Culver City Observer -

By Neil Rubenstein
Observer Columnist 

Wall Street Journal Has Problems To Solve


January 25, 2018

My ears nearly fell off my head when I read in the Wall Street Journal the postal service has drained its $15 billion line of credit with the Treasury and defaulted on $34 billion in retiree benefit prepayments.

They are looking at reducing mail delivery, raising prices, closing post offices, where possible cluster mail boxes rather than going door to door and would automatically enroll postal employees in Medicare programs.

Ever wonder what are the ten best Universities as rated by the Wall Street Journal?

1. Harvard University

2. Columbia University

3. M.I.T

4. Stanford University

5. Duke University

6. Yale University

7. California Tech

8. University of Pennsylvania

9. Princeton University

10. Cornell University

In a program that began in June 2017 New York college students can apply for the state’s free tuition plan.

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting article about how much former presidents received for giving a speech. Apparently the first to start the practice was Gerald Ford $40,000, Jimmy Carter $50,000, Ronald Regan $50,000, George H.W. Bush $75,000, George W. Bush $175,000, Barack Obama $400,000 and Bill Clinton $500,000.

Do you get migraines, and many do, help is almost here? Researchers outlined positive data for two of the most advanced migraine drugs in development in the New England Journal of Medicine, check out November 29, 2017 and always check with your doctor first.

1939 might have been one of the very best years for all the classic movies made. The Tower of London starring that great actor and art collector Vincent Price. Go to ( and then go to his museum and it’s at East Los Angeles Community College.

Ever hear of the Marciano Art their 1500 works by an international artist roster. The museum is housed in the renovated former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in the Windsor Square Neighborhood of Los Angeles (Crenshaw and Wilshire and both parking and admission are free.

At the height of President Reagan’s military build up the Navy boasted 594 ships. Today’s Navy has only 275 active ships (down from 316 in 2001). The Navy feels they need 450 ships. A government funded study recently concluded the U.S. needs 14 aircraft carriers (the Navy has 11) 160 cruisers and destroyers (the Navy has 84) and 72 attack submarines (the Navy has 52). Sixty -two percent of the Navy’s F/A -18s and F/A-18E/FS cannot fly due to mechanical problems.

USA Today says Americans’ life expectancy is down for the second straight year. Heroin and the pain killer overdoses are a big reason.

Thanks to vast improvements in forensic technology the Pentagon is working hard to identify remains from the USS Oklahoma, graves in Hawaii’s punchbowl cemetery, from the Korean War, from the Vietnam War and more. It is vital family members of those missing in action (MIAs) submit a DNA sample, so matches can be made when remains are found.

Cousin Neil is in shock and you will be also when I tell you Maria AKA “The Wild Gypsy Lady” and I met at our favorite coffee house on the other side of town, just past the railroad tracks, and near the entrance to the freeway. She was reading my tea leaves when looking up said, “Beverly Hills is in deep trouble”. Holding back a gasp of total disbelief she went on to read an article from the Beverly Hills Courier, “With Beverly Hills Unified School District projected to deficit spend upwards of $5 million next year according to the latest BHUSD financials, the Board of Education is tasked with making serious changes to how the school district operates. While the school district, which receives the bulk of its funding from property taxes, does have sufficient reserves in its Fund 17 to keep it afloat for perhaps two more years.

It took less than a week after I applied for acceptance in the PX electronic purchase system. What more can anyone ask for-the PX price for veterans was cheaper; free postage, handling, and a big plus no sales tax.

Speaking of Veterans, do you realize the County of Los Angeles has a Military and Veterans Affairs Department, and will help with:

• Compensation and Pension Claims

• Burial Benefits and Services

• Medical and Mental Health Referral

• Education and Vocational Rehabilitation

• Employment and Job Placement Assistance

• Veterans License Plate Applications

• Legal Services Referrals

• Appeals Process

• Incarcerated Veterans

For an appointment in Fox Hills call (877) 4LA-VETS. Open M-F 8AM – 4PM excluding major holidays.

While inflation in Mexico hit a 17-year high in December 2017 with consumer prices up almost seven percent, Switzerland’s central bank posted a record $55 billion in profit last year. Most of its assets are in foreign currencies, which rose in value vs the Swiss franc.

Do you realize in 2017 the number of countries in which United States Special Operations forces were deployed were 149? The total number of US Special Operations Troops was 70,000. In comparison 71,500 was the total number of active duty officers in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Citizens all over Florida are gathering signatures to qualify the Voting Rights Restoration Initiative for the November 2018 ballot. If it passes it would restore voting rights to well over one million who were convicted and served time for felonies.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at; strolling down the page and underneath Opinion look for Rubenstein.


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