Jan 062019
 

Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the business and New Orleans has the so-called home field advantage at the Superdome but every football field looks the same to the players. 100 yards by 53 1/3 yards. For the really technical, the diameter of the pipe for the goal posts is 6 5/8″. If it was a little smaller Cody Parkey’s kick might have gone thru instead of doinking back. 

The Eagles are favored to lose by as many as 9 1/2 points to New Orleans next week. If the game goes as predicted the Saints will be in the Super Bowl. Chicago was a 6.5-point favorite in the latest Eagles vs. Bears odds, with the total at 41.5. The final score was Eagles 16 – Bears 15 for a total of 31 points. That’s 25% under the score predicted by the pundits.  The Bears were favored by 6.5 points but they lost by one point. That’s 555% wrong.  

Drew Brees is 6 feet high and weighs 209 pounds. Nick Foles is 6 foot 6 inches tall and weighs 248 pounds. Bear quarterback Mitch Trubisky is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 222 pounds and was easily handled and sacked etc. by the Eagles. The Eagles will find Drew Brees even easier to handle since he’s such a small quarterback. It’s a known fact that smaller quarterbacks are easier to sack than bigger ones. There’s just no way the Eagles are going to lose to the Saints. Foles will come through once again for Philadelphia and get the Eagles into the Super Bowl once again…. After the Super Bowl, here comes Carson Wentz. 

Jan 062019
 

Dancing Queen Ocasio-Cortez Defends Rashida Tlaib Calling Trump ‘Motherf**ker’: ‘I Got Your Back”……. Yeah and the two of them should rot in the nether regions of the universe.  That’s as far away as they can go and that’s where they should get to.

On Friday Jan 4, 2019, Tlaib said she stands by her remark but….. she lied about her own remark. She told WDIV Local 4 in Detroit that President Trump “has met his match” and “he’s just going to have to deal” with it. “I’ve always been this way. No one expects me to be anything but myself. The girl from Southwest Detroit. The little sass and attitude,” the Michigan Democrat said. “I think President Trump has met his match. I don’t like bullies. I go after them the same way they go after us. And he’s just going to have to deal.”

“I stand by impeaching the president of the United States. I ran on that,” she added. “I very much hold dearly that I want to impeach this president.”….. She forgot to mention her “Motherfu*ker” remark which is what the flap is about. Tlaib and Ocasio are real practiced liars. Both of them are liars. Neither one belongs in the United States Government because they are against America and they favor Socialism which requires obedience to the group over Capitalism which requires freedom to each individual. Putin loves these two. . 

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Jan 062019
 

It’s awfully hard to keep walking after the coffin closes but somehow CHER has it figured out as the latest photo’s of her show. It’s not often we can actually watch the dumb in action but with CHER it’s not that difficult. Living in the spotlights dries out the skin as her face clearly proves. We wish her well but hope she can get it about president Trump.  

Jan 062019
 

By Rick Staedtler
Jun 14, 2018 Editor’s note: Because the pension crisis is such a critical issue in Pennsylvania, we dispensed with our usual word limit for today’s guest opinion.

As school directors finalize their 2018-2019 budgets, much attention is understandably focused on teacher salaries. A cursory examination of preliminary budgets shows equal or greater attention should be placed on the staggering employee benefit ratios in public education versus those in the private sector.

In Council Rock, for example, teacher and support staff benefits approximated 61 percent of salaries for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017. At Pennsbury and Neshaminy the ratio approximated 58 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Pew Trust and other sources the ratio for all U.S. employees ranges between 30-44 percent. Why are the benefits for teachers and support staffs so costly?

The simple answer is pension costs. Almost all Pennsylvania public school employees belong to the Public School Employees Retirement System. Teacher pension benefits are funded roughly 50 percent by the state and 50 percent by local school districts and are guaranteed by the state, i.e., taxpayers. For fiscal 2018 the pension contribution rate is a mind-boggling 32.57 percent or almost 33 cents for each dollar of wages.

Compare that with the average private sector employer retirement cost. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that while 78 percent of public sector employees enjoy pension plans, only 13 percent of private sector employees have them.

The average private sector employer pays a 3-4 percent matching 401(k) contribution and bears no market risk thereafter. That risk passes to the employee.

Many teacher organizations falsely blamed the current pension crisis solely on the 2008-09 stock market crash and state and districts’ failure to make timely contributions. A succinct review of stock market gains, employer contributions and unfunded net pension liabilities of PSERS for the period July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2017, shows that PSERS’s unfunded net pension liability increased 27 percent despite record employer contributions and a 26 percent stock market gain.

