Ethics, Morals?

“The software developer, in his 40s, is thought to have spent his workdays surfing the web, watching cat videos on YouTube and browsing Reddit and eBay.

He reportedly paid just a fifth of his six-figure salary to a company based in Shenyang to do his job.”

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Unless we pay world wide equal pay for equal work we will not have peace. The world’s 7 billion people can not all live middle class lives because there simply are not enough resources to have that much energy use or housing, food and entertainment. Today 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day as 5000 children and 23000 adults die from lack of clean water or food each day, why? Unless the world address the population problem that causes much of the other problems the quality of life will continue to decline for everyone except those who can afford all the security such as corporate leaders.

Why are we so focused on training children for jobs when they have no idea of the reasons of life? Why are we not ashamed to buy from China?

AIRPORT’S FINANCIAL MORASS

Morass is defined as something that traps, confuses or impedes. The Tupelo Airport Authority’s (TAA) budget, profit and loss budget statement, leases and other financial statements are certainly that, a morass!

The Terms and Conditions of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants require that every effort be made by airport officials to make their operation self-sufficient. TAA was a balanced, sustaining operation four years ago but is not even close today.

Their debt to the City of Tupelo taxpaying citizens is nearing $200,000. The following issues have contributed to this mismanagement of airport funds and accounts:

• Unbalanced operating budget that includes capital revenue without any corresponding expense.
• Overhead photography shows that extensive rock and metal plates are being used to repair and prevent further damage to Universal Asset Management’s (UAM) leased property. Cost to TAA for UAM’s destruction of the infrastructure is estimated at a minimum at $30K.
• Hidden start-up costs and false capital improvements to Airline Maintenance Services of Tupelo LLC resulted in over $40K in costs to TAA.
• Financial documents hide true balance since revenue sources (capital and operating) are included in the same document but the related expenses are missing. This funny math guarantees that the bottom line will be positive.
• Huge salary increases for management (15% plus) even though airport progress has regressed. This has added nearly $100K in expense in four years.
• Airport has gone from $150,000 cash in the bank to $200,000 in debt, contributing to a negative net worth with no end in sight.

Despite the growing debt, the TAA quietly added a $500,000 project that will cosmetically enhance the Fixed Base Operations (FBO) facility. The FBO is the full service gas station for the airport. These unnecessary improvements are to be funded by a $300,000 MDOT Multi-modal grant and a $200,000 MDA loan. That’s right, it is more debt. All this for a facility that the TAA Board has publicly announced it will provide to a private business in the near future. It’s well known that it is a pay-back project promoted by a not often seen Board member. TAA Board should review State ethics rules on Authority Board members having contracts for hangaring his/her aircraft even in the general population. TAA should also check out AMS Management Lease anomalies for FBO:

• FBO “Allowable Monthly Expense” Account is a conduit by which the private management company can spend public money without routine oversight.
• Incentive Fee, amounting to 40% of Operating Surplus for FY 12, was paid to the FBO Management company, AMS, however, what happened to the 60% TAA share?
• AMS Management (private company managing the FBO) has been posting an average $50,000 to the “Allowable Operating Expense” even though the large expenses like fuel, labor and a management fee are paid for by TAA without oversight.
• AMS Management Agreement provides exclusive buyout right including a lease for the FBO facility (with the $.5M upgrade) and for the business at a purchase price at more than current buyout debt. A government organization cannot offer such agreements without competition.

Recent statements by the Executive Director further highlight the lack of his AIP and financial knowledge. When boardings fall below 10,000 in a FY, the loss of the $1M entitlement doesn’t occur for an additional two years. If boardings improve during that period above the 10,000 number, then the system resets.

And why is the reason for Silver’s poor performance placed primarily on weather? Weather is not going away so why would one expect any improvement in the numbers? Still hiding the facts? What nonsense! Wake up Tupelo! The regional flying public does not deserve such incompetence?

Airport Improving to New Lows

Tupelo Regional Airport, stemming from poor planning and choices, is facing a dilemma. It’s a public airport paid for by the citizens’ taxes that is being run by a private business mentality. Half truths, falsehoods and misuse of public funds are the tools being used to deceive the public and the City Council. The winners are the private enterprises at Tupelo Regional who benefit directly from public grants and loans. And now our commercial air service has plummeted to an all-time low, less than 8,500 passenger boardings for 2012. Questions should be answered! Mother Nature cannot be blamed for ignorance and poor planning:

What is the problem with the Instrument Landing System Localizer that prevents Saab 340s from landing at Tupelo but allows other airplanes to successfully land? Was this known when the runway extension project began and, if so, why weren’t the travelers informed?

