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wolfie09

Upstate NY Banter and General Discussion..

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3 hours ago, DeltaT13 said:

There is always some extra bullshit spending but this seems a little more egregious than usual. I can actually tolerate a few million here or there for side programs that may tangentially help out but aren’t directly related to main cause. 

This however, seems a little absurd. The GOP doesn’t give a **** about us. They just want to further their military agendas and buy votes. 

Th HEROS act ($3T - 3x the size) has $875B for states and localities to use as they please (not sure of the oversight). Plus another $25B for the US Postal Service, $1.5B for an "Emergency Connectivity Fund", $300M for Community Oriented Policing Fund (whatever that means), and $10M each for the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts.

It's a two-way street, those politics.

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35 minutes ago, vortmax said:

Th HEROS act ($3T - 3x the size) has $875B for states and localities to use as they please (not sure of the oversight). Plus another $25B for the US Postal Service, $1.5B for an "Emergency Connectivity Fund", $300M for Community Oriented Policing Fund (whatever that means), and $10M each for the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts.

It's a two-way street, those politics.

Didn’t want to imply the dems were innocent. That just happens to be an unsightly budget from the GOP considering the current state of affairs. Millions of people could be evicted because of something completely out of their control. The government has to step up in that situation. Not buy new planes and warships. If there was finally going to be a bill with no extra fat, now is the time to do it. 

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1 minute ago, DeltaT13 said:

Didn’t want to imply the dems were innocent. That just happens to be an unsightly budget from the GOP considering the current state of affairs. Millions of people could be evicted because of something completely out of their control. The government has to step up in that situation. Not buy new planes and warships. If there was finally going to be a bill with no extra fat, now is the time to do it. 

I agree...a 'pure' bill would be appropriate in this situation. Seems it's too temping with such gigantic price tags to tuck other things in.

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37 minutes ago, vortmax said:

Th HEROS act ($3T - 3x the size) has $875B for states and localities to use as they please (not sure of the oversight). Plus another $25B for the US Postal Service, $1.5B for an "Emergency Connectivity Fund", $300M for Community Oriented Policing Fund (whatever that means), and $10M each for the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts.

It's a two-way street, those politics.

The post office is actually something affected by; and useful during a pandemic. You can throw funding at them forever and I’ll think it’s money well spent 

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Just now, DeltaT13 said:

The post office is actually something affected by; and useful during a pandemic. You can throw funding at them forever and I’ll think it’s money well spent 

I kind of agree, but there needs to be a change in business model...they just keep losing money.

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9 minutes ago, DeltaT13 said:

Didn’t want to imply the dems were innocent. That just happens to be an unsightly budget from the GOP considering the current state of affairs. Millions of people could be evicted because of something completely out of their control. The government has to step up in that situation. Not buy new planes and warships. If there was finally going to be a bill with no extra fat, now is the time to do it. 

My dads tenants haven't paid rent since March. He is struggling. Something needs to be done to help out.

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5 hours ago, BuffaloWeather said:

My dads tenants haven't paid rent since March. He is struggling. Something needs to be done to help out.

Tell your dads tenants to apply to this. They need to do it by the end of the day tomorrow though. But seems like a great program that would keep them from getting evicted and also help your dad out tremendously considering they would back pay rent all the way to March 1

https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP

 

Here’s the program overview. 

The COVID Rent Relief Program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. The Covid Rent Relief Program is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted throughout the two-week application period. HCR will prioritize eligible households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.

The rental assistance payment will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the months the households is applying for assistance. Households can apply for up to four months in rental assistance.

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4 hours ago, WesterlyWx said:

Tell your dads tenants to apply to this. They need to do it by the end of the day tomorrow though. But seems like a great program that would keep them from getting evicted and also help your dad out tremendously considering they would back pay rent all the way to March 1

https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP

 

Here’s the program overview. 

The COVID Rent Relief Program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. The Covid Rent Relief Program is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted throughout the two-week application period. HCR will prioritize eligible households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.

The rental assistance payment will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the months the households is applying for assistance. Households can apply for up to four months in rental assistance.

