Not much has changed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 31, 2003

Letterman said that New York’s power was restored Friday after blackouts caused a mass exodus from Manhattan. The newsreels had shown complete strangers sharing a cab. One guy took the engine, another the radio, and another the tires. The cabbie, who could speak no English could not get his point across to one of New York’s finest who had just had his book of tickets snatched from his hands and his gun from the holster. He had been in the process of arresting a prostitute for the twelfth time. Both walked home together, which was in Jersey.

For 31 years I was with a major life insurance company and learned that the best policy was and still is one called Whole Life. But not necessarily for those families just starting out with kids and mortgages. If the budget is limited and the responsibilities huge, term insurance can provide the proper amounts of coverage at low cost. Recently we read about a young Virginia Beach policeman killed on duty. Weeks later friends and neighbors managed to collect $44,000 and present it to the widow and her children. For $15 a month the young father could have been insured for half a million dollars. No collection necessary, it would have been mailed to her.

There are many forms of term insurance and one should be careful about which type to buy for their particular situation. I’d recommend it be guaranteed renewable until such time more permanent insurance can be purchased, or financial security provided some other way. I believe term insurance on a young person should be mandatory, so many of them die in accidents, or move into dangerous jobs, the military, or lapse into poor health. The cost for large amounts on young healthy non-smokers is peanuts, far less than for auto insurance which must be purchased. It can cost $1,200 per year to insure a car worth $5,000 while a term policy for half a million is less than $200. As soon as a teenager gets a driver’s license it is a wise parent that applies for a large policy on him or her. Give it to the insured when the parent is no longer responsible, it could turn out to be the most valuable gift the insured, or the insured’s family, could ever receive. I have delivered a great many six-figure checks to young grieving families. No one ever sent a check back.

Email newsletter signup

I’ll make you this bet; President Bush and his team have already found evidence of weapons of mass destruction, WMD, and will withhold the information until every Democrat candidate for President has stuck out his neck a mile. Let it get a little closer to the next election then, whammo, every newscaster in the country will change horses and ride with the news. There will be many new recipes for making crow palatable.

Suffolk Parks and Recreation offers social dancing classes where the basics of cha-cha, rumba, east coast swing, whatever that is, and the old two-step we danced in the ’40s. The mystery is why they charge males $40 for the course and females only $30. Is it the old inducement to get the girls to attend, or do males require more patient instruction due to inherent clumsiness and lack of memory? It certainly is not political correctness and I consider it an insult after watching the enthusiasm of male dancers at the Powwow. By comparison the ladies were genteel. I thank the powers that I have a bum knee or my wife would drag me kicking and screaming. But two decades ago we were pretty darn good.

Our liberal Council overrode the City Planning Commission relative to music at Barons. That’s both good and bad if we ask ourselves why we have a Commission. Bad that the thinkers in the Commission are so easily ignored, good that the Council trusts the owners of the nightspot. T.C. Williams said music at Barons would provide patrons of the Hilton Inn with something to do. Besides, I’ve heard singing in Baptist churches that rocks the cars parked in the street. Will Council also override the Commission’s &uot;no&uot; to the adult fun house proposed for Suffolk West shopping center? It, too, would give patrons of the Hilton something to do. Will Council also trust the porn palace owners to do the right thing?

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted at