Booting Identity Thieves

There are so many ways for thieves to steal your information and become you that it’s not funny. Identity theft could be more intrusive than a break-in at home. With a break-in, thieves have to work fast. With identity theft, they work a detailed plan. AARP published 12 measures one can take to at least ward off crooks. The magazine published a few websites to access for further identity safety. We’ll list them briefly. 1)      Get off of mailing lists for preapproved credit cards. Visit or call 888-567-8688 toll free. Get rid of other junk mail at If you contact the last company via mail, there is a $1 fee for mailed requests. 2)      Ask your bank and credit card companies for free alerts about any unusual activity. 3)      Read more

The Secret Service Goes Shopping

by Wes Richards The Presidential limo is a 2009 Cadillac.  Sort of.  And it’s time for a new car, a little something for use in 2017 and thereafter. So, the secret service is going shopping.  But unlike most of us, it doesn’t go through all the usual baloney car buying requires. Instead of reading Consumer Reports or Edmunds, it takes bids.  And there are laws about that.  The bids have to come from carmakers which both will build it and which have headquarters in this country.  That limits bidders to GM, Ford, Chrysler and Tesla. The buyer doesn’t go to a neighborhood dealer and start haggling about the price of options.  Slick Spike the salesman in the checkered polyester coat can’t tell them “armor plating only comes with the Deluxe Presidential package which Read more

Some Medical Tests: $ & ?

Each year in the United States, an estimated $225 billion is wasted on unnecessary medical tests and services. That is according to Rosemary Gibson, co-author of The Treatment Trap. An estimated $3 billion is spent on PSA screening for prostate cancer and many doctors say the test does more harm than good. However, PSA screening leads to an estimated $12 billion a year in prostate cancer care. Some people call that “doctors sleeping with drug companies”. After each drug ad on TV, there are three days of “warnings”. So it’s pretty evident that if you take one pill, the side effects could lead to another pill and another test and another pill. Now who is getting hooked and who is getting rich-er? As a proud subscriber to the AARP monthly magazine, sometimes I leave them stacked up Read more

Sounds of Screams, Sounds of Silence

by Wes Richards (KEW GARDENS, QUEENS) -- When you get here on the E train or the F and it’s one of those dark hours when it could be either last night or tomorrow morning, you think you’re on an urban movie set where they’ve left only the emergency lights on so nobody trips over something. This is a good neighborhood.  Nice, well preserved ancient apartment houses, slick semi-modern middle aged apartment houses made of brick, not the all glass kind you find in Manhattan. Yes, there have been a few muggings lately, a New York welcome to a befuddled new mayor and his befuddled new police commissioner.  But mostly, you get nothing more than a schoolyard bully you can chase off with a dirty look. And things weren’t all that different 50 years ago tomorrow when Kitty Genovese walked Read more