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JASPER JOTTINGS Week 51 – 2010 Dec 19

JASPER JOTTINGS Week 51 – 2010 Dec 19              …

Jasper Jottings – The achievement journal of my fellow Jaspers, the alumni of the Manhattan College

http://www.jasperjottings.com/2010/jj2010W51.html

 

INDEX

# # # # #

Dec 12, 2010

POSITRACTION: Trevor didn’t … … … via JBLOGGER Gibbons, Patti (MC1986)

http://pattigibbons.com/?p=1113

What is your dream?
November 20, 2010
Gibbons, Patti (MC1986)

*** begin quote ***

Do you have a dream? I mean, a BIG dream?

The conversation Phil, Wade and I had yesterday http://www.stepsofjustice.org/2010/11/19/todays-thoughts-on-justice/ completely affirms my continuing to think this way, but also to take action. I don’t want to miss out on the opportunities right in front of me because I want to be a part of something real, something right, something…Jesus. Bring it.

*** end quote ***

[JR: Piqued my curiosity, so I surfed over.]

http://www.stepsofjustice.org/2010/11/19/todays-thoughts-on-justice/

todays thoughts on justice from a cafe
Posted November 19th, 2010 in Justice Friday, Steps of Justice

*** begin quote ***

This afternoon Wade and I had a great 2 hour conversation with Patti Gibbons over at a cool local cafe in Nashville. We sat and talked about our lives, passions, frustrations and dreams. During the conversation Patti talked a bit about the Steps Of Justice blog in comparison to my personal blog over at philnamy. We talked about posting on our passions and stories that keep us inspired to move forward. We talked about how I tell stories and share life over and philnamy, and how that should translate at Steps Of Justice as well. It struck a chord with me for sure.

*** and ***

My buddy Trevor and I were standing there, numb as to what we could do for this baby girl. We asked one of the nurses how long the girl had to stay in the hospital and they told us that she was going home the next day. We couldn’t believe it, she couldn’t go home, why couldn’t she stay? We found out she couldn’t stay because she didn’t have the $2.50 per day that it cost to stay in the hospital. You know what I did? Nothing. That’s right, I did nothing. I froze in horror, shock and disbelief. You know what my friend Trevor did? He reached into his wallet and pulled out $5 so that she could stay and have a chance at life. This is doing justice, this is doing something. Trevor didn’t save the world, he just did what he could, where he was at, and with whatever he had.

*** end quote ***

[JR: “Trevor didn’t save the world, he just did what he could, where he was at, and with whatever he had.” That struck a chord. Just do something to make the world a better place. No matter how small it might be. You never know how many people you will touch. Trevor’s instant act of charity. A corporal work of mercy. Shames me that the first thing I thought was “what did it solve long-term”. That’s the fat old white guy injineer in me coming out. Followed close behind by “Chinese Obligation”. <1> That’s the old Father Ritter and his favorite “Dany Lou” … explaining how the “obligation” to do more is created by our impulsive charity. Grace of God? (See I didn’t sleep through ALL the classes. Just MOST of them.) Guess I’ll just have to be more open to the impulse. I’m sure all my fellow Jaspers learned that by being awake in ALL the classes. Seems appropriate on Thanksgiving weekend?]

<1> “… … and this is a weaker argument, that is stronger than it appears. Chinese Obligation. The Chinese have a saying that saving a life incurs a two way debt. The one saved owes their life to their savior; doing less would be ungrateful. The one saving owes the saved their continued help lest the save be in vain; doing less would be wasteful of the original act.” —- brainy character “Brian” in CHURCH 10●19●62 Volume 1 Page 223

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Dec 12, 2010

JOBIT: Fitzgerald, Peter Hopkins [MC???? RIP]

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=147092584

Peter Fitzgerald

Peter Hopkins Fitzgerald passed away on December 9, 2010 at home. He was born on June 24, 1939 in Yonkers, New York to Eloise and Patrick Fitzgerald. The son of an Irish bricklayer who was raised in The Bronx and educated by the Christian Brothers, Peter never stopped loving New York City. He was a voracious reader and enjoyed almost every round of golf he played.

