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Sincere congratulations to Council-elects Batte, Kiester and Magel!
Mr. Issler and other interested parties:
Please click on the following link:
The bar charts are particularly interesting. NO CANDIDATE WON IN A LANDSLIDE. You want to see a landslide? Look at the bar charts that depict the votes on the amendments. That's what landslides look like. So, Mr. Issler, hopefully you can stifle yourself for the next two years and let the council do its business without your inane erroneous "proofs" of what the "majority" thinks. There was NO clear majority despite the fact that many living in Collier Boulevard Condos and on Hideaway Beach did as Mr. Patterson and his associates told them and voted ONLY for Mr. Magel. That does not deny Mr. Magel his seat by any means and, hopefully, he (like Mr. Recker before) him will prove to be his own man and look out for the good of the ENTIRE island.
The bar charts are particularly interesting. NO CANDIDATE WON IN A LANDSLIDE. You want to see a landslide? Look at the bar charts that depict the votes on the amendments. That's what landslides look like. So, Mr. Issler, hopefully you can stifle yourself for the next two years and let the council do its business without your inane erroneous "proofs" of what the "majority" thinks. There was NO clear majority despite the fact that many living in Collier Boulevard Condos and on Hideaway Beach did as Mr. Patterson and his associates told them and voted ONLY for Mr. Magel. That does not deny Mr. Magel his seat by any means and, hopefully, he (like Mr. Recker before) him will prove to be his own man and look out for the good of the ENTIRE island. Ed Foster
They have to "order the parts"? What kind of Rube Goldberg Public Works Department does Marco have if it has to "order parts" to fix a water-main break? Isn't water an essential service? God help the island if they listen to Arceri and let the city run the electric utility. If John can't find the "parts" in his tool box, I guess he'll have to "order" them every time a storm downs a line!
Marco needs a Tea Party!
Sailingalong & Sharkfloss:
Well said! The Council's naming of City Hall for an admitted liar without debate and without following accepted procedures is an abomination worthy of Mr. Tucker. Their failure to reconsider their procedural errors condemns the entire council to share in Mr. Tucker's infamy.
I fully concur that it is up to the City of Marco Island to deliver water customers fair presure and volume no matter where the customer falls in the system. Perhaps it is less expensive to "complete the loop" and to reline the pipes than to replace them. That's for the experts to decide (if you can find any experts!)
My main point is that these factors should have been recognized PRIOR to buying the utility and that the cost of ALL needed repairs and upgrades should have been factored into the price paid for the utility. Mr. Issler is correct that the city did get some "discount" from the asking price and set up a maintenance reserve, but it was insufficient by far to cover the costs of the maintenance and upgrading needed to have a properly operating facility. That is the fault of the City Council (driven by Mr. Arceri) and the City Manager who made the purchase. Unfortunately, you are all paying now (and will continue to pay in the future) for their errors through unreasonably high utility rates. Just one man's opinion who was on the island at the time and watch the shenanigans that were going on.
Essentially I quote your two heros: Rony Joel and Bill Harrison. Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.
Relining the old pipe will reduce its diameter and exacerbate the problem. Sewer pipes can be relined because they are not under pressure except for the force mains. Marco's water system was poorly designed to begin with. It's a one-way system that dead-ends at the end of each feed instead of a loop system in which there is no "end," the line loops back to the source, and water can flow either way. A loop system can be operated at lower pressure and the pressure remains relatively constant everywhere in the loop. With a one-way system, pressure at the front end has to be high enough to force water all the way to the end and still provide sufficient water at sufficient pressure at the end of the line to meet state requirements. So the pressure starts off high at houses near the water source and drops as you go down the line.
Question: why wasn't this known when the City bought the utility? Mr. Arceri claimed to be an experienced utility executive and the council believed whatever he told them. (He's a nice guy and people have a habit of believing his misinformation! Think of all those condo dwellers who believed him when he said that their rates wouldn't go up provided they elected people who would finish the STRP!) Of course, Mr. Arceri came from Con Ed, the NYC power utility notorious for poor service and high rates. Don't believe they have anything to do with New York's water/sewer operation so Mr. Arceri didn't pick up any experience in those areas from his past employment. Guess that excuses his misinformation.
So, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Joel have "projects that will need to be done to improve these water pressure issues, including a new water tank, new pipes and other improvements." The project is envisioned as "a four year program for pipe upgrade (and cost) approximately $3.5 million."
Earlier, Mr. Thompson reported that many water mains are clogged with debris and broken in places. That sure could explain why Mr. Joel must raise the water pressure at the head end to supply adequate water at adequate pressure at the far end.
Question: why wasn't this discovered BEFORE the city bought this albatross?
Question: why weren't the water mains replaced when the streets were torn up to install the STRP?
Question: the STRP cost many tens of millions to install. How can the water mains be replaced for a mere $3.5 million?
Question: will the city streets be torn up over another 4-year period to install new water lines? When will the construction ever stop?
Question: unlike old sewer mains, most of which are ordinary concrete because they are not pressurized, the old water mains are made of asbestos-cement pipe which, albeit brittle and prone to cracking if the ground shifts as it doees on a tidal island, can withstand high pressure. What assurance do residents and visitors have that the city (and its contractors) will follow EPA procedures when removing the old pipe? They sure didn't when removing the water mains under Collier Boulevard!
These problems should have been forseen BEFORE the city bought the utility company and the repair costs factored into the amount paid for the company. Florida Water must have known what a disaster they were selling the city ... why didn't the city know what a disaster they were buying? In its rush to buy the utility and keep it out of the hands of a "foreign" city up north (which was unlikely to happen), the city bought a pig in a poke, and instead of rates being stabilized as promised, Marco's utility rates are going through the roof. It is well to remember that the prime mover behind the purchase was Councilman John Arceri. It's time he stood up and took responsibility for buying this pig.