His tenants are too lazy to do something like this. He gave them this paperwork and nothing has come of it yet. 

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1 hour ago, BuffaloWeather said:

Kodak was up 500% today. Anyone day trading? 

After the report yesterday of the switch to drug ingredients I'm not surprised.

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17 hours ago, Thinksnow18 said:

After the report yesterday of the switch to drug ingredients I'm not surprised.

It’s actually up 2,400% since Monday. An 8k investment Monday morning would have been $200,000 if you sold it yesterday at its peak. 

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1 hour ago, DeltaT13 said:

It’s actually up 2,400% since Monday. An 8k investment Monday morning would have been $200,000 if you sold it yesterday at its peak. 

Dang. I only heard about this, but something really interesting and a needed boost for the company and local economy.

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2 hours ago, DeltaT13 said:

It’s actually up 2,400% since Monday. An 8k investment Monday morning would have been $200,000 if you sold it yesterday at its peak. 

Thanks to local news outlets putting the story out Monday I made a couple dollars....

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On 7/28/2020 at 10:12 PM, vortmax said:

I kind of agree, but there needs to be a change in business model...they just keep losing money.

It should be viewed as a service, just like the Navy, the marines, the red cross, etc etc.  Why do we expect them or even care if they turn a profit?  Our roads and sewer systems don't make any money, but we sure as hell need them and use them.  It's time to stop pretending the post office is a business and treat it like the service it is.  

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3 hours ago, DeltaT13 said:

It should be viewed as a service, just like the Navy, the marines, the red cross, etc etc.  Why do we expect them or even care if they turn a profit?  Our roads and sewer systems don't make any money, but we sure as hell need them and use them.  It's time to stop pretending the post office is a business and treat it like the service it is.  

But the armed forces, sewers, public roads don't have private competition.

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14 hours ago, vortmax said:

But the armed forces, sewers, public roads don't have private competition.

Well what if all the private mail delivery places went under and folded?  Seems like it would be wise to have a backup system in place as mail delivery is about as critical as it gets.  

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3 hours ago, DeltaT13 said:

Well what if all the private mail delivery places went under and folded?  Seems like it would be wise to have a backup system in place as mail delivery is about as critical as it gets.  

I agree, but because it's the only major "service" with direct competition, I think it should be run more like its competition, in fact, should be the shining example of a well-run business to keep the likes of UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, etc. in-check and competitive.

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23 hours ago, DeltaT13 said:

It should be viewed as a service, just like the Navy, the marines, the red cross, etc etc.  Why do we expect them or even care if they turn a profit?  Our roads and sewer systems don't make any money, but we sure as hell need them and use them.  It's time to stop pretending the post office is a business and treat it like the service it is.  

I don't need USPS to post a profit but they certainly should be able to support themselves the same way the water authority charges enough to cover their operating expenses. Otherwise its just one more thing my tax dollar is subsidizing. 

 

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On 8/4/2020 at 12:03 PM, vortmax said:

I agree, but because it's the only major "service" with direct competition, I think it should be run more like its competition, in fact, should be the shining example of a well-run business to keep the likes of UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, etc. in-check and competitive.

The postal power is explicitly stated in the Constitution. There is a reason why the founders thought that postal service was fundamentally valuable to the nation: it's a neutral medium of communication, allowing first amendment expression to be put into practice. Unlike private shipping companies, the USPS has a universal service obligation. They have to deliver to everyone. If the government were to order UPS or to FedEx to deliver to everyone without exception, it would be seen as a wild abuse of the free market. As private enterprises, they're allowed to make decisions about who to serve and who not to serve, and as long as those decisions don't explicitly target protected classes, the federal government can't do a thing about it. A universal service obligation requires a public postal service. Moreover, the postal service can't restrict the content of what it delivers (with some notable exceptions for criminal activity), while a private service could restrict free expression. 

Not everything is a business, or should be modeled on a business. The military, clearly, is not a business -- the explicit use of US soldiers as mercenaries is out of bounds, the antithesis of a military oath of service or oath of enlistment. While private security guards are an option for commercial ventures or private individuals, our system of laws depends upon enforcement by a public, not private, police and prosecutors.