He is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 49 years, Anne O’Rourke Fitzgerald; son, Patrick Fitzgerald; daughter Monica Oathout and husband Mark; daughter Sarah Zarcaro and husband, Michael; daughter Theresa Harrigan and husband, Thomas; sister, Patricia Keane; sisters-in-law, Margaret O’Rourke, Alice Clarke, Carol O’Rourke, and Elizabeth O’Rourke; brothers-in-law, Francis O’Rourke and Laurence Clarke; and his eight beloved grandchildren, Michael and Emily Zarcaro; Patrick, Grace, and Peter Oathout; and Tom, Claire, and Stephen Harrigan. Peter was deeply loved by his family and will be missed immeasurably.

Peter attended Manhattan College, the University of Maine, and Stanford University, where he received a Ph.D in Higher Education Administration in 1972. Throughout his life he worked at various institutions of higher education, including the University of Maine, the University of Kentucky, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he served as the Executive Vice President for Administration. He thought working at UT Southwestern was the best job in the world, and he greatly admired his colleagues there.

The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at M.D. Anderson and the Texas Heart Institute in Houston for their care of Peter.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 15500 El Camino Blvd., Houston, Texas 77062 on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Forest Park East Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Peter Fitzgerald Fund at UT Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas, P.O. Box 910888, Dallas, Texas 75391-0888. Online condolences may be left for the family at http://www.claytonfuneralhomes.com

Published in Houston Chronicle on December 12, 2010

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Fitzgerald, Peter Hopkins [MC???? RIP]

Guestbook: http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/houstonchronicle/guestbook.aspx?n=peter-fitzgerald&pid=147092584&cid=full

#####

Dec 12, 2010

JLINKEDIN: Bardwell, Roger [MC2006] Chief Eng at Hudson Scenic Studio, Inc.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/roger-bardwell/a/a1/a49

Bardwell, Roger [MC2006]
Chief Engineer at Hudson Scenic Studio, Inc.
Greater New York City Area
Entertainment

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Dec 12, 2010

JEMAIL: Kaufmann, Rich (MP1964MC1968) remembers Father Ritter

FJohn,

Of all the profs I had at MC, the one who influenced me the most was Fr. Bruce Ritter. Not only in his classes but also after I graduated and he started Covenant House which I still support. Forget his personal life, his works with children did a tremendous amount of good and continues until this day. I had many conversations and correspondences with Fr. Bruce and he has a very special place in my heart for all the good he did for the “poor” children. May he rest in peace.

Rich K MP’64, MC’68

[JR: I’d have to agree. Although I did have to get by his continued references to “barbarian injineers” and “denizens from down the hill sent to plague him in his classroom”. He was the best and worst influence in my “eddykation”. Worst, in his continued prattle about “Danny Lou” and “Telly Hard”, he denigrated the only thing I knew about Theology — the Five Proofs of God. (In Good Shepherd, the Brothers made me learn them. Must have been a punish lesson.) “Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs For The Existence Of God in Summa Theologiae (i.e., first cause; order; necessity; gradation; governance).” After the ridicule of my Thomastic Anglican Logical religion, as opposed to ‘his’ Fritz A Rothschild’s emotionalism experience of God, he then later has the unmittigated gaul to ask a class of injineers to come help him with Covenant House. (For some reason, I gravitated back to MC until I was drafted.) That was an eye opener. Covenant House and being drafted. Shame how it wound up. He did change me too. More than any Engineering Professor. Guess I shoulda went to another profession? Great email; thanks.]