The last election was not about the STRP, per se, but about PAYING for the STRP if it should be stopped. Your buddies convinced a lot of condo dwellers who had never voted before (compare the turnout of the last election with earlier ones) that they would be hit with exhorbitant fees if the STRP were suspended. Well, they got their way, the STRP was continued and, guess what, their rates skyrocketed anyway.
You know the old expression? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The condo dwellers got fooled once. Do you really think they are going to listen to you jokers again?
Thank you! This was my point. The agenda called for a discussion of WHETHER to name buildings, parks, rooms, etc. after people and, if so, to discuss possible procedures for doing it so that fiascos like that last Monday would not happen. The council and the chair should have stuck with the issue on the agenda and not try to do an end run around the public.
Hope all is well with you. Seriously, I heard you had a close call. Guess it comes with age. I believe you consider yourself to have been a lawyer. When is the last time you heard of anyone being prosecuted for turning evidence into the police? Remember, Monte, that there was no crushed or broken asbestos on the island. Bill Moss and Rony Joel had told us so! Gosh, I had to drive my Avalaon all the way up to Sebring (currently under investigation by the EPA for asbestos violations) thousands of times to bring the tens of tons of asbestos back to bury 3 feet under the Glon property and I never get caught once! I was in my late 60s at the time. Hoo-ah! Get real, Monte. I don't even know where Sebring is!
I never did and never would endorse Godfrey Davies. We had too many disagreements! Ha! Ha!
Liberator 100 apparently can't read ... a common problem for many Marcoites of the Issler school. I did not suggest that City Hall be named for Adolf Hitler. I simply pointed out that Hitler did much good for the German people, got them out of the great depression, built the Autobahn, etc. He also did much evil including warring against his neighbors and gassing millions of Catholics, gypsies and Jews. If the Council will not permit a citizen like Mr. Glaub to list the bad that E. Glenn Tucker did because "he's not here to defend himself," it might as well ignore all the bad that old Adolf did and name something after him too.
Is that clear enough, idiot, or do you need a roadmap.
P.S. I'm having my attorney find out who you are since you're too chicken to sign your blogs and we'll look into a defamation suit against you. Hope you have a lot of coin and are worth suing!
“As you go south, it gets warmer.” Brilliant statement!
Where is Al Gore when we need him?
Mr. Popoff threatened to sue Mr. Putnam for defamation. Would you care to have me sue you for calling me "Asbestos Planter." Wash your mouth out and apologize! Fast!
Smokey Joe is on the money. Naming buildings for people just causes arguments and disagreements. Stick to naming dog parks "Canine Cove" and call City Hall "Marco Island City Hall." Want to call a park "Veterans Park"? Fine. Just don't name it after a person ... any person. Groups, okay; individuals, no.
If you know history, you know that Hitler did a lot of good for the German people. While the rest of the world was in a depression and job losses mounted, the German people worked building the autobahn (also lots of munitions!) and their economy boomed. Along the way Hitler did a couple of bad things ... like invading his neighbors and gassing millions of Catholics, gypsies and Jews. If you conveniently ignore the bad he did and mentioned only the good, you'd be tempted to name City Hall after him. Think on it!
P.S. Review the tape of the meeting. The motion was out of order because it wasn't on the agenda; the Chair seconded the motion (also out of order); and then opened the floor to three attorneys who sang the praises of E. Glenn Tucker but the best they could come up with is that he was their friend, a really nice guy, and once helped some woman to stay in her condo. Wow! I doubt attended these three ever attended the same council before unless they had clients involved. The only person mentioning Tucker's dark side was cut off at the knees by the Chair, insulted and sent to his seat under police escort. There was NO council discussion of the motion at all! They just paniced and voted like a bunch of sheep. Does this smell like it was pre-arranged? Did some councilors discuss this privately? Was the Sunshine Law violated? Sure is strange!
What does your blathering (two above) have to do with E. Glenn Tucker and whether he deserves to have some public something or other named after him? He was what I said he was; that's a matter of public record and you can't change the public record by voting against it.
P.S. For the record, Glenn Tucker was opposed to Cityhood. Go research it!
From what I read in the article, Mr. Glaub (whom I don't believe I ever met) did nothing more than tell the truth. The public record bears witness to Mr. Tucker's vile conduct at council meetings, disrespect for the people he represented, false accusations, and lying. And Glenn Tucker never denied it. Watch Glenn Tucker in action during council meetings (videos should be available from the Public Information Director unless they've "gone missing"), listen to his attacks, read the transcript of the shade meeting held in preparation for the Clean Air lawsuit and you will know the true Glenn Tucker. His death does not make him a saint. He was a mean despicable man and there is no gainsaying that. It's all in the record. Even Mr. Issler should have no difficulty "researching" it.
When a citizen cannot stand up and recite true facts at a council meeting without being removed by the police, God help Marco Island. Rob, you should be ashamed. What happened to free speech on Marco Island? Does one have to be a member of Celebrate Marco, call for the death of any who oppose their views and lie through their teeth to be "respected" by the vested interests on the island? By their deeds, you shall know them!
I knew E. Glenn Tucker as well as he would allow me to know him. He refused to speak with me and openly proclaimed that at council meetings. He refused to read e-mails addressed to him from anyone he did not wish to hear from and announced that at council meetings! How can a man claim to represent the people of Marco Island ... ALL the people of Marco Island ... if he will not speak with them or read e-mails from them? How can such a man ... in his position as a city councilor ... be called "decent" or "honorable"? How can a man who accuses his fellow citizens of despicable acts and claims to have photographic evidence (which he later admits does not exist) be called "decent" or "honorable"? How can a man call for a private investigation of a citizen who has done no wrong other than to oppose what E. Glenn Tucker supports, be called "decent" or "honorable"?