Unfunded net is recorded as follows: for July 1, 2014, pension liability was $35.1 billion with a Dow Jones average of 16,852. For June 30, 2015, the contribution rate was 25.84 percent, pension liability was $37.3 billion with a Dow Jones average of 17,596. For June 30, 2016, the contribution rate was 30.03 percent, pension liability was $42.7 bilion and the Dow Jones average was 17,694. Lastly, for June 30, 2017, the contribution rate was 32.57 percent, pension liability was $44.5 billion and the Dow Jones average was 21,287.

School district shares of the liability are huge. Locally, the unfunded net pension liabilities of the three districts increased 25 percent in the same two-year period ended June 30, 2017: Council Rock’s unfunded net pension liability was $331.5 mllion on July 1, 2015; $358.9 million on June 30, 2016; and $409.7 million on June 30, 2017. Neshaminy’s unfunded net pension liability was nearly $229.4 million on July 1, 2015; nearly $252 million on June 30, 2016; and $289.5 million on June 30, 2017. Pennsbury’s unfunded net pension liability was $276.7 million on July 1, 2015; $309.9 milion on June 30, 2016; and $346.7 million on June 30, 2017.

The obvious question is why are unfunded net pension liabilities increasing significantly despite a booming stock market and record employer contributions. The answer should be obvious: The huge pension benefits paid teachers are unsustainable.

At Council Rock most 40-year teachers with an MA will retire with a six-figure pension for life, including many retiring at 62-63. At 66 or 67 they will receive another $20,000-$22,000 in Social Security so that they will be collecting more in retirement than in their peak salary years. By contrast, the average retiree will collect $32,000 to $40,000 in both retirement and Social Security or no more than a third of what the average 40-year Council Rock teacher with an MA can expect. The salary of a classroom teacher with a masters degree plus 30 additional college credits is $110,743 for the of maximum of 5 classes a day with each class limited to 45 minutes for five days a week for the school year  . 

PSERS assumes a 7.25 percent investment return year after year. A small failure to achieve this earnings rate increases the unfunded net pension liability disproportionately. At Council Rock, for example, a 1 percent decrease in earnings to 6.25 percent increases Council Rock’s unfunded net pension liability 22 percent from $409.7 million to $501.2 million or over a half-billion dollars just for one district’s share of the net pension liability. Who is ultimately liable for any such increases? Taxpayers, of course. They must not only bear the losses in their own 401(k) accounts but also fund the failures in the teacher pension accounts.

Many erroneously believe the pension reform of 2017 solved the pension crisis. Not even remotely. It merely slowed the bleeding slightly. First, it is not effective until July 1, 2019. Second, it is only mandatory for new employees.

The best reform would be to freeze the current teacher pension plan prospectively (not retroactively) and replace it with matching 401(k) plans and contributions like the private sector, reducing the market risk for taxpayers. That at least stops the bleeding. The state Legislature has the authority but not the will to do this.

In 2015, Gov. Wolf vetoed pension reform that would have accomplished much (not all) of what we needed. If he is re-elected, meaningful pension reform is dead: He received massive teacher and teachers’ union contributions last election cycle. Even if a Republican is elected, reform is not assured. Last election cycle virtually all Democrats received teachers’ union contributions and so did a few Republicans — especially in Bucks — perhaps just enough to defeat real reform.

Rick Staedtler, Holland, is a CPA and 22-year Army veteran, including service in Vietnam.

Jan 062019
 

He is being paid $174,696 a year. He is 61 years old. He was paid for 40 years but he cannot collect Social Security because he’s too young. His contract may not have included Social Security payments so his take-home is at a higher rate than most Americans but he claims to have worked from age 21 to age 61. that’s 40 years. His successor will be paid a little less this year but will get a $14,014 pay raise this year and Council Rock pay raises are legendary because they are higher than most of the resident tax payers get so the new administrator will be paid even more. The old administrator worked 40 years and 40 times $174,696 is $6.987,840 which is a whisker less than $7 million.

What is his retirement pay? Many teachers retire at the average salary of their last few years. His retirement pay will be . 

Jan 062019
 

Protesters confront police in St Louis following the acquittal of a former officer charged in the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.
Stephanie Sun’s downtown Chinese restaurant is out thousands of dollars after vandals smashed windows in the aftermath of the Stockley trial verdict. 

“Vandal’s”?? That’s False Reporting…. “FAKE NEWS” These were criminals in full riot and destruct mode.

In a 30-page ruling, Judge Wilson said officer Stockley, a decorated West Point graduate was not guilty of murder because the officer was acting in self-defense during the arrest for drug dealing, failure to obey law enforcement and fleeing the scene.  The officer Jason Stockley sued the former prosecutor and an internals affairs detective. 