We have been fortunate enough to have a postal system that for most of its existence has been fully self-funding. The law the mid-2000s to require pre-funding of retirement benefits is virtually unique to the USPS (every other employer operating at anywhere near the scale of the USPS operates largely or wholly on PAYG funding. As a basis of operation, it's just not controversial. The law that burdened the USPS with unmanageable expenses was a bad one, passed by a lame duck congress acting on behalf of private competitors to the USPS, none of whom pre-fund pension obligations. UPS's pension operates largely as PAYG, with some pre-funding at the discretion of the company.

The post office has potential that far exceeds its remit. Until the last generation, the Post Office used its extensive reach, with branches in every corner of the country, to offer postal banking, to great success. The usurious payday loan industry has replaced that valuable service to the detriment of millions of working people. Other public postal services provide insurance services, administer retirement savings plans, even provide internet services, basically at cost. It's a great boon to consumers, and because postal services have rate-setting authority, very little of this is done at the expense of the taxpayer.

The potential of the post office to help hundreds of millions of ordinary people is threat to the handful of people who pay themselves a lot of money to run duplicative services, and the money that has been accumulated by that relative handful of people is used to buy the votes of politicians. This is called regulatory capture -- the process by which the wealthy use their wealth to kneecap public competition or accountability -- and it is the swampiest form of corruption because the people who commit these corrupt acts have used their corrupt gains to buy the lawmakers who are supposed to hold them accountable. 

While regulatory capture kicked off this crisis, what's accelerated the problem is that the post office is uniquely situated to allow people to participate in the democratic process. Post offices are everywhere. Someone from the post office goes to every home in the country at least six times a week. At a time when in person voting, already made deliberately complicated and challenging for millions of people, is also a risk to the health and safety of voters and of poll workers, we already have the answer in front of us: vote by mail. But corrupt politicians already get to pick their own voters by throwing up every hurdle imaginable, including crippling the postal service itself. It's incredible to consider that politicians are driven by a completely arrogant question: what benefit to office holders could come from making voting easier? As a result, we have to listen to endless lies about ballot security and vote counting. The reality that they don't want to acknowledge is that the very legitimacy of their rule ultimately depends upon the extent to which they represent the actual people of this country. 

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2 hours ago, WNash said:

The postal power is explicitly stated in the Constitution. There is a reason why the founders thought that postal service was fundamentally valuable to the nation: it's a neutral medium of communication, allowing first amendment expression to be put into practice. Unlike private shipping companies, the USPS has a universal service obligation. They have to deliver to everyone. If the government were to order UPS or to FedEx to deliver to everyone without exception, it would be seen as a wild abuse of the free market. As private enterprises, they're allowed to make decisions about who to serve and who not to serve, and as long as those decisions don't explicitly target protected classes, the federal government can't do a thing about it. A universal service obligation requires a public postal service. Moreover, the postal service can't restrict the content of what it delivers (with some notable exceptions for criminal activity), while a private service could restrict free expression. 

Not everything is a business, or should be modeled on a business. The military, clearly, is not a business -- the explicit use of US soldiers as mercenaries is out of bounds, the antithesis of a military oath of service or oath of enlistment. While private security guards are an option for commercial ventures or private individuals, our system of laws depends upon enforcement by a public, not private, police and prosecutors.

We have been fortunate enough to have a postal system that for most of its existence has been fully self-funding. The law the mid-2000s to require pre-funding of retirement benefits is virtually unique to the USPS (every other employer operating at anywhere near the scale of the USPS operates largely or wholly on PAYG funding. As a basis of operation, it's just not controversial. The law that burdened the USPS with unmanageable expenses was a bad one, passed by a lame duck congress acting on behalf of private competitors to the USPS, none of whom pre-fund pension obligations. UPS's pension operates largely as PAYG, with some pre-funding at the discretion of the company.