Perhaps he was your friend and treated you well. That's fine but do you think he should be memorialized because he was your friend? I think it should take more than that. I'd like to see a list of all the great things he did for Marco Island. Yes, he served on the City Council. So have others. Yes, he negotiated deals to hire city attorneys (at substantial rates) who proved incapable of handling the city's legal affairs and had to call in consultants at even higher rates. And when he left the council, he wanted the council to appoint HIS law firm as city attorneys. Did I miss some of the other wonderful things he did for Marco Island? I imagine he kissed a baby or two, gave speeches to this group and that, voted to give money from the public coffers to groups he supported, wheeled, dealed and otherwise acted as a politician. Is that what you respect so much?
I am sorry he died, but die we all must. If he was your friend, I presume you grieve for him and that is good. But to name a building or room or whatever after him just because he was a (in my opinion) rotten councilor who died shortly after he left office is no more justified than giving Barrack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for giving a speech saying he desired peace.
Giving awards to politicians is a dangerous business. It reminds people of who they really are.
Name something after E. Glenn Tucker, the city councilor who bellowed and castigated citizens from his almighty position on the council and who, by his own admission, lied to the public when he accused citizens of "planting" asbestos on the island and claimed to have pictures of them doing so?
Name something after E. Glenn Tucker who, in the same type of "shade" meeting scheduled for this January 4, suggested that the city hire a private eye to investigate a Marco citizen who disagreed with him and, when the city attorney advised against that because whatever was found ... good or bad ... would have to be given to the court, queried whether he was free to hire his own investigator to keep the results out of court if they weren't to his liking?
We all die. Dying does not deserve to be memorialized. Honesty and decency do, and E. Glenn Tucker was neither an honest nor a decent man as the above examples demonstrate.
And what, sir, are your qualifications, Mr. Issler, besides being a blowhard?
You vill adapt!
Apparently Mr. Issler believes he needs "to educate you" that "it is the majority of voters that will elect you." I would hope you would have known that without benefit of Mr. Issler's intensive research into the subject.
Mr. Issler is fond of reminding everyone of the results of the last election and claiming that that establishes the way the majority of the voters think now and forever more. Mr. Obama won the last national election and took control of the House and Senate. Do you believe he will retain those majorities in the 2010 election? Nothing is forever; the worm turns.
The problem seems to be that many people believe that you will not do what you say you will do because of your association with past miscreants that put Marco Island in the situation it is in. So they really don't care what you say because they won't believe you in any event. Larry, you have a real problem!
People learned from Rob Popoff. True, he did not stand up and say he would stop the STRP if he was elected but he DID promise me (among others) that he had an open mind on the subject and, if elected, would push for an open dialog before proceeding. At his very first council meeting he was the swing vote to put down Kiester's motion to discuss the STRP before proceeding. People seem to be afraid that you will do the same thing ... promise one thing and do another because of the people you hang around with.
Most people know that our federal government is not going to cut doctor's Medicare payments by 20+% so Obamacare will raise the deficit far more than the CBO numbers state. That's why so many support healthcare reform but not Obamacare. It's built on a deception. Sorry to say, Larry, you seem to be in a similar bind.
Ed FosterFormer Marco Resident with many friends on the island.
P.S. Mr. Issler, try to stifle yourself and not comment that I have no business on this blog.
Hey OldMarcoMan, North Carolina is great! Cleaner air than on Marco, cleaner water than on Marco (you can even drink the stuff out of the tap) and much cleaner politics. Miss my friends, miss the beautiful sunsets, miss watching the dolphins and manatees in my "polluted" canal, miss the pelicans and sandpipers but I don't miss the misinformation, disinformation and downright lies that pervade the place.
Why don't you come up and visit sometime?
You continue to be an a-s. Neither Dr. Sanchez nor I personally get to "define" asbestos any more than we personally "define" water. It is what it is and your not liking it doesn't change matters in the least. If you will look at the picture accompanying Kelly' article, you will see an example of "friable" asbestos. It was lying on the west side of Collier Boulevard near one of the condos. I took the picture. It was there ... along with tons more. And there was even more on the Glon Property ... and not just on Site C. It was thrown into containers and dragged off the island, uncovered. These are violations of the Clean Air Act. Why don't you do some of that "investigation" you're famous for and give us an unbiased report? Or don't you know the meaning of the word "unbiased"?
Marco Utilities DID break their word not to raise rates beyond COLA for X years. (You say 5, I remember 6 or 8, but it really makes no difference.) They raised rates by "tiering" them in such a way that the lowest rate dropped by 1 cent per thousand gallons while the highest-use rate increased by $1.43 a thousand. Everyone who used water for irrigation paid more each month under this scheme. It certainly was not "revenue neutral" as Finance Director Harrison claimed so it amounted to a "raise in rates."
I'd also point out that it should have been quite easy to know whether the water lines were leaking PRIOR to buying the utility. All the City need to have done was to check the amount of water processed by the Florida Water plants each month and compare that with the total usage as determined by summing the meter readings. The difference was lost in the system. Did the city do that before buying the utility? I don't know. If they didn't, they were stupid and should have; if they did and didn't tell anyone, they knew all along that they were buying a piece of junk and the people would have to pay to fix it! For shame!
First, leaking sewer pipes. Now leaking water mains. And the city never knew it when they bought this cumbling utility? Round of cheers for John Arceri, Utility Expert Extraordinaire, who got Marco into this mess. Round of cheers for Bill Moss who got a bonus for buying this piece of junk. Round of cheers for the City Council who pushed for the purchase because they were utterly ignorant of what they were buying, inexperienced and didn't bother to question anything.
Get ready for another round of cheers for the utility rate increases that are sure to follow!
Condo dwellers: are you going to let John Arceri and his coterie dupe you again?
I often have said that the city bought a "pig-in-a-poke" and this article proves it. Mr. Harrison told me repeatedly that the city bought the utility after only three days of technical inspection. An "expert" like John Arceri must have known that vitreous clay pipe laid in shifting sand was not going to last 30 years, but did the City, led by their "utility expert" John Arceri, inspect it before buying? No! They waited four years (according to the article) to inspect the pipe and now want to be praised for discovering the leaks? Wow! What Chutzpah! Praised no less for "discovering" what any utility expert with half a brain should have known from the beginning AND REFLECTED THAT IN THE PURCHASE PRICE.
