Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Road Apples, #118

Handel's Messiah...As something of a tradition...well to the extent that two years in a row constitutes a tradition...I recently attended a performance of Handel's Messiah, this year at St. Luke's in downtown Scranton.  I can't claim to be the world's biggest fan of religiously inspired classical music, but this is very enjoyable when you hear it performed by a group such as the Robert Dale Chorale.  It makes you realize just how tremendously talented some of the local folks are in NEPA.  I have to thank Ms Rivers for continuing to contribute to my cultural learnings.

Somewhat Less than Classical...Two movies I recently purchased:  Woody Allen's Love and Death and The Fifth Element.  I watched Love and Death the other night with Katrina.  The Fifth Element will probably be screened some time this week.

Unemployment Benefits...Congress is battling over unemployment benefits again.  There is a rather slanted, in my view, article HERE from the New Republic.  I am somewhat skeptical of adding too many conditions to the receipt of something like unemployment benefits, if for the only reason that workers do in fact pay into the system that provides these benefits.  Besides, isn't adding rules to legislation another example of "big, intrusive government"?

Tax Cuts...Coupled with the unemployment benefit legislation is the extension of what I've previously said is an ill-conceived tax cut.  Ill-conceived because this is a bogus tax-cut, robbing the Social Security System simply because Congress isn't capable of actually reforming the tax code in a way that would provide real, long-term tax relief.  Every day I wake up and read the news, and every day I see why the abysmal approval rating of Congress is deserved.

Bloomberg Businessweek...An enormous THUMBS DOWN to the folks at Bloomberg Businessweek.  I subscribe to the magazine and actually do enjoy the content they provide.  So why the thumbs down?  Well my subscription is up in early January, so towards the end of November I received a card from them stating that my credit card would be automatically charged $50 for a renewal on or about December 26th, and that if I wanted to cancel I could do any time before then to avoid the charge.  Fair enough I thought...I'd noodle it over and probably just go with the renewal.  So what I do I see when I reconcile my last statement?  Well sure enough, I got charged $50 by Bloomberg Businessweek...on November 30th.  Yes, they hit me almost a full month before they said they would.  So I called them yesterday morning to get the charge reversed, and low and behold it may take "1 to 2 billing cycles" before the my account is credited.  Yes...they took my money without my permission and will take their own sweet time to make it right.  They suck.

Occupy Scranton...I have to find out if the Occupy Scranton folks were evicted from courthouse square in Scranton yesterday. I don't have strong feelings about this either way, although I will say that this isn't something I would participate in myself.  I also found their "protest" about firefighter cuts in Scranton to be silly at best.  Can you say "tool of unions"?  Anyway, I say let them stay with two conditions:

  1. There isn't any illegal activity (drugs, etc) going on.
  2. Their presence doesn't negatively impact the use of the square by other individuals and groups.  This includes health and safety concerns that might arise from a quasi-permanent camp. 

Basically I don't think the rights of the protesters should supersede the rights of others.  If there is no conflict of rights then I say let them stay.

1 comment:

JD Curtis said...

Merry Christmas Steve.

And may your upcoming new year be every bit as gloomy, melancholy, darkly introspective, negative, stoic, foreboding, dejected, despondant, doleful, wistful, disheartening, glum, funereal, pensive, trite, and mirthless as your blog is. :)