Kaufmann, Rich (MP1964MC1968)

# # # # # posted 2010-12-12 18:06

Dec 13, 2010

MNEWS: MC Prez to La Salle University BoT

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20101213_On_the_Boards.html#ixzz180HHuGTo

Posted on Mon, Dec. 13, 2010
On the Boards

*** begin quote ***

La Salle University has elected the following members to its board of trustees:

{Extraneous Deleted}

Brennan P. O’Donnell is the president of Manhattan College in New York.

*** end quote ***

[JR: Bringing back good ideas?]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-13 09:50

Dec 13, 2010

JLINKEDIN: O’Donnell, Christopher [MC2008] Web Dev at Crain’s NY Business

http://www.linkedin.com/in/codonnell822

O’Donnell, Christopher [MC2008]
Web Developer at Crain’s New York Business
Greater New York City Area
Publishing

Twitter: codonnell822

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Dec 14, 2010

JLINKEDIN: Dorta, Brandon-David [MC2003] CEO at ChatterBox Advertising

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brandon-david-dorta/20/211/535

Dorta, Brandon-David [MC2003]
CEO at ChatterBox Advertising
Greater New York City Area
Internet

Summary: A results oriented leader with a proven performance record of surpassing sales quotas and increasing profits. Successful in a startup environment by building sales structures from the ground level up, and at large corporations by following strategic sales plans and assisting in making the sales cycle more streamlined. A dedicated team player with an ability to strategically capitalize on new business opportunities and challenges while demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills.

Specialties: Sales

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Dec 15, 2010

JEMAIL: Flynn, Bro. Gregory (MC1957) gives an update

Subject: Greetings from Brother Greg Flynn
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 07:05:19 -0500
From: Flynn, Bro. Gregory (MC1967)

Dear Friends – some of whom haven’t heard from me in quite a while.

My apologies for not being able to write you individually, which I’ll try to explain in the following paragraph.

After my arrival back in Ethiopia last month and after defying jet lag, I decided to e-mail my inauspicious arrival to those who might be interested – many, I was assured – only to find that my trusty computer had crashed, and stayed crashed for quite a while, until one of my Ethiopian confreres got it up and running again, more or less. Delighted by that good turn of events, I put to my original task only to find that electrical outages still plagues our happy kingdom. It is only now, with fingers crossed, that I’m able to drop you these few lines.

My community here consists of three young Ethiopian Brothers. One, Tadele, is director of our postulancy program (young men interested in becoming Christian Brothers) and also teaches at our St. Joseph School. Another, Ache, is a teacher at the school of one thousand five hundred primary and secondary level students. The third, Kasu, is the Community Director and the headmaster of our newest school, La Salle, which currently has six hundred elementary level students, two hundred of whom are HIV positive and live with the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Theresa), who care for them. We are a happy community and it’s a pleasure for this old timer to live with and be inspired by them.

On a personal note, the pneumonia that put me into intensive care for a week of my two week Irish vacation in Mallow General Hospital has cleared up. My three years of chemo have ended successfully with just follow-up required. I’m thankful for all your prayers, the good genes of my parents and a keen sense of self preservation for pulling me through.

As I mentioned in my 2010 Christmas letter (http://www.addis-hope.com/) the cost of living in Ethiopia has skyrocketed to the point where we have to pay almost double to continue running our Addis Hope program. Fortunately, we are blessed with a strong contingent of donor partners who continue to put the program on their priority list. We now have two hundred kindergarten age children from extremely poor families whom even local authorities realize are receiving an excellent education under the daily watchful eye of my colleague Ruth Girmay and my fifty plus years La Sallian input. These authorities fully support and praise the program even when tuition paying programs are being shut down for not meeting government education requirements.

Now that I am becoming more computer literate, I hope to continue periodic updates and ask for your support for our program efforts, recognizing financial constraints during these uncertain times.