Fossil, the video inspection of the pipes was done after Wilma. It wasn't that expensive and so couldn't have taken that long to complete. I asked repeatedly for the results but, according to Marco's Public Information Officer, Lisa Douglass, the results "weren't available yet." Seems obvious why! John Arceri wasn't going to let Rony release them until after he had hoodwinked the condo dwellers who had "worn out" the sewer into voting as he wished to prevent the likes of Neylon and crew from getting elected to the Council. For Shame!
I am proud of my country (national pride as you call it), and I am proud of the concept and office of the United States Presidency. That does not automatically make me proud of the person who occupies the office at any given time. From what you've said, I imagine you are not proud of George W. Bush and I am not proud of Barrack Hussein Obama. I am conservative and proud of it. You may be proud you are a liberal (if you are). Neither makes any difference. I challenge you to state "the progress the president has made domestically and internationally" because I can't find any. Good intentions? Yes. Good speeches? Yes. Good progress? Not yet as far as I can see!
I agree that this is far off the subject of the article which instituted this blog so let's drop it.
I would like to make one correction to my statements however. Mother Teresa did receive the Nobel Prize, but I'll add two others who deserved it, were nominated, but didn't get it: Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. As I probably said before: doesn't pay to be a conservative. It's a tragedy that what should have been a "noble" prize so often is not when it comes to the "peace prize" and the "literature prize." Unfortunately, they are both "political" prizes awarded, more often than not, for one's agreement with the political objectives of the committee.
Nobel prizes traditionally have been given to recognize an incredible breakthrough or a LIFETIME of accomplishment. In my opinion, the committee has disgraced itself and demeaned the many laureates honored in the past by giving a Peace Prize to Al Gore for making a fictional movie and to Barrack Obama for giving a few speeches. I have known several Nobel laureates personally including Victor Hess, Isidore I. Rabi, Peter Gabriel Bergmann, Eric Kandel and several others. Nominating a man 12 days after he has taken office and who has not one accomplishment to his credit so far, simply because he is not George W. Bush, is an insult to past Nobel Prize laureates. Today the Nobel Prize is no more than a $1.4 million lottery.
The Nobel Prize is a private award and the committee certainly has the right to give the prize to whomever they wish. They just make fools of themselves, and insult past laureates, by giving the prize to President Obama for obvious political reasons. FDR was nominated for his successful efforts to crush Nazism and promote freedom in the world. He didn't get it. President Reagan was nominated for ending the Cold War and promoting freedom in the world. He didn't get it. Mother Teresa was nominated for helping thousands of children in India. She didn't get it. Barack Obama gets the prize while conducting a war in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and contemplating a strike against Iran ... or did he get it so that he would be influenced to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and to make nice with Iran until they have a nuclear weapon and can blackmail the world? I trust he will not be influenced by this prize to do other than to protect American interests and those of freedom-loving people everywhere. But I can't be sure. He has an amazing ego even for a President. If he had integrity as well as an ego, he would thank the committee for their faith in him but respectively decline the prize until he has earned it.
David Abercrombie describes how mediation SHOULD work. I wonder what he would think of a mediator who refused access to the Chairman of a PAC which had brought the suit and threatened to cite him for contempt of court if he so much as set foot in the building where the mediation was being held? This happened to me in a mediation held in Naples, Florida in a case regarding alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
Ed FosterFormer Marco Resident &Former Chairman of CARES, Inc.
A few comments and corrections:
Picture 1 of 8 was taken on Collier Boulevard in front of a beachfront condo. I took it. It is clear evidence that the asbestos was "friable" and "dangerous." There was asbestos all along Collier in the construction area. It was tracked into hotels and stuck into carpets. It was tracked into homes and cars. It was NOT confined to Veterans Park although there was plenty there too.
Apparently referring to the discharge of Hydrogen Sulfide loaded water into the canals, Ms. Douglass is quoted as saying: “You can’t find anything to substantiate that because there isn’t anything." Untrue! Godfrey Davies took many readings of dangerous levels of H2S where contractors were "dewatering." Mr. Joel concocted a Rube Goldberg contraption to try to remove the H2S from the ground water. It didn't work but why would he build the thing if there was no H2S in the groundwater? And why would the city finally do the correct thing and direct the polluted water into the sewer lines rather than dump it in the canals as had been happening all along?
The placement of Chief Carr's statement that the "detectives closed their investigation into the planted asbestos theory after determining the allegations were unfounded" could lead one to believe that the allegations that there was asbestos contamination on the Glon Property was "unfounded." I can't fault Kelly for that because I know how things get shifted around as an article is edited and the precise wording is correct: the allegations made by the city (and one councilor in particular) that citizens were planting asbestos in the park was unfounded. The asbestos was there; the police were investigating whether the allegations that it was planted were true and found no evidence to substantiate that ridiculous accusation.
Ms. Millsap's statement that the city had “all the appropriate health and safety measures in place” is reminiscent of the statement of Jon Iglehart, Director of the FDEP in Fort Myers that the city and contractor were following proper procedures for handling asbestos when he had never visited the Glon Property. I give it the same credence! Furthermore, why did the SWFWMD order Marco to stop discharging water into the canals if "all appropriate health and safety measures" were in place?
I was NOT chairman of CARES when "CARES filed motions to enforce the (Clean Air Act) settlement." I refused to endorse the mediation settlement to which I was refused entry and had resigned from CARES. The City and QE refused to honor the agreement they had made with the new chairman of CARES and so he "filed motions to enforce the settlement."
I DO support Dr. Sanchez' effort to get at the truth and, despite Ms. Douglass' glib statement to the contrary, the matter is NOT over. If "City officials ... don’t understand what Sanchez wants at this point" I suggest they submit to psychiatric evaluation. He wants the records, dummies. Duh!