If it’s a problem of equipment relocation, what were/are the options? Usually these moves are planned for well before the construction project begins and is designed to take only weeks. Is that why the cost, even after changes, was lower than engineering estimates? Could there have been a lack of expertise at the helm of this ship to develop options?

The Daily Journal has reported for months from airport operations reports that the project was on schedule/time, yet the original estimate for completion was September 2012, then October, then December, then mid-February and now March…really? This along with the resulting Mother Nature cop-out excuse could all have been avoided with the 5Ps.

Why was Silver given a “near free ride” on airport rents and fees? Tupelo’s terminal rent is the lowest of similar sized airports and nearly half the amount that Delta paid. The “special refueling” costs were added so that the private group AMS Management would benefit, not the broke TAA. A quick sampling of other similar airport reporting shows that airport revenue from air service ranges from $80K to $100K exclusive of revenue from public parking, TSA and other terminal tenants.

Why wasn’t more effort applied to eliminate any route ties with another airport. Past experience with service tied to Muscle Shoals was a disaster. It was clear that with another small primary airport as the origination of the morning flight this service had little to no chance of being successful. Was this issue ignored or just missed?

Airport Officials have a lot of blame in this unless the Board was briefed on the poor chances of initial success. The Director’s initial assessment was that Silver was a great choice! His statements on the ticketing systems (which still are not seamless) were in error and the public was then asked to bear with the problems. Why didn’t he provide the shortfalls of inter-line agreements to the public? Instead people are experiencing overnights, some “in the boxes,” at Atlanta. And when people reach the Executive Director for assistance, he tells them he can’t help and to call the 1-800 number…Really? His solution is to bear with Silver’s poor performance….Really?

What do the rental car statistics have to do with the Silver service? Were they being provided so customers could drive to Atlanta? Statistics can prove anything, even the truth if the provider so chooses. Actually the large increase in revenue was due to the long training period for the Toyota plant.

This all leads to the most deceitful possibilities of all. Why was such an all out effort to put AIP funding, loans, grants and City subsidy to improve the private businesses on the airport at the expense of public services? If TAA loses the $1M a year entitlement like the Director’s comment “could drop…from primary airport status” alludes to, how will routine repairs and upgrades to the facilities be funded? How will a direly needed $600,000 fire truck and an airport wide resurfacing requirement be done on a $150,000 a year entitlement? Why even say “could”? Doesn’t he know?

Until the TAA Board gets intimately involved (oops, maybe they are) with the breeches of public trust, the inconsistency and errors in leases and financial reporting and the poor planning and execution of operational and administrative matters, the airport may soon be “grounded.” The airport is not flying “higher” and there has been little if any “win, win, win and win” in years. Stand-by for chapter 2, Financial Assessment.

Government Tyranny

“Mississippi’s only abortion clinic missed a Friday deadline to comply with a state law requiring each of its physicians to get hospital admitting privileges.”

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One of the reasons Mississippi stays poor and refuses to change its culture. Ending unwanted pregnancies will happen if it is legal or not. Those too dumb to figure it out will just add more to the welfare roles. Ever wonder why government does not work?

Making laws that people will not obey does nothing but promote lawlessness.

Responsibility?

Are we free to be responsible for our lives? Do we have to have laws dictating every move we make? What has happened to the responsibility to survive?

Text of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Notice it does not say Federal Government but State. It seems concentrating power in a united way changes a State to a party member with few individual rights.

Is the United States too big to fail? Do we need a Constitutional Convention to change the Constitution to fit beliefs or do we need to restructure the way we agree on common goals? Do we even have common goals?

There is something seriously wrong with America and government services and laws are not going to fix it. We live in a world that thinks growth is the answer to finite resources. Central control is not going to make people responsible for their survival and living together in harmony when growth is reducing material resources for most all humans.

The sun has been the main source of energy on earth. Fuels are nothing more than stored solar energy done by biological matter. Biological humans are using stored energy faster than the sun can make it. This also affects the carbon cycle that separates carbon from oxygen when the energy form the sun is applied to plants. Then millions of years later the fuel has been concentrated and we burn and release the stored energy and rejoin carbon with oxygen.  This process also affects the climate. It adds heat to the atmosphere and traps the short wave radiation that would have escaped to space; it is like insulating the attic to keep the house warmer when you are warm enough.

Distractions such as psychological problems caused by too much growth and quick fix for bigger problems changes humans to rats caged in a frustrating world.

Are we being responsible for survival?

 

“Collapse” by Jared Diamond

 

In “The World Until Yesterday,” Jared Diamond holds up tribal groups as a mirror for our lives and asks what they can teach us about parenting, elder care and conflict.

