06 August 2012

Monday Musings...
Here we go again, friends...back into the fray for another week.
At least THIS week promises to be a lot more "user-friendly" when it comes to weather.
Temps are expected to be in the 80s ONLY with lows down into the upper 50s...open up those windows and turn OFF the A/C!
And, as usual, we've PLENTY of things to get our brain cells motivated today, so without any further ado, let's get busy with it, shall we?
*** We made it to MARS...AGAIN!
Here's the skinny on this car-sized rover now on the red planet:
This was unlike past missions where the rover was inside a multi-ballooned landing vehicle.
This time, a "sky-crane" method for landing the large rover was employed, and it apparently went off without a hitch (that allowed some people to keep working and saved a buttload of money).
There is a new conference planned for 0900 today, so stay tuned for updates about CURIOSITY, now on Mars.
*** Sunday's local paper (J-G) had an article that got me saying "here we go again", and when you read it, you'll definitely know WHY.

Here's the story link:
This is a pretty GOOD read, if you're interested in HOW the city might seek to increase it's revenue..at YOUR expense.
Fort Wayne is looking at the possible ways to raise revenue (still, or is that again?), and I have to wonder if this is the tip of that "budget deficit" ICEBERG other larger cities have fallen victim to?
I saw the same things happen back in Philly, and we already KNOW about Detroit...and San Bernadino, CA, and a number of other places chronically operating (?) in the RED, right?
Now, the immediate future for Ft. Wayne is okay...for now, but starting in 2014, things will begin to get a little "sporty", and not in a good way.
(recall the movie We Were Soldiers for a similar application of the word SPORTY.)
There are several ways to raise (needed) revenue in the future:
1) Raise INCOME taxes to lower property taxes.
2) Raise INCOME taxes for public safety.
3) Eliminate the local homestead credit.
4) Reduce Spending.
5) Spend cash reserves.
6) Raise the wheel/surtax.
7) Raise fees and fines.
8) Create a capital development fund.
9) A property tax referendum
10) Annexation.
The operative word here seems to be "RAISE".
And of course, this is aside from the 30 or so other "entities" that can (and will) ALSO levy tax increases to fund THEM...like the AIRPORT.
Now, there seems to be an overwhelming "theme" behind most ALL of these "ideas"...namely RAISING TAXES to some degree or another.
The first two propose a higher INCOME tax...all well and good when you have PUH-LENTY of jobs that can FUND that one...and a populace that isn't habitually on the government teat sucking heartily away while being as UNproductive as possible, right?
I do like #7, especially the FINES part of it.
And we ALL know how well #10 went over in say...ABOITE TOWNSHIP, don't we?
Ft. Wayne "could" do what they did in Philly - create a "city wage tax" (back there it was almost 3x the amount of the state tax). This tax was "said" it was for the privilege of working in Philly...well, that's a buncha BS. They taxed people that DIDN'T work in Philly...but just LIVED there as well. Brought in a crapload of moolah...and look at the city TODAY...borderline broke...and very badly bent, thanks to the nearly 50 years of democrat "rule" and runaway spending, funding pension plans that cannot logically be sustained.
The solutions to such issues are many, and WILL bring in money...in the short-term.
In the long haul, it's only going to get worse for city residents (that means more EXPENSIVE to hang around there).
For some, an easier solution will be forthcoming...MOVE AWAY from Fort Wayne, and thereby take their TAX MONEY with them...
How will THAT figure into any tax revision or tax increase when the TAX BASE goes bye-bye???
Short answer: The city screws itself...nicely.
"Would you like some VASELINE to go with that tax bill, Mr and Mrs,. HOMEOWNER?"
*** And in a wonderfully RELATED story, there's this little gem that is much like a postscript to the last story.
This deals with the phenomenon called "White Flight" (which isn't ALWAYS relegated solely to WHITES, but the "drive-by media" doesn't want you to know as much).
White Flight occurs when an area begins to decline, but this can also occur when jobs cannot be found in as plentiful a venue as they once were.
Here's an EXCELLENT explanation of this situation, with the ramifications that a city will suffer as a result:
I found the COMMENTS listed below the article as worthy of reading as the story itself, because people from ALL ethnicities seems to be having the same issue, some in much the same boat as Wifey and myself...(just at a different oar).
THIS is the result...plain and simple.
Real estate practices like "Blockbusting" and "Redlining" have BOTH been culprits in OUR part of Ft. Wayne...for several decades, and we can clearly see the result of such dubious endeavors...such as increasing crime and a lack of both everyday amenities and that good old "quality-of-life" the MAYOR (King Henry) touts.
He ought to live down HERE for just ONE MONTH...he'd be singing quite another tune by them, I guarantee.
*** Now, to make matters possibly worse (or better, depending), there comes this story about HUD wanting to place a SMOKING BAN in their properties.
Here's the story link:
In MANY cases, I think this is a GREAT idea...what with all the HUD (read taxpayer-sponsored) houses that mysteriously BURN THE HELL DOWN around here (and no, the STOVE is not auxiliary heating in winter, and should not be ignored or left alone when HOT GREASE is on it, dumbasses).
Cripes, almost EVERY WEEK we hear about some house torched due to some stupidity displayed by the residents.
The DOWN side to a smoking ban, is that it will create OTHER areas that WILL become impromptu "smoking zones" after a fashion...and I am NOT going to start chasing people off of MY corner property because they feel they can smoke THERE and not in their "crib"...
That sh*t isn't gonna fly with me one damn bit.
If people were more PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE ...and CAREFUL, stuff like this would never have to be enacted...would they?
*** The London Olympics were something to create a sense of awe this past weekend (well, to ME, anyway)..
A few names stood out for me, and their individual accomplishments, as well as their own stories were amazing to watch and listen to.
-- Oscar Pistorius - born in South Africa with deformed feet that had to be amputated when he was an infant, making it into the finals of track and field with PROSTHETIC LIMBS, and initially placing 2nd (to qualify for the next event) in his heat before losing the semi final race..amazing story of courage and perseverance.
-- Mo Farah and Galen Rupp - two long distance runners who trained together in the USA (Farah is from Great Britain and Rupp from the USA) finished the 10,000m race FIRST AND SECOND..astounding!
-- Michael Phelps ends his career with TWENTY-TWO medals over THREE Olympics...
-- McKayla Maroney missed her chance at an individual GOLD medal with a dismount fall (vault horse) in the gymnastics finals allowing Romanian gymnast Sandra Izbasa to win by less than one point in the overall scoring...
It was a nail-biter for certain.
You can' win them all, even if you have in the past.
Everyone has an off day.
We did slip in the total medal count behind China...again.
Here's the link to the current results:
Still, very nice to see the HOST country solidly in THIRD place!
*** Lastly today...we see the ups and down that face not only our cities, but of individuals.
The victories can be glorious, and the defeats can be crushing, but through all of it, the need to keep moving FORWARD is what is important.
In the final analysis, it's not really about any COUNTRY...or EVENT...or MEDAL...it's about PEOPLE.
Always seems to come back to that, whether we talk about gun control, employment (or in this economy, the LACK of it), societal issues or whatever else the fates toss at us. PEOPLE always have been and always will be the determining factor of success OR failure.
Many do quite well, while some perform in an exceptional manner. And yes, there are some who will do as little as possible, in the hope that someone else will come along and do whatever it might be FOR THEM.
All that is required is the EFFORT...the opportunity, and a willingness to do what needs to be done WHEN life asks it of us.
In that, I think we can pretty much all find consensus.
Have yourselves a great week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

