Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Look Back at What I Didn't Write about in 2014

I sat down and looked at what my topics were in 2014.  Let's see:  family, food, travel, gardening, my grandson, food. Oh yeah, I already mentioned that.

So, what didn't I write about even though I thought about it?  First off, I limited my comments about politics to only one blog post.  But, there were many issues I could have written about.

First and foremost is the bankruptcy of my former employer, the City of Detroit.  I had a total of nine years with the City.  I took my pension contributions when I quit in 1977 (I wasn't yet vested in the plan) and never gave the city a second thought.  Oddly enough, I knew when I was there that they were headed for trouble.  I am just surprised that it took so long.

But the one question I had during the bankruptcy proceedings and the one no one ever seemed to ask was this:  "Why did the State of Michigan give them permission to sell pension bonds when they were in no financial position to do so?"  The bond was a huge issue of discussion during the proceedings.

I first met members of their pension board and their pension attorney (now on his way to jail) way back in the 1990's when I became the administrator of the pension plans for my community.  I had dealings on a committee amending pension law up until 2010, when the attorney was a pain in my side, or thereabouts.  All in all a sad state of affairs for retirees.  We can only hope it never is allowed to happen again.

And speaking of politics, I never did give any of my opinions about the November elections.  As usual, I voted for a lot of the losers.  Pollsters said that the Democrats did not come out and vote for their candidate for Governor and so we are stuck 'the nerd'.  Hey, I voted for the Democrat and I am a former Republican candidate.  When folks say they don't vote because their vote doesn't count, it counts when you stay at home and vote with your backside glued to your chair.  Wake up America.  We get lousy government by letting the minority that does show up at the polls make decisions for us.

And one last rag on the legislature of Michigan (I voted for losers in those elections too).  Our roads suck.  They resurfaced the road just outside my subdivision, but lord knows there are worse roads in the Township.  Like Pontiac Trail and Drake.  I don't know the reason Walnut Lake was selected for repair unless it has to do with being 'God's Highway' - there are seven churches and temples on a two mile stretch of it.

So now, we will vote on increasing sales tax on what we buy, which has nothing to do with roads, because our over-paid and under-worked legislators couldn't make a decision on how to fund repairs.  I replaced one tire last year.  But I'll be damned if I'll vote for an increase in sales tax.  How about just taxing gas and using it to fix the roads instead of diverting the gas tax to other items in the budget?

Oh, and speaking of gas.  Yesterday I filled up my tank for $21.00.  I thought there was something wrong with the receipt, which is usually closer to $40.00.  No.  It's just that gas was only 1.99 a gallon, including a slew of taxes on it.  After filling up I went to the grocer's where I paid $3.69 for a gallon of milk, no tax.  Milk, which comes from a cow on a farm here in Michigan.  Doesn't need to be drilled out of the ground, shipped on a tanker across oceans, sent to a refinery, trucked up to Michigan and stored in a tank in the ground until I pump it into my tank.  What is wrong with this economic picture?

And now for a lighter note.  I do not own any sweaters for any holidays.  Much too practical to buy something I would wear only once or twice (although I think most folks wear the same one for years if it fits).  The Detroit Free Press had a contest and they posted pictures of the entries.  So, any holiday sweaters out there in blog land that you want to share?

I'll be back with a preview of 2015, but for now, I will sit back with a good book and my mimosa - a holiday treat for me way better than a sweater.

8 comments:

  1. Detroit is hurting badly and It is such a shame to see the downtown as it is now to what it was in its heyday. To think they were thinking of selling off the art collection made me almost throw up. I will check out the sweaters now

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    1. Fortunately none of the art got sold. But the idea that it should have been sold to pay the bills says a lot about what is wrong with some of the thinking in the City and State.

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  2. I am not basically interested in politics. You are so right about the price of milk vs. gas, and look at the price of bottled water. It's nuts.

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    1. Unless you live on an island that you own, politics affect everything we do. I want to be the person having a say even if it amounts to nothing.

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    2. You are right of course, but I still am uninterested. I don't trust any of them and don't seem to be able to do much about it so I don't bother any more.

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  3. Interesting post. I'm with you, although I love paying lower gas prices, I don't think the price - even when it was higher - is truly reflective of the costs associated with its production (including the harm to the environment and the wars we fight so that we have access to it). I think when people say they are uninterested in politics or that their vote doesn't matter are playing into the hands of the elite few who prefer us to go to sleep. I choose to vote.

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    1. I didn't say I didn't vote. I do, but don't believe it does much good.

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    2. I keep homing that someday all of us sensible folks will win out. Probably not in my lifetime, but maybe for my great-grandkids.

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