Why didn't the media report on the shade meetings held in connection with the city's "defense" against violations of the Clean Air Act? Far more important than a boating ordinance because it concerned public health and public welfare and far more revealing of the depths to which the Marco Island City Council will descend to prevent the truth from being revealed.
If you're into "shade" meetings that come to light, get the transcript of the shade meetings held to persecute me and C.A.R.E.S., Inc. for opposing the STRP and bringing a case against the city for violation of the Clean Air Act (the asbestos in Veterans' Park). You'll learn that the council seriously considered having a private eye put on a citizen (me) to dig up some dirt they could use to discredit me. When the City Attorney advised them not to do it because he would have to turn over whatever they found to the court (good or bad!), our dearly departed E. Glenn Tucker, offered to pay for the investigation himself so he could keep it from the City Attorney if he came up with nothing. He came up with nothing! What a great council Marco elects! Even some of the members that I respected kept their mouths shut. You didn't buck the syndicate then ... and it seems nothing much has changed!
Lisa Douglass was the ombudsman in the Fort Myers FDEP office. That's where I met her. She was a dammed good ombudsman and really worked for the people. She'd break rules and put her job on the line to do what she thought was right. I asked her to come to Marco to look at the asbestos on the Glon Property and she did so. That's what started the whole thing.
Then Bill Moss hired her as his mouthpiece. The rest is history. She sold her soul and now is a shill for City Hall. Sad!
We can agree to disagree and end it here. If I haven't convinced you with my arguments, so be it. Perhaps I've influenced a few others to think this through for themselves.
I accept Medicare because there is no alternative. That doesn't make it right nor does it make it true "insurance." And, yes, I am arguing against my best interests. I'd rather argue for what is right than for what is in my best interests ... even as I benefit from the "wrong." If that makes me a hypocrite in your eyes (it doesn't in mine) so be it. I argue to prevent Medicare from becoming a universal healthcare system because it is a Ponzi scheme and inherently flawed.
I think you will find that I backed up my opinions with the Constitution. With respect, I cannot say that I've found you to do the same or with any arguments other than "humanitarian" thoughts. I find that hiding behind "humanitarianism" or (as Sotomayor would put it) "empathy" is no substitute for the Constitution if we want to live in a society and be protected by its laws.
I do not "advance the idea that personal success and wealth somehow validate ones rights to benefit from our society," I advance the idea that personal success validates one's right to enjoy the fruits of one's labor and to share with others only what one decides one wants to share. And I too "believe we can provide affordable health care for all our citizens" ... just not in the way suggested by Mr. Obama. I came from nothing. I earned what I have. I rely upon a free society ruled by law to protect what I have earned, not to confiscate it for the use of others. That is not "justice"; that is thievery.
But let's end it here. Okay? We disagree. That's okay. I respect your opinion, I just don't agree with it.
Fossil: See above. What I am suggesting is that people must be responsible for themselves. If they fail to buy adequate insurance when they can, they do NOT get treated in emergency rooms. No emergency room should be forced to treat persons who have purposely failed to provide for themselves. Change the stupid law. Cruel? See my answer above.
You ask: “What data do you have that shows people will make the responsible choice and use this money for health insurance when faced with the decision of being able to pay for a mortgage or renting?” Answer: None … until they start dying because they can’t get healthcare. It won’t take long to teach people to order their priorities and be responsible for themselves rather than expect to steal from others.
You say: “Transferring the cost of health insurance to salary will negate the tax incentives designed to motivate employers to share the cost. To work, the employer would also have to include the employer's contribution or the employee could not afford a policy.” I agree; that’s the whole point. If there is to be a tax benefit attached to health insurance, it should go to the employee, not to the employer. Change the tax code to make health insurance premiums fully deductible to the employee, not to the employer. You go on: “The employee will no longer be able to benefit from group lower rates.” Baloney! Groups would form and be serviced by private insurance companies in the blink of an eye!
Fossil, glad your father loves Medicare. So do I! Everyone loves a free lunch … but it’s wrong! It’s a Ponzi scheme that will blow up on our children.
Fossil (2nd posting): Who said I objected to my taxes? But, for the first 125 years of our country’s existence, there was no income tax or IRS and we got along just fine, thank you very much! Furthermore, it was virtually impossible to cheat on your taxes because they were based on customs duties and excises. That’s the period when this country really shone! You go on: “There is no place in the Consitition (sic) that guarantees your personal best interest will be held above the interest of the nation.” On the contrary, the 9th and 10th Amendments confirm that any right NOT lent to the government remains with the individual. You also say: “If you were simply referring to the ability to pick and choose which health insurance you wanted. That freedom is not threatened. The President has said time and time again that you may keep what you have or chose whatever suits you.” Fossil, if you believe that, I have a very nice bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!
Sailingby: Medicare is critical to the well being of our senior citizens because THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. Medicare has destroyed private health insurance for the elderly! That’s what will happen to ALL health insurance if Obamacare passes. Ask Barney Frank. That’s the whole purpose of the exercise.
You say: “We are paying for those who use the system without contributing anyway so let's set it up for them to be able to contribute.” I say let’s STOP paying for those who use the system without contributing. Except for the truly indigent, society should NOT provide free healthcare via emergency rooms to those who are so selfish that they try to rip off society by not providing for themselves. Cruel? Not if you think about it. Those who can, but do not, provide for themselves and rely on others are THIEVES and should be treated as such.
Furthermore, in a capitalistic system, profits go to investors, not to management. Management makes a salary and bonuses as determined by the owners, i.e., the shareholders. I do not contend the system is perfect and no management thievery goes on. People are people. But I submit there is less thievery in a capitalist system than in a socialist system because there is no greater thief than a "public servant.” Why do they fight so hard to stay in office if that were not true?