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and joy filled New Year, I remain,
Fraternally,
Brother Greg Flynn (Jack)

[JR: Of course, I urge you to support a fellow Jasper.]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-15 11:53

Dec 15, 2010

JNEWS: Krewell, Kevin [MC1977] Senior Analyst @ The Linley Group

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40677958

The Linley Group Brings on Processor Expert Kevin Krewell as Senior Analyst

*** begin quote ***

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — The Linley Group today announced that electronics industry expert, Kevin Krewell, has joined The Linley Group as a senior analyst. Krewell will apply his more than 25 years of experience in the processor market to increase the firm’s processor coverage. He will also become a key contributor to the industry’s leading processor newsletter, Microprocessor Report, which was acquired by The Linley Group last June.

{Extraneous Deleted}

“I’ve watched the processor industry change dramatically, moving away from general-purpose solutions in favor of application-specific chips that integrate more and more system functions,” said Krewell. “I look forward to working with the staff of The Linley Group and Microprocessor Report to give subscribers the in-depth analysis and research needed to formulate strategic product plans.”

Krewell understands the needs of engineers, having spent 10 years in product design at several smaller companies. During this time, his projects ranged from graphics displays to shipboard radar systems. Most involved hardware and software design for microprocessor and/or DSP chips. By the end of this period, he achieved the level of manager of hardware engineering at Esprit Systems. Krewell earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Manhattan College. He also holds a master’s degree from Adelphi University. He is a member of the IEEE as well as the co-chairman of the Microprocessor Oral History SIG for the Computer History Museum.

About The Linley Group

The Linley Group is the industry’s leading source for independent technology analysis of semiconductors for networking, communications, mobile, and wireless applications. The company provides strategic consulting services, in-depth analytical reports, and Linley Tech events focused on advanced technology topics. The Linley Group is also the publisher of Microprocessor Report, the leading technical publication for unbiased analysis of high-performance processor technology. For insights on recent industry news, subscribe to the company’s free email newsletters: “Linley Wire,” “Linley on Mobile,” and “Processor Watch” and follow us on Twitter @linleygroup.

# # # # # posted 2010-12-15 12:25

Dec 15, 2010

JNEWS: Hogan, Bob [MC????] Candidate Police Commish Port Washington NY

http://portwashington.patch.com/articles/candidates-for-police-commissioners

POLICE & FIRE, ELECTIONS
Candidates for Police Commissioner
Bios on the those vying for the seat.
By Adina Genn
December 14, 2010

*** begin quote ***

In the tight race for police commissioner, Patch asked the candidates to tell readers about themselves. Here’s what they said:

*** and ***

Bob Hogan:

I have resided in Port Washington for the past fourteen years, and before that, I lived in Plandome Manor for ten years. My career in law enforcement began in the New York City Police Department where I rose to the rank of captain and served for 22 years. During that time, I served on patrol as officer and supervisor, commanded the Building Maintenance Section, was the executive officer of the Motor Transport Division and was appointed by the Mayor of New York City as assistant traffic commissioner for the Department of Transportation. During my tenure in these positions, I developed extensive skills and experience in administration, negotiated collective bargaining agreements which resulted in binding employment contracts for compensation, job descriptions and task specifications, workplace rules for a force of over 2,000 employees, and a budget exceeding $30 million.

After retiring from the Police Department, I was appointed an intelligence analyst with the United States Department of Justice assigned to the Drug Enforcement Task Force where I worked with law enforcement personnel from federal, state and city agencies to enforce federal and state narcotics laws across New York State.

For the past 25 years, I’ve had an active and visible role in civic and community affairs in both Manhasset and Port Washington. In Plandome Manor, I was elected both as mayor and as village trustee. In Port Washington Estates, I was elected for eight years both as a member of the Board of Directors and as president of the Estates Association. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial Sciences (cum laude) and an M.B.A. in Executive Management, both from Manhattan College.