The post office has potential that far exceeds its remit. Until the last generation, the Post Office used its extensive reach, with branches in every corner of the country, to offer postal banking, to great success. The usurious payday loan industry has replaced that valuable service to the detriment of millions of working people. Other public postal services provide insurance services, administer retirement savings plans, even provide internet services, basically at cost. It's a great boon to consumers, and because postal services have rate-setting authority, very little of this is done at the expense of the taxpayer.

The potential of the post office to help hundreds of millions of ordinary people is threat to the handful of people who pay themselves a lot of money to run duplicative services, and the money that has been accumulated by that relative handful of people is used to buy the votes of politicians. This is called regulatory capture -- the process by which the wealthy use their wealth to kneecap public competition or accountability -- and it is the swampiest form of corruption because the people who commit these corrupt acts have used their corrupt gains to buy the lawmakers who are supposed to hold them accountable. 

While regulatory capture kicked off this crisis, what's accelerated the problem is that the post office is uniquely situated to allow people to participate in the democratic process. Post offices are everywhere. Someone from the post office goes to every home in the country at least six times a week. At a time when in person voting, already made deliberately complicated and challenging for millions of people, is also a risk to the health and safety of voters and of poll workers, we already have the answer in front of us: vote by mail. But corrupt politicians already get to pick their own voters by throwing up every hurdle imaginable, including crippling the postal service itself. It's incredible to consider that politicians are driven by a completely arrogant question: what benefit to office holders could come from making voting easier? As a result, we have to listen to endless lies about ballot security and vote counting. The reality that they don't want to acknowledge is that the very legitimacy of their rule ultimately depends upon the extent to which they represent the actual people of this country. 

 

Bravo.

Well stated.

 

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This country has a real problem with being anti science. My entire Facebook is flooded with conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and anti vaccine. They think everything is corrupt. While many things are, I just don't see how scientists and those in the medical world that go to school for 10-15 years to help people would be involved in a giant ponzi scheme to deceive the country. 

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44 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

This country has a real problem with being anti science. My entire Facebook is flooded with conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and anti vaccine. They think everything is corrupt. While many things are, I just don't see how scientists and those in the medical world that go to school for 10-15 years to help people would be involved in a giant ponzi scheme to deceive the country. 

I don't think it's primarily anti-science. I think it's primarily a lack of trust in the people, not the science. Data is data, people on both sides either ignore it, manipulate it, or just conveniently not mention it to support their narrative.

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14 hours ago, cny rider said:

 

Bravo.

Well stated.

 

Agreed - interesting history. That last paragraph though is a totally different debate topic. 

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Update on the grounding mat.
I was truly skeptical but I’m becoming a believer. My chronic pain has been almost non existent since I started using it. Plus, my lower back has been great. 
All that being said, I am susceptible to the placebo effect and it could be that. Who knows. 
Thanks for hooking me up Wolfie! 

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On 8/6/2020 at 10:23 AM, vortmax said:

Agreed - interesting history. That last paragraph though is a totally different debate topic. 

I think it's entirely in line with the rest of what I wrote. I think I established that the grounds for going after the USPS from a business perspective are pretty tenuous. They were saddled with a budget requirement that is basically unique. I think concerns about how to pay for pension obligations are generally legitimate, but the solution is to scale down from the really generous pensions of the past. I would love to have the pension my in-laws earned -- something like 65% of their highest annual wage, but they only had to contribute about 2% of their income for the first ten years they worked. That's obviously not sustainable, but the generation who had that really extreme pension is dying out, and the obligation will decrease. I'll get roughly 40%-45% of my average last three salaries after a longer service period, and I'm paying in the entire duration of my job. 

