defeat been so honorable for those who underwent it.”

 

Josef Stalin: “I’m sad because I’m getting old and I will not live much longer to express my gratitude to the Hellenic people whose resistance deter­mined the 2nd WW.”

 

Moscow Radio Station: “You fought without weapons and you won, being small before the great ones. We owe you gratitude, because you bought time and, thus, we could arm ourselves. As Russians and as fellow humans, we thank you.”

 

Georgy Joucov (Marshall of the Soviet Army): “If the Russian people man­aged to raise resistance before the gates of Moscow, to contain and reverse the German hurricane, they owe it to the Hellenic people who delayed the German divisions that could have beaten us. The gigantic battle of Crete was the peak of the Hellenic contribution.”

 

Benito Mousolini (Prime Minister of Italy): “… the war in Greece proved that anything can be shattered, with respect to the military, and that sur­prises always await us.”

 

King George VI (Great Britain): “The great struggle of Hellas was the first big detour for the 2nd WW.”

 

Sir Harold Alexander (British Marshall): “It would not be an exaggeration to say that Hellas overturned all the German plans forcing Germany to delay for 6 weeks its attack on Russia. We ask ourselves what would have been the position of the Soviet Union without Hellas.”

 

Franklin Roosevelt: “For Hellas there was granted a delay of 3 hours on the 28th of October 1940 so that she can decide on war or peace, but, even if a delay of 3 days or 3 weeks or 3 years was granted, the answer would have been the same.”

“The Hellenes have taught dignity throughout the centuries (history). When the entire world had lost all hope, the Hellenic people dared to doubt the German monster’s invincibility fighting back with the proud spirit of freedom.”

“The heroic struggle of the Hellenic people against the German attack, having so thunderously won the Italian attempt to invade the Hellenic soil, filled the American hearts with enthusiasm and won their sympathy.  A cen­tury and a half earlier during the war of independence, our nation expressed its fiery sympathy for the Hellenes and was hoping for the Hellenic victory.”

 

OHI day serves as another tribute to all Greeks, including Greek-Americans. Following the War of Independence in 1812 when the brutal uncivilized Turks were defeated, the immigration of Greeks to America began in earnest.  (The Turks had pillaged, looted, persecuted, and enslaved the Greeks for four centuries)  Nearly one tenth of the total population – including my parents – immi­grated to our country during the period 1821-1934.

 

Through it all, Greece has remained the fountainhead of culture and democracy throughout the free world. Despite lacking the political and media clout of other ethnic groups, Greek-Americans have evolved into a suc­cess story that has become a best-kept secret. They have contributed might­ily to our great nation. They rank second only to the American Jews in per capita wealth but first in percent who have earned doctoral degrees.

 

Yep, I still get that special feeling when someone refers to me as a Greek-American.

 

Note: Thanks are due my first cousins Helen Lake Anton and Harry Lake, aka Apostolakos, for providing some of the background material for this arti­cle. Helen was stationed in Greece during part of her C1A career Harry serves on the National Board of Directors and is Finance Chairman of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association).”

 

 

POSTSCRIPT:  The heroism of Greek fighters during WWII is legendary and is often cited in OHI Day celebrations.  What receives less attention outside of Greece, however, is the fact that Greek women themselves often joined the fight in ways that give testament to the strength of Greek women through history.  The Washington OXI Day Foundation aims to remind the world of that bravery.  Each year, their Battle of Crete award “honor(s) a woman for courageous action for freedom and democracy, in memory of the role women played against the Axis Forces in the Battle of Crete in World War II.”  In reprisal for their bravery: in battle; in hiding and caring for wounded fighters; in smuggling arms and messages when they knew that discovery meant certain death; nearly 1,000 Cretan women were killed by the Nazis, and the London Times reported that an additional 500 women were deported to Germany for taking part in the defense of their island.  Even with their lives and freedom at risk, the women of Crete demonstrated bravery and commitment to the cause of freedom and democracy.  Their actions will hopefully inspire generations of women to come.  It was also reported that when every man was needed for fighting, Greek women brought supplies and ammunition up the mountainsides – 80 pound packs on their backs up 3,000 foot peaks.  Let there be no mistake – beyond their skills and assistance on the field – the mere survival of these women during the war was a feat in and of itself.

 

The Washington OXI Day Foundation video provides a powerful and inspirational tribute both commemorating the day and inspiring all to be a courageous society and virtuous during times of crisis.

 

The link: http://www.oxidayfoundatino.org/video-world-leaders-praise-greek-courage/

 

Enjoy this great moment in history.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

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 NESMITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016      

I always wanted to go to the basketball Hall of Fame (HOF) in Springfield, MA.  Well, it all came to be this winter on Wednesday (February 23) when we (along with another couple) drove up to Springfield on Tuesday in weather that could best be described as a snowy-wintry mix.  The 135 mile trip took 3 hours.  What follows are my edited transcribed notes on the trip.