*** end quote ***

Hogan, Bob [MC????]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-15 12:34

Dec 15, 2010

JNEWS: Green, Tara [MC????] quoted at an economics forecast

http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/blog/2010/12/hugh-johnson-offers-brighter-forecast.html

Hugh Johnson offers brighter forecast
The Business Review – by Richard A. D’Errico
Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 11:53am EST
Donna Abbott Vlahos | The Business Review

*** begin quote ***

Economist Hugh Johnson says 2011 will be better than 2010, and by 2012 all 8.3 million jobs lost during the recession will be restored.

*** and ***

Tara Green, who just graduated from Manhattan College, said she got the gist of Johnson’s lecture, which was filled with charts and graphs and at one point, even included an apology from Johnson for being too technical.

“I wish I could understand a little bit more of what he’s saying,” the 22-year-old from East Greenbush said.

Green, who has a bachelor’s in education, said she’s probably going to delay entering the job market in favor of getting a master’s degree. But that means even more debt, more student loans.

But she walked away with somewhat upbeat about the coming year.

“The whole message is he’s very positive,” the 23-year-old said. “What he’s saying over all is very positive and it gives me hope.

“It’s tough out there.”

That was Johnson’s final message, which included a warning about the coming years.

“Stay on your toes in 2011 and 2012,” he said, “and be very vigilant.”

*** end quote ***

Green, Tara [MC????]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-15 14:31

Dec 15, 2010

JLINKEDIN: Orellana, Ed [MC1989] Comm Eng at Integrated Strategic Resources

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ed-orellana/5/653/18a

Orellana, Ed [MC1989]
Communications Engineer at Integrated Strategic Resources
Greater New York City Area
Transportation/Trucking/Railroad

Summary:
*8 years of product safety inspections experience
*5 years of quality management and quality auditing experience
*11 years of RF/wireless engineering, with knowledge of iDEN, CDMA, UMTS/WCDMA and OFDM
*6 years of experience managing engineers, technicians, and technical staff

Specialties
*Managing vendors: requesting quotes, defining scope of work, auditing vendor work, selecting new vendors
*Audited both the ISO 9000 and QS 9000 standards, and was previously RAB accredited
*Working knowledge of 4 RF/wireless technologies: iDEN, CDMA, UMTS/WCDMA and OFDM (Flarion)
*Working knowledge of licensed and unlicensed microwave system design and optimization
*Working knowledge of in-building/DAS design and optimization

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Dec 15, 2010

JLINKEDIN: Hughes, Maribeth [MC1994] Env Coord at BP Products North America

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maribeth-hughes/12/464/1b8

Hughes, Maribeth [MC1994]
Environmental Coordinator at BP Products North America
Charlotte, North Carolina Area
Oil & Energy

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Dec 16, 2010

JFOUND: Boylan, Mary Kate [MC2013?] interned at Women’s eNews

http://www.womensenews.org/story/commentary/101215/worried-about-generation-dont-be?page=0,1

*** begin quote ***

Mary Kate Boylan, a junior at Manhattan College in the Bronx, heard about us through our editor, Corinna Barnard, who lives near the college and has established a collegial connection with its communications-journalism department. Mary Kate told Corinna she was attracted to our site because of her interest in women’s issues and journalism. She gave Women’s News a full day on Tuesday, half a day on Wednesday for three months, between Sept. 14 and Dec. 14. She said her experience with WeNews opened her eyes to many women’s issues and strengthened her commitment to journalism, and the necessity of raising awareness about gender issues. Thanks Mary Kate!

*** end quote ***

Boylan, Mary Kate [MC2013?]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-16 10:53

Dec 17, 2010

MNEWS: NYC officials inviting more universities to create an engineering campuses

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/to-attract-the-next-google-the-city-seeks-a-new-college/

*** begin quote ***

Worried that New York City is not spawning enough technology-based start-up companies with the potential to become big employers like Google, city officials are inviting universities around the world to create an engineering campus on city-owned land.