I've an idea for the revenue thing: Tax city government 10% for every stupid idea to spend money they come up with. Parkview Field alone would have gotten us through 2014.

Other than a couple good soccer games, haven't paid much mind to the olympics... I'm getting too old for womens tennis, gymnastics, and volleyball to be the draw it once was, lol!

Captcha #1 this morning has the usual picture of a number 70% cut off! Nice job, captcha gods! Let me try another...Ah, that one I can SEE.

Bob G. said...

Love your idea for taxation...there would be NO city that would claim being insolvent THEN...EVER!!!
(perhaps a HOT AIR TAX for politicians???)

I'm not following ALL the Olympics...just some stories pop out and make you go "wow" or "cool".

I DID find the equestrian events fun to watch.
Sometimes, even the HORSE knows better when it decides to NOT JUMP over that hurdle fence.

I;m reallty HATING these capchas these days...I can't read half of them...even WITH a magnifying glass on the dang screen!
Larger would be nice...as would being LEGIBLE!

^#!^%@&! technology...!

Hey, thanks for swinging by today and commenting.
(nice job with your countdown, too)

Stay safe up there.

Slamdunk said...

Your list is good but I am with CWm--great idea.

We get nailed with more taxes here than I can keep up with. I even had to pay penalty on one property tax that I did not know about because I live in a dual-taxing zone (we moved up this way in 2000). Yea me!

Then I talk to my father in TX and his state is doing so much better and instead of filling out 5 different packet of income tax forms every year, he completes one. No wonder our area is a dying one.

And, congrats to Oscar on his amazing run.

Bob G. said...

That's not MY list...hell to the NO on that one...LOL!
That's the list the CITY is mulling over.
(believe me, they would NEVER want to hear any of MY "solutions" to the impending money issues)

When they start reigning IN all these "freebie" programs for the chronically-lazy among us, the BETTER off all levels of government will be, and then they can get back to running the country, states and cities in the manner they were initially supposed to.

Yes, Oscar rocks...a story of TRUE courage.

Thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.

Stay safe (and less taxed) out there.