Improving efficiency and lowering healthcare cost is good. (Tort reform would be one place to start!) I'm on Medicare and I know it is far from efficient. I've never seen so much unnecessary paperwork - far more than with my private plan. I've had doctors order the same test three times within a 10-day period because they fear a lawsuit. I've watched Medicare pay the wrong doctor for tests I never had. I've been told of the remarkable efficiencies of Medicare, but I haven't experienced them.
Furthermore, Medicare is essentially different from private insurance. It runs a huge deficit and ISN'T PAID FOR BY THE INSURED. It's not insurance at all! What other insurance do you have that you don't pay for? Medicare is paid by the next generation and, just like Social Security, is a Ponzi scheme. Like any Ponzi scheme it will eventually collapse.
Americans HAVE been too busy enjoying themselves to have enough children to replace them so there will be no one to pay for their Social Security and Medicare. That's why our government does nothing to limit immigration. Immigrants aren't needed just to flip burgers, mow lawns and paint houses, but to pay for our retirement and healthcare!
Thus, Medicare cannot be compared with private insurance. Private insurance must make a profit. They don't make much (about 3% if you check their financials) but they must make some. It's fun to criticize their executives for their salaries and private jets, but competent people go where the money is and Speaker Pelosi needs a military 757 to fly her home each weekend because the Gulfstream she had is just too damm small. It may have been bad PR for the auto execs to fly to Washington in their corporate jets but financial analysis has shown it to be astute.
Medicare runs at a loss because governments love to give out goodies to stay in power. Nero gave the Romans circuses to keep the hoi polloi happy; we get Social Security and Medicare. Rome collapsed and so will we if we don't get ahold of our spending.
If the tie between employment and health insurance were severed and salaries increased correspondingly, employees could buy their own coverage, decide what's best for him and OWN his policy so he needn't fear changing jobs and losing coverage when a "pre-existing condition" might make it difficult to get new coverage. To contend that "pre-existing conditions" should not affect coverage is ludicrous. Would you expect to buy fire insurance on your house as it is burning down? Can you buy Wind Insurance when a hurricane is in the area? The time to buy coverage is when you don't need it.
I do not oppose government aid to the indigent to buy health insurance any more than I oppose food stamps for the indigent. But they must be truly indigent and it must be called what it is: WELFARE.
The Founders intended the Constitution to "live" and provided guidelines for amending it. Amend the constitution, and I have no grief with much of what you say. However, neither the President, nor the Congress, nor the Judiciary have the right to change the Constitution by fiat and decide on the spur of the moment that the President of the United States also is the CEO of Government Motors or that the "needs" of his union supporters trump the contractual rights of "rich" bondholders, many of whom were those very same union members!
I disagree that people should "benefit from what the government could provide as decided by it's elected officials." You ask which of our freedoms is in jeopardy? If government "decides" what it can provide me (taxing me and others for its largess), I have lost the freedom to decide for myself what is in my best interests. I lose incentive to work or to better myself because it will be taken from me by an all-knowing government that decides what is best for me. The right to the "pursuit of happiness" is an individual right, not a collective one.
Employer-provided healthcare is an anomaly of WWII and is one of the basic problems with our healthcare system. The parallel in Japan is employer-provided compensation for transportation expenses to and from work. Both idiocies were the result of government interference with the free-market system when employers could not compete for employees by raising their wages (the governments outlawed that) so companies competed for workers wtih "benefit packages."
Consider the difference if you were free to choose your own health insurance, paid for it out of your now-increased salary, and OWNED it. You would be free to change jobs without fear of losing your insurance because it was YOURS. You would be free to buy as much or as little as you thought wise AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO LIVE WITH YOUR DECISION. You would not have to worry about "pre-existing conditions" because, if you had any sense, you would buy a non-cancellable policy at an early age. As a self-employed individual, I did this most of my adult life and it worked well DESPITE the fact that the government penalized me for taking care of myself by subsidizing employer-provided insurance (tax deductible to the employer; not taxable to the individual) but did not provide me the same benefit.
As John Putnam said, why not pet insurance? Why not expect your employer (or the government) to provide housing, food, entertainment, clothing and everything else? Why is health insurance any more important than food or shelter? All are essential. Communism was founded on the principle: "to each according to his needs; from each according to his means." We know how well that worked! Everyone needed, no one worked because there was no incentive to, and so there was no "means" from which to provide for anyone's "need." Is that what you want in this country?
Unless we misunderstand each other completely, I'm afraid it is you who misinterprets the Preamble to the Constitution.
In the late 18th century, there were many border disputes among the states. The Founders were justifiably worried that states would not honor each others laws and more disputes would erupt. Thus one of the purposes of the Constitution was to "insure Domestic Tranquility." Another was to protect against external aggression ("provide for the common defence"). These are functions individual citizens cannot perform for themselves and so require a "government."
Also, in the late 18th century, the word "welfare" did not have the connotation it has today of the all-encompassing welfare state. It meant one's OWN welfare. The Constitution was designed to "promote the general Welfare" by creating a secure groundwork of law ("establish Justice") and freedom from internal and external aggression within which one could rise to one's potential and "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." It seems obvious that no government can guarantee the "welfare" of one segment of the population without impinging upon the liberty of another so clearly the Preamble did not pertain to a "welfare state" but to the general welfare of the population.
I submit that the Constitution is remarkable in that it LIMITS the power of the state by DEFINING what it can and cannot do. I refer you to the 9th and 10th amendments.
Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution (Ratified 12/15/1791) states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Is there any doubt that the Founders understood that rights came FROM the people TO the government and that if government overstepped its bounds the people can and should withdraw those rights by revolution if necessary? That's what the War of Independence was all about!
Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People (Ratified 12/15/1791) reinforces this by stating: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." What could be more clear?
It is remarkable that our freedom and our liberty could be established in a single sentence then while it takes 1,300 pages to define a law that restricts liberty. Perhaps it takes 1,300 pages to so bamboozle the public and their legislators that they will sell their liberty to go home early!