*** end quote ***

Now, excuse the profanity, but what the hell! It’s not like MC needs MORE competition! Haven’t “city officials” been reading that there is supposed to be a shake out and that only 100 colleges and universities will survive? Typical bureaucrats. A day late and a dollar short. If it was up to them, after the Titanic sunk, they’d be promoting “iceberg preservation”! Argh!!!

seasonal greetings, bahhh humbug, put coal in ALL their stockings, the “their” being all politicians and bureaucrats,
fjohn68

# # # # # posted 2010-12-17 09:43

Dec 17, 2010

MFOUND: Manhattan Basketball Android App; (correction) IS from MC

http://jasperfan.com/manhattan-basketball/general/get-manhattan-basketball-android-app

> Get the Manhattan Basketball Android App
> Filed under General on December 17th, 2010

*** begin quote ***

Get Manhattan basketball updates directly on your Android phone. With the Jasper Fan app you can get the latest Manhattan news, the complete game schedule, roster details, and of course all the stats you could want. Best of all? The app is completely Free.

*** end quote ***

[JR: New source, but no idea of the parentage.]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-17 10:26

[JR: A spy confirms it IS from MC. A robot fan as a logo?]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-18 05:33

Dec 17, 2010

JLINKEDIN: Lavelle, Mike [MC1998] Manufacturing Tech III at Stryker Biotech

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mike-lavelle/a/141/872

Lavelle, Mike [MC1998]
Manufacturing Tech III at Stryker Biotech
Greater Boston Area
Biotechnology

Summary: Biotech Manufacturing Process Technician with 10 years experience in compound manufacturing including formulation of buffers and synthesizing chemicals in an ISO environment. Skilled in writing and revising standard operating procedures, calibrating test equipment, purchasing and installing manufacturing equipment and managing/performing preventative maintenance procedures in accordance with company and regulatory guidelines. Outstanding communications, problem solving and process skills combined with a consistent track record for meeting production and quality goals and implementing productivity improvements.

Specialties:
Manufacturing within a ISO Class 5 Clean Room
cGMP Knowledge
Preventative Maintenance
Test Equipment Calibration and Use (ph coductivity, refractometer, titrator, XRay diffraction and particle size analyzer )
Buffer Formulation
Developing SOP’s

# # # # #

Dec 18, 2010

JNEWS: Michel, Patrick [MC????] Superintendent Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery

http://www.leaderherald.com/page/content.detail/id/533287.html

BOCES approves new superintendent
December 17, 2010 – By AMANDA WHISTLE, The Leader-Herald

*** begin quote ***

JOHNSTOWN – The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services’ Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of the district’s new superintendent Thursday.

As expected, the board appointed Dr. Patrick Michel of Monticello, Sullivan County, to a three-year term that will begin Feb. 7.

Michel, 48, now is serving as the Monticello Central School District superintendent.

*** and ***

Board President Robert Townsend said Michel seemed like the best fit for the job because of his extensive experience. Michel has been the associate superintendent of the Clarkstown Central School District and was a principal in Hyde Park and Pine Bush.

He also has served on the boards of the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and Boy Scout Council in Sullivan and Orange counties. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Manhattan College, master’s degrees from Brooklyn College and Columbia University and a doctor of education degree from Columbia University.

Michel and his wife, Salvina, who is a special-education teacher, have three children – two in college and one in ninth grade.

*** end quote ***

Michel, Patrick [MC????]

# # # # # posted 2010-12-18 05:16

Dec 18, 2010

JLINKEDIN: Basil, Mack [MC1981] Global Offering Executive at IBM

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mack-basil/7/607/508

Basil, Mack [MC1981]
Global Offering Executive at IBM
Greater New York City Area
Computer Hardware

# # # # #

Dec 18, 2010

COMMENT: MC BASKETBALL ANDROID APP; (CORRECTION) IS FROM MC

Richard A. Lawrence | December 18, 2010 at 10:48 am | | Edit

This appears to be powered by Statsheet.com, which was previously reported in JJ week 15 2009 April 12.