The case sparked protests that ranged from largely peaceful to what police have called acts of “chaos” in the Missouri city.

Some of the headlines:

More than 80 people arrested in St. Louis during 3rd night of protests

Tear gas deployed after St. Louis protest over ex-cop’s acquittal turns violent, 32 arrested

Wait….wait… “Tear Gas deployed” at a “protest”? No, no, no, hell no…. Police do not use tear gas at peaceful, law-abiding protests. Police use tear gas at riots. If they used tear gas it was a violent riot where rioters refused to obey the police.  Police also arrested 22 protesters at the Galleria mall Saturday and a group of about 50 gathered Sunday afternoon in Belleville to protest the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley. “Protestors” are not arrested for protesting, not in America where protesting is protected as free speech. They are arrested for observed criminal behaviors. 

Also, officer Stockley was a West Point Academy graduate who served at least nine years in the United States Military. That means he was one cool character, not prone to shoot then figure things out. He graduated as an Army Officer, … a Second Lieutenant. He was injured in Iraq and received a bronze star. 

U2, Bono, and Ed Sheeran canceled their St Louis shows due to the potential for out-of-control riots over the acquittal of officer Stockley. The riots led to more than 30 arrests

Ahead of judge Wilson’s verdict black activists warned  a not-guilty verdict for the former police officer, Jason Stockley, would result in acts of unlawful riots. Both of those events happened. 

At the riot, a line of white police in riot gear approached black protesters who refused to obey them knocking down one black woman in a scene captured by local television helicopter. Officers pepper-sprayed the remaining, standing black protestors as the woman remained on the ground, until she was cuffed and led away.

The shooting occurred in 2011 after officer Stockley and his partner officer Brian Bianchi, both white men, attempted to corner Smith’s vehicle in a fast-food restaurant parking lot, after they had witnessed Smith, a black man do a drug deal. Smith backed into the police vehicle, …  twice … to evade the officers, who said they saw a gun in the man’s vehicle. Stockley fired seven shots at Smith’s car as he drove away and had to be chased by the police in their damaged police car.

Sept. 15, 2017

Wilson announced the not-guilty verdict for Stockley. Protests spilled out into the streets and police arrested 32 people.

Tear gas deployed after St. Louis protest over ex-cop’s acquittal turns violent, 32 arrested

Sept. 16, 2017

After a day of peaceful demonstrations, violence erupts in a wealthy enclave of St. Louis after dark. Storefront windows are shattered and riot police make nine arrests.

Sept. 17, 2017

On the third day of protests, police arrested more than 123 people.

123 arrested in St. Louis in 3rd night of protests over ex-cop’s acquittal

Sept. 18, 2017

Demonstrations continued into a fourth day with a march through the city streets, while police said they were preparing for any further acts of violence.

4th night of protests in St. Louis after ex-cop’s acquittal

Three years later Darren Wilson, a white police officer, fatally shot Michael Brown who was charging at the armed police office which wrongly led to weeks of lawless and violent demonstrations by black people in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis. The shooting, which followed many other high-profile killings of black people by white officers, renewed discussions about minorities “relations” with police.

A  federal lawsuit filed in June, 2018 by Stockley said his accusal of murder was one of several lies told by Joyce and and Kurt Deeken, who was the head of internal affairs. The charges, the suit said, were an effort by Joyce to protect her legacy with activists protesting police brutality. The arguments used to charge Stockley, it said, contradicted arguments Joyce had used to not charge officers in other high-profile cases.

“The making of each and every false statement, as set out in this Complaint, under oath, is a Class C felony,” Stockley’s attorney wrote. “Conspiracy to commit perjury is a Class D felony. Knowingly filing a false pleading with the Court is unethical and punishable by disbarment. Attempting to convict Stockley of murder and subject him to the rest of his life in isolated confinement, without parole, by lying to a judge is contemptible.”

The suit also blames Joyce and Deeken for the protests and violence that followed his acquittal.

“I believe these types of frivolous lawsuits are designed to discourage prosecutors from considering charges against police officers for violating the law,” Joyce said in a statement in response to the suit. “While this lawsuit may achieve a goal of headlines today, I have confidence that this will be resolved in my favor in a court of law.”

Stockley is seeking at least $300,000 in damages for malicious prosecution and defamation. It is not clear how far his suit against Joyce will get, as prosecutors are entitled to broad immunity. In fact, on the same day Stockley filed his case, a federal appeals panel rejected a lawsuit against former U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof for his actions as a special prosecutor on a 1990 murder in Livingston County. A judge had thrown out the conviction in that case because of prosecutorial misconduct. Sometimes it’s impossible to get justice.