There is an old adage that when Ben Franklin emerged from the Convention, he was asked: "What have you given us?" And he replied: "A Republic ... if you can keep it!"
I fear that we have not upheld our part and that we have let our government usurp our freedom and usurp our liberty. The last time that happened, we overthrew the oppressor in a War of Independence. Wake up, America!
I agree with you more often than not but we differ on this one (as well as on your comment to Fran Enman's LTE). Destroying valuable property is no way to boost the economy. FDR tried it by paying farmers to burn their crops to raise prices. Prices went up sure enough but the farmers now starved because no one could buy their products. It is illogical to expect such a scheme to work. Besides, it's unconstitutional. Show me where the constitution gives the President the right to pass out tax dollars to buy and crush automobiles.
You speak of keeping dealerships open? Sure if your dealership is in Barney Frank's district and you pay him a pound of flesh. If we followed your logic, we'd still be keeping buggy-whip manufacturers and their distributors in business.
American Capitalism works because it is based upon "creative destruction." Prevent that destruction and you prevent progress. Why is it that Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc. could make cars in this country and sell them while GM and Chrysler couldn't? The UAW is the primary reason (that and some mighty stupid managements that didn't give a dam). The workers let their unions bring this disaster on themselves. They were willing to risk their jobs to feed the fat cats running the unions. Without government "protection," they might have learned a lesson and we might not see a repeat in the future. As it is, car sales will drop off a cliff and Obama will want to crush some more vehicles in an attempt to "save the jobs." Let him get out of the way and let the marvel that is American Capitalism work its magic.
Where in the Constitution (including its amendments) does it give the right to the President to fire the CEO of a corporation? Where does it give the right to the President (or to Congress) to bail out corporations? Where does it give the right to the President (or to Congress) to decide who should have access to our tax dollars and who should not? Where does it give the right to the President (or to Congress) to determine which medical services are "effective" and which not? Where does it give the right to the President (or to Congress) to obligate citizens to purchase health insurance that meets government approval? I could go on and on. We have moved so far from the intentions of our Founding Fathers, that it is hard to list all the liberties we have lost.
The Constitution is a document that LIMITS government to specified areas. Anything not specified in the Constitution (and its amendments) as being the prerogative of government remains the prerogative of the people. Through the Constitution, the people transfer some of their rights to government so there shall be no anarchy. But the rights come FROM the people and are LENT to the government. Government is NOT the source of our individual rights ... at least those were the principles upon which this country was founded and were so revolutionary that our country has attracted immigrants from all over the world who wish to partake in our liberty and in our freedom to rule our own lives. My grandparents were of those immigrants.
To provide for changing circumstances, the Constitution provides a means for the people to amend the document and those means have been adopted many times. But the document and the freedoms it guarantees us is NOT to be changed at the whim of a President, a Congress, or the Judiciary which is there ONLY and PRECISELY for the purpose of rejecting any change in our laws that are not implicit in the Constitution and its amendments.
One more thing, Mr. Issler: If Marco is "using all (the reprocessed water) that we process now," why is it that Marco needed a second deep injection well? What do you think Rony is shoving down it? Hot air?
Herr Doktor Issler, as the dedicated scientist, philosopher, analyst and astute thinker that you consider yourself to be, I would have thought you would know that it is no more possible to rule out an infinity of possibilities from an uncontrolled experiment than it is to prove a negative. Therefore, Dr. Shirley, who IS a scientist of far greater intellect than yours, did NOT say (nor would he be able to say) that there was "definitive evidence ... that can state that stormwater runoff is ... the culprit as it applies to local water quality." Nor did I say that Dr. Shirley made that statement. What Dr. Shirley DID say in the public meeting, which I believe was videotaped, was that there was NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE to support claims that septic systems were polluting Marco waterways AND THAT, comparison of nitrogen loading in Marco waters with that in remote areas of the Ten Thousand Islands SUGGESTED that the increased nitrogen in Marco waters is likely caused by runoff. Dr. Iglehart concurred.
It would be interesting to compare nitrogen loading in Marco waters before and after the introduction of stormdrains if the council and utility department have the guts to do so. But, Marco's Council, in its inestimable wisdom, did not regularly test for nitrogen in the past and HALVED the water testing budget when the data did not show that septic systems were the source of pollution that our Illustrious Leaders claimed they were. The purpose of what testing was done was to prove that septic systems were destroying the environment and must be replaced. The STRP was needed to fund the reconstruction of the sewer plant and pay to repair worn-out underground pipe. If test data failed to support the hypothesis, testing be dammed. The council did not care then, and apparently does not care now, about nitrogen (a.k.a., fertilizer) in the water. They wanted evidence of fecal pollution so they could point the finger at on-site wastewater treatment systems.
Research, Issler, research. Try it sometimes instead of blathering about it.
By the way, I really couldn't care less whether 9,000 imbeciles do or do not care about what I say. Keep your heads buried in the sand until the sewage rises to greet you.
Gosh, Issler, Marco is in even worse shape than I thought! You should know since you do so much "research."
You tell Dr. Uhler that he needs "to do much more research on your water issues," and go on to "answer your question right now about potable water." IRNASS (Issler's Research, Nuts, And Stupids Society), Ed Issler, Founder, President and Chief Nut, has determined that: "There is not enough (potable water) to distribute and nowhere to economically store excess when it is available. We are using all that we process right now." Wow! Guess you've tapped into the condo's NON-potable water system and use that to mix your Kool-Aid.
Interestingly, Webster's Ninth does not define "sociopath" other than to say that it is a relatively new (circa 1944) equivalent to "psychopath." A "psychopathic personality" (circa 1923) is defined as: "an emotionally and behaviorally disordered state characterized by clear perception of reality except for the individual's social and moral obligations and often by the pursuit of immediate personal gratification in criminal acts, drug addiction or sexual perversion."