Regards,
Rich

Lawrence, Richard A. (MC1968)

[JR: Thanks. Anyone else find the logo “yucky”? Jaspers are robots. Stiffs. Pre-programmed? Or, am I just reading too much into it? Argh!]

# # # # #

Dec 18, 2010

ENDNOTE: Jasper Katekosior (MC????) rants

[JR: Despite the length, I thought that I’d turn over the ‘endnote’ to a fellow Jasper, who usually doesn’t ‘do’ politics.]

http://katekosior.blogspot.com/2010/12/letter-to-people-who-are-supposed-to-be.html

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Letter to the People Who are Supposed to Be Representing Us

*** begin quote ***

Dear President Obama, Senators Warner and Webb, and Representative Wittman:

This has been a lousy week in our household. I’m putting the blame squarely on your shoulders. This week, it was announced that federal employees will not receive a pay raise for the next two years. And it was announced that federal employee transit benefits will be slashed in half. Now apparently this is due to the fact that they were raised and were due to come back down. Unfortunately for us, it comes at a time when our sole breadwinner is now commuting 4 hours a day to get to his job, which he loves might I add, in our nation’s traffic clogged capital, and because he has been unable to find someone to carpool with, he must now take the train and Metro to get to work. A train which is frequently late. A Metro that frequently has “issues”. In October, he was leaving home at 7:15 and getting home between 4 and 5. Now he leaves our home at 5:15 and gets home at 6:30. Doesn’t say much for our quality of life when we can’t spend time with our husband/father, who is exhausted when he gets back from those kind of hours, does it!

The pay freeze and benefit reduction news also came at a time this week when I drove by the local gas stations around here and nearly choked on my own teeth to see a sharp spike in gas prices. In case you didn’t notice, gas here is back to nearly $3 per gallon. I suppose I should feel fortunate—in many cases it’s back over $3 per gallon. And you know that manufacturers and retailers are not going to swallow the increase in gas prices on their end. They tack it onto the price of the goods that we have to buy. So really, we get to pay for our gas and everyone else’s.

Our health insurance co-pays have increased. I can only assume this is on account of the fact that those health insurance bastards had to lobby you guys so heavily not to support free health care for everyone. They must be laughing now that the bill you passed will only make them richer. I full support free health care for all. I just wish you had done it right. You had an amazing opportunity to do so, something that could have been your enduring legacy, but you blew it. Good work.

We are far from being in financial dire straits. This year we have taken in an exchange student. I still do not work so that I can be a stay at home mom to our 20 month old. If I was working, the majority of my income would be going to pay for day care and commuting costs. But don’t think I haven’t thought about going back to work. I even contacted my former boss who said I am a phone call away from being employed. Do you know how lucky I am? Because there are literally millions of people out there right now who are either scraping by at jobs they are overqualified for, who are unemployed, or who are in fear that their jobs are going to vanish.

Because of the pinch we’re starting to feel, even just a little bit, our lifestyle will change in the new year. This year, we’ve already started buying generics on things that don’t especially matter—things like “raw materials” for cooking (flour, sugar, oil, etc)—and medicine. We will continue to do so.

The last several years, we have re-invested our tax return into the economy. We adopted our beautiful little girl. We made major improvements to our home. We went on vacation. We discussed what we’re doing this year and my advice to my husband was, “I think we’d better save whatever pittance we get.” And that’s what we’ve agreed to do.

We will seriously slash the amount of travel that we do, both locally and nationally. We do hope to travel next summer to see a former exchange student, but other than that, our plans are to stay home or to visit family. Traveling by air has become such a pain in the butt that we don’t have any plans to do it unless it is absolutely necessary. Between extra fees for just putting a bag on the plane, the new security measures that we may or may not be subject to, and the prices of actually flying, we’re better off staying home. Thankfully the Smithsonian is still free and nearly in our backyard. This past year, we traveled to New York, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia. Next year, once our exchange daughter has gone back home to Thailand, we won’t probably go anywhere. We are fortunate to have been able to show her some of our beautiful country, but we won’t be able to show her a whole lot more of it other than visiting our parents.