Secular Humanism

The philosophy or life stance secular humanism (alternatively known by some adherents as Humanism, specifically with a capital H to distinguish it from other forms of humanism) embraces human reason, ethics, social justice and philosophical naturalism, whilst specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision making.

Is it a religion itself and is it the government’s religion?  Can communities solve their problems with common goals without faith and beliefs? Can members of the community organize under one roof and work together without cultural dogma? Does the individual reason for life have to keep people apart from doing what are common goals? Knowledge is the key. What is knowledge?

Leaders?

After passsing the Senate bill temporiarily fixing the fiscal cliff, Congress failed to take up a bill for those hurt by hurricane Sandy. New Jersey Gov. Christie immediately held a press conference and held the Speaker Boehner and Republicans in Congress responsible for not passing the $65 billion dollar bill as passed by the Senate. You ought to take the time to look at the bill as passed by the Senate for those Americans hurt by the hurricane. In that bill was a lot of pork not related to New Jersey or New York. How about fish hatcheries in American Samoa, Puerto Rican Rum, the Hollywood movie industry and new roofs for Smithsonian buildings in Washington and more. What a bunch of crap. Our wonderful Senate led by the most dangerous man in America, Senator Reid, allowed this pork to be included. Several amendments were offered to delete the pork but with a Democratic majority they didn’t fly. I am sorry for the people of NJ an NT but this is not the way to spend our money. Let’s spend $65 billion right after we pass a tax bill and then immediatrely add to the national debt. Only about $9 billion was to be spent in this fiscal bill. I wondered why some of the democrats were so adamant that the House needed to pass this immediately. Please don’t read what the money was going for just pass it and the pork was good to go. Now we ought to pass help but only that part going to NJ and NY that pays for damage by Sandi. We do have a sspending problem in Congress, Mississippi and locally. When will it stop?

Tupelo’s Hidden Agenda

Does Tupelo city fathers, power brokers, have a hidden agenda? From the many people I talk to on a daily basis there appears to be. First is the agenda of continuing the control of the many by the few.  Some think that only those anointed by the CDF, CREATE, City Hall, certain families or supported by the Daily Journal can be elected to office, thus preserving the elite establishment and the interests of certain people in the city citizenry. Of course there is a certain amount of “spoils” that go with being elected. However the thinking is, the control issue is obvious by who gets appointed to what committees and or task forces. There may be some truth to this but unless you get involved one should not expect to be appointed to anything. If you have complaints ask to be heard in the public form prior to the City Council meetings. You cannot be denied the right to be heard. Failing that, if you feel strong enough about your position run for public office. At least you will have a podium to air your views and may attract enough votes to get elected. In addition there is the Facebook site tupelotalks and this web site where you are free to espouse your views. I hear there is a large gp of citizens ready for change. What I don’t hear is anyone stepping up for change. Secondly I hear that there is a large degree of racism just under the surface that needs to be addressed. Do I believe racism exists in Tupelo? Yes. I have seen and heard it. There is concern about our schools. I believe that the school issues are being addressed. We need to continue to support Dr. Loden until he proves he is not the leader we are looking for. I don’t think that will happen. But until the other two issues are addressed the face of Tupelo will be drastically changed in the next five to ten years and not for the  better. You see when things go wrong and  taxes need to go up, those fed up with the closed system will just move and guess who is left. Those least available to pay for change.

Hope to Action

Why the poor do not have opportunities? The World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), lend money to large corporations that have a better credit rating than a poor person with a need to start a business. It takes money to make money and the poor can not make it to the first rung of the economic ladder to get a record of paying bills on time. This situation prevents them from getting a loan for a business.  Yes there is much education needed to teach important business practices and responsibilities.

How to start a fix? First, all the government laws against monopolies and antitrust need to be enforced, this will enable us have a fair capitalist economic system. Then regulations reduced to only important issues and not have regulations that stop competition from small business. For example a beef farmer can not slaughter his own without employing a full time government inspector and provide the inspector with a private restroom. Change corporate charters to also have a part what they do for the public good beyond make money for investors. They should have employee ownership and be limited to a size not too big to fail.

High school requirement should include a business class that teaches the full procedure to start a business and keep books for that business including taxes and regulations. Business plan writing is a must for any person living in a capitalistic society. Adults need to be competent in writing a resume and filling out forms from business to tax and doctor forms.  Learning how to research any information you need to be successful should be a requirement before leaving public school.  Last but not least all you need to know about having children supporting them and being responsible citizen.

 

Dansette