The John Putnam I know doesn't fit the definition except for having a "clear perception of reality." I agree he is a passionate man ... I suffer from the same affliction if it is to be called one ... and our passions may lead us to speak out forcefully when a "correct perception of reality" conflicts with the blather, lies and disiinformation we are fed daily by our political leaders - local and national - and by their sycophants. He certainly does not pursue "immediate personal gratification in criminal acts" and has never performed one in his life to my knowledge. Nor do I know of any "drug addiction" or "sexual perversion" which is more than I can say for many of our leaders (local and national) who are eulogized after their deaths.
I met John at a gathering held in the Marco Community Bank meeting room to hear a presentation on the state of septic systems on Marco Island. I contended that septic systems were not the source of pollution on the island; John opposed me because he had given up on supporting "lost causes." Eventually, he changed his mind and we soon became friends. He gave me a book - "Boyd" by Robert Coram - that seriously affected my life and encouraged me to continue when it seemed I was pursuing a lost cause. I commend it to you. I also commend "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. Both demonstrate that a single man of passion and ability can cut through the layers of pious piffle and insidious disinformation that we are daily being drowned in and restore sanity to our world. Do not misinterpret Rand's hero's vow: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man or ask another man to live for the sake of mine" as the statement of an anti-social sociopath. This was the principle on which our country was founded and that made our country great. If agreeing with it makes one a "certified sociopath," I will be proud to list myself as one.
Wow! This must be a new record for the number of responses to a simple comment. Maybe you guys need a good hurricane to distract you! Just kidding, but you turkeys amaze me with your stupidity. You ignore the economic disaster that has hit Marco and the rest of our country. You ignore Marco's runaway expenditures. You ignore the destruction being done to the last man-made paradise that will ever be allowed to be built in the United States. You ignore what you have and devote thousands of words to whether John Putnam did or did not apologize to Terri DiSciullo and to whether Chuck Kiester purposely destroyed public records residing on his computer.
You idiots! Terri was the first councilor to listen to me. She tried hard to do what she thought best for Marco. We parted company on several occasions when others "got to her" with their lies. And I blastered her more than once in e-mails ... after which I apologized ... not for what I said (which was no more than the truth) but for my anger which led me to use the words I used.
If "apology" means that I admitted I was wrong on the facts, I did NOT apologize and would, as John did, say I did not apologize. If "apology" means I wish I hadn't used the words I used, I did apologize. Can't any of you idiots see the difference?
Did Representative Wilson (if I have his name correct) "apologize" for calling Obama a liar in Congress (a fact) or did he "apologize" for losing his cool when he shouldn't have?
As for your tiresome tirades about Kiester's deleting information from his computer, do you not remember that Terri and E. Glenn Tucker publically admitted to doing the same thing? Were they brought in front of a judge by Sal Sciarrino who was so nervous about his accusation he had to be supported on both sides by John Arceri and Monte Lazarus? If the others weren't accused of the same thing after admitting to having done so, why weren't they? If you can't figure that out, you truly are idiots! This was a politically driven Kiester witch-hunt and those who perpetrated it should be ashamed of themselves. EVERYONE deletes information from his private computer. Did Terri or Tucker turn their computers in to the Sherriff? NO! Did Kiester offer his to the Sherriff? YES! And what incriminating evidence was found? NONE! After hiring an expert to piece together the deleted e-mails, they found dinner invitations, personal letters, etc. and nothing that pertained to City business that wasn't already on the City Server. Sciarrino, Arceri, Lazarus and the rest of the syndicate know that, but they whip blathering idiots like Issler into beating this dead horse!
I loved Marco but I'm glad to be out of there!
Ed FosterFormer Marco Resident
If you consider yourself "an honest, factual and caring old goat," get your fact's straight. I never claimed an IQ of 177 ... 173 is as high as I ever got and I was drunk at the time. Sorry to disappoint you, but you're not the only one on Marco who misses this "worthless old has been." Maybe I'll come back to "entertain" you some more. I understand prices are getting downright reasonable and you may be needing new blood on the City Council.
Not to change the subject, but Hecker is correct. Street runoff is and will continue to degrade Marco waters. What she fails to mention is that it's not a question of whether the first inch or inch and a half is captured, it's a matter of destroying the swales and replacing them with catch-basins and/or direct runoff into Marco canals in order to satisfy the people's desire to drain the island as rapidly as possible after a rainstorm AND to city government's penchant to spend money on roadway projects.
Marco was designed and laid out with swales to retain rainwater and filter it slowly through grass and sand to remove pollutants before they enter the waterways. Deltona took considerable effort in designing the swales, going back year after year to improve those which were not doing their job. Needless to say, the swales slowed down drainage and roadways flooded for a period of time after a severe downpour. Duh! That's precisely what they were supposed to do!
In their infinite wisdom and non-ending desire to spend every nickel they could find, City Council, the City Manager, and the Public Utilities Director decreed that Marco Shall Replace Swales with Drainage Ditches and Catch Basin and shall hasten the flow of rainwater into the Gulf of Mexico thereby creating more pollution but faster traffic flow.
You asked for it, Marco residents. C.A.R.E.S., Inc. crusaded against this idiocy and was denigrated by Ms. Hecker among others for being CAVE dwellers, Citizens Against Virtually Everything. When you can no longer swim or use the waters that are Marco's prime possession, go complain to Monte Lazarus and John Arceri. They brought you this pig.
Ed FosterFormer Marco ResidentFounder of C.A.R.E.S., Inc.
Get your facts straight. John Putnam is not the village idiot. Marco already has two: Ed Issler and Wayne Waldack. (Make that three if you count yourself, but I don't really think you are an idiot. A curmudgeonly hateful old goat, yes, but not an idiot!) John is simply objecting to a council that doesn't seem to know how to align spending with economic conditions and, in that, he's surely not alone ... not on Marco, not anywhere! Not sure how many towns of Marco's size can boast of two councilors so economically astute that two of them have their properties in foreclosure ... even in these dire times.
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