I have been running all over town with my younger daughter this year as well, taking her to story time and a local toddler gym and the mall and playground. I participate in a local choir and run a book club. We have a very active group of friends who like to go sightseeing and bowling and out to meals. Where our schedule or that of a babysitter has permitted, we’ve enjoyed joining them. No more. My activities will be restricted to my book club and choir, my daughter’s to the park, toddler gym, and story time at our public library, which has slashed its hours and needs funding. I loved going to visit former co-workers and going to friends’ parties and meeting for lunch. But I think the days of wine and roses are coming to a close.

We have agreed that in 2011, we will no longer go out to eat at restaurants. We went out last night with 4 friends, and on top of quite a pricey bill, we had to tack on a babysitter. It was a sobering wake up call as to exactly how much we spend on something that ultimately really doesn’t matter that much. We can stay home and not pay gas to get somewhere, pay higher prices for a meal, and pay extra money for a tip for the waitress and a babysitter. Oh sure, I know, we should be supporting the American economy. I’ve heard all those precious little soundbites from all of you. But let’s face it. As a card carrying member of the middle class, I can only do so much. My dollar only goes so far, and it’s not really going anywhere at the moment.

But of course, you don’t seem to much care about that. You just passed a big tax cut again for the wealthiest Americans. I know three of the four of you are going to tell me that it was necessary to help out the little guy, but let me ask you this: since when did doing the right thing have to be tied to doing the wrong thing? Republicans like you, Rep. Whitman, are screaming that it was necessary in order to help job growth in this country. Much like Reaganomics, they swear the effect will trickle down into the rest of the population. These tax cuts have been in effect nearly a decade, and forget a trickle, there hasn’t even been dripping. When are we supposed to see some positive effect?

Senator Webb, your email this week was the proverbial salt in the wound. President Obama, when I shook hands with you in 2008, I felt sure I was shaking hands with one of the greatest men of my lifetime. Representative Wittman, I have even been to your office, only to be told the reasons I’m wrong. Senator Warner, I hear nothing from you, literally nothing. I had to go to your website this morning to read up on anything you’ve been doing, only to find out that while you’re “disappointed” in the tax cut deal, you’re going to vote for it anyway. What!? When either of my daughters does something that “disappoints” me, I don’t say, “Oh well, let’s just say it’s ok anyway.” All four of you are about debt reduction, as long as it doesn’t come at a price.

Well, as detailed above, my family’s debt reduction will seriously reduce the amount of money we’re pumping into the American economy, and we are not unique among American families. And watch our choices and the choices of other families trickle down.

Gentlemen, let me assure you that unless something drastic changes, I will not vote for a single one of you when you are up for re-election. I’m not switching sides and voting for the other guy. I’m going to hope someone new comes along with some new ideas, someone whose vote that is supposed to represent me, protect me, and make my family’s life better hasn’t already been bought and paid for by huge corporate donations I cannot hope to match. Let me remind you that the votes of the people got you into office and that’s who you should answer to. Every single one of you seems to have forgotten it. Quit “playing the game” and start making life better for all of us.

*** end quote ***

[JR: Well, you play with the Devil and this is what results. Politicians and bureaucrats are not to be trusted. Certainly not with tax money. And, most certainly with our hopes. We’ll just have to see if our fellow Jasper follows through with her threat to vote for ‘the other guy’. Not that ‘the other guy’ will be any better. See it is a game to the bozos. Deadly. Oppressive. But, still a game.]

[JR: I still feel her pain at being jerked around by the politicians and bureaucrats. Sad, but you have to know you can NOT trust them with your hopes and dreams.]

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