 

  1. All basketball fans should visit the HOF.
  2. All non-basketball fans should visit the HOF at least once.
  3. If you plan to stay/sleep over, as opposed to a day trip, I suggest staying at the Hilton, which is immediately adjacent to the HOF.  Also, consider the package deal that includes admission and breakfast for 2.  It’s a beautiful hotel and worth the price.
  4. The HOF is 3-stories high.  The third floor contains photographs and writings of all the members of the HOF.  I was shocked at some who are members and some of whom are not members.
  5. One floor down is where you want to spend most of your time.  Here, you will find lots of goodies: early history, old-timers, stars of yesteryear, today’s heroes, the media, coaches, administrators, referees, the various conferences, etc.  There were guides there to keep the conservation flowing.  One guide – who never played basketball – had to be nearly 100 years old but lived in the area, was a riot.
  6. A basketball court is located on the bottom/first floor.  Your author’s 2-handed fowl shot of yesteryear went 10 for 25 despite shooting around 80% during earlier days.  My low times have changed.  Incidentally, your author was nicknamed “The Judge” during those earlier years because he spent so much time on the bench.
  7. The first floor also housed a very spacious and comfortable theatre.  My companions requested the movie on MJ although I would have preferred the one on Wilt.

 

Overall, it was a unique experience and would give it a grade of B.  Why not an A, you ask? A few things caught me wrong.  On reaching the third floor, I came face-to-face with the likes of Rick Pitino, Jim Calhoun, John Calipari, John Thompson, Mike Kriyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Dean Smith, etc. – individuals who have, in some form or another, disgraced the game of basketball.  Here are a few other sticklers.

 

  1. There was a very small section in a corner devoted to the NIT.  Isn’t the NIT a major and integral part of the game’s history?  How could this be?  And not a mention of Jack Powers, who served as the Executive Director for 21 years.  (Note: I have formerly nominated Jack for the HOF for the 2017 year.)  I hear admission is very political; but Matt Zeysong (4132315523), the Hall’s curator and historian, has assured me that it is not.

 

Is Jack a worthy candidate?  You be the judge.  He was a 4-year starter and star at Manhattan College, a 2nd team All-American, a coach at Manhattan College, and Athletic Director at Manhattan.  But if he is to be inducted, it will be as an Administrator because of his involvement with the NIT.  At the time of visiting the Hall, the NIT had been around for 74 years.  There have been countless games, innumerable players and coaches, and (of course) millions of fans.  It has endured wars, scandals, and NCAA expansion to continue showcasing some of the finest teams, coaches, and players that college basketball has to offer.  It has, however, fallen on hard times as of late.  Today’s NIT is a men’s college basketball tournament that is now owned and operated by the NCAA.

 

The idea of crowning a national champion began to surface among the New York City sportswriters, initiated by the late Irving Marsh of the Herald Tribune and the late Everett Morris of the Times.  In 1938, the idea became a reality when 6 teams were brought into the old Garden at 49th Street and 8th Avenue to find out who was the best in the land and subsequently being crowned NIT champion.  Enter the NCAA the next year.  “Many thought that when the NCAA Tournament later expanded its field to 64 teams, the NIT would just go away.  But that did not happen.  The NIT presently provides a much needed opportunity to programs that are on the upswing, to clubs that were disappointed by the NCAA selection committee, and to teams that had successful regular seasons but were upset in conference tournament play,” explained Powers, who—as mentioned earlier–ran the NIT for 21 years.

 

No discussion of the NIT would be complete without a discussion of the NIT’s battle for survival between the original NIT and the NCAA.  In 2005, the NCAA ultimately purchased 10-year rights to the NIT from the MIBA for $56.5 million in order to settle an antitrust lawsuit spearheaded by Powers, which was in trial and being litigated until very shortly before the settlement was announced.  The NIT did not initially move from New York City.  However the NIT is presently located in Indianapolis, IN, home of the NCAA.  The selection committee was changed and Powers was unfortunately relegated to member status.  What do the fans in the reading audience think?  Give me a call at (516) 742-8939.  Your comments/suggestions would be appreciated.

 

  1. There was absolutely no mention of the point-shaving scandals in recent years and during the barnstorming days of the original Celtics.

 

  1. There was absolutely no mention of the corruption charges that have been leveled at the NCAA.  No doubt the reader is aware of the recent Boeheim, Pitino, Calipari, Dean Smith, Calhoun, etc.,   scandals.  Note that all of above are members of the HOF.*

 

  1. There was absolutely no mention of the student-athletic scam being perpetrated by the NCAA.*

 

  1. There was absolutely no mention of the adamant refusal of the NCAA to pay players a fair salary.*

 

*As documented in my recent “Basketball Coaching 101” book, I first brought this to the attention of the basketball community 12 years ago.

Bottom line:  It was a worthwhile experience despite the Camelot whitewashing.  I suggest you consider a visit this fall.

 

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

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 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.

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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