So if it's not pension obligations that are the reason to go after the USPS, why go after it? I think some people don't like to see a large unionized workforce that isn't accountable to Wall Street or other private investors. Some of that is ideology and some of that is political tribalism (when you are so loyal to your team that you do everything you can to destroy the other team).  But what's more plausible is that the USPS is caught up in a general attempt to put as many obstacles to voting in place as possible, ostensibly to stop voter fraud. The problem is that actual voter fraud is statistically insignificant. Voting is actually kind of a pain in the ass, even for me, with a regular work schedule. When voter registration is made needlessly complex, many states require ID. Poorer people are less likely to have ID, and while you can say "that's on them", why require an ID at all, if illegal voting barely exists? Why not make election day a holiday? Why not automatically register people to vote? Frankly, and I know this isn't popular, I think everyone should be at least eligible to vote, including prisoners, because we have seen that once politicians decide to exclude one group, they will keep trying to find more groups to exclude.

The big problem is that many politicians, and most of one of the two major parties, have gone a long way down the road of restricting voting. They're very committed to that position, and they suspect that they'll pay a price if a lot of people who were systematically constrained from voting are suddenly sent a ballot. But that price will be paid sooner or later, because the less that a government reflects the will of the people, the angrier the response will be later on. And I don't think it would be as bad for Republicans as they do -- after all, a very stupid war AND a calamitous financial crisis happened on their watch, and yet they were back in charge of the House within two years and in charge of the entire government within eight years. They're much better off trying to figure out how to gradually wind down voting restrictions instead of trying to tighten the vise harder by doing dumb things like gutting the post office because they are likely to lose one election.

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26 minutes ago, WNash said:

I think it's entirely in line with the rest of what I wrote. I think I established that the grounds for going after the USPS from a business perspective are pretty tenuous. They were saddled with a budget requirement that is basically unique. I think concerns about how to pay for pension obligations are generally legitimate, but the solution is to scale down from the really generous pensions of the past. I would love to have the pension my in-laws earned -- something like 65% of their highest annual wage, but they only had to contribute about 2% of their income for the first ten years they worked. That's obviously not sustainable, but the generation who had that really extreme pension is dying out, and the obligation will decrease. I'll get roughly 40%-45% of my average last three salaries after a longer service period, and I'm paying in the entire duration of my job. 

So if it's not pension obligations that are the reason to go after the USPS, why go after it? I think some people don't like to see a large unionized workforce that isn't accountable to Wall Street or other private investors. Some of that is ideology and some of that is political tribalism (when you are so loyal to your team that you do everything you can to destroy the other team).  But what's more plausible is that the USPS is caught up in a general attempt to put as many obstacles to voting in place as possible, ostensibly to stop voter fraud. The problem is that actual voter fraud is statistically insignificant. Voting is actually kind of a pain in the ass, even for me, with a regular work schedule. When voter registration is made needlessly complex, many states require ID. Poorer people are less likely to have ID, and while you can say "that's on them", why require an ID at all, if illegal voting barely exists? Why not make election day a holiday? Why not automatically register people to vote? Frankly, and I know this isn't popular, I think everyone should be at least eligible to vote, including prisoners, because we have seen that once politicians decide to exclude one group, they will keep trying to find more groups to exclude.

The big problem is that many politicians, and most of one of the two major parties, have gone a long way down the road of restricting voting. They're very committed to that position, and they suspect that they'll pay a price if a lot of people who were systematically constrained from voting are suddenly sent a ballot. But that price will be paid sooner or later, because the less that a government reflects the will of the people, the angrier the response will be later on. And I don't think it would be as bad for Republicans as they do -- after all, a very stupid war AND a calamitous financial crisis happened on their watch, and yet they were back in charge of the House within two years and in charge of the entire government within eight years. They're much better off trying to figure out how to gradually wind down voting restrictions instead of trying to tighten the vise harder by doing dumb things like gutting the post office because they are likely to lose one election.

I haven't met a single republican that would want to restrict voting from any legal citizen, save for felons. There is no evidence that a higher turnout hurts or helps either party (regarding presidential wins) as well - so it makes no sense for republicans to want restricted voting for legal citizens. On the flip side, it makes a whole lot of sense why Democrats want to allow non-citizens to vote as well as lowering the age to 16.

voterturnout1.pngFT_13.07.19_HispanicPolitics_640px.png

 

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Cuomo announces school can open if the infection rate is low.

So schools can open but not indoor dining? Yea that makes sense.

Smh

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