Thursday, April 10, 2014

There are idiots everywhere, and sometimes we elect them

Enterprise article sites fast rising real estate taxes. A major contributor? Debt exclusion.
Two hundred sixty one ballots cast. Yes, I was one.
The Brewster contract has been issued for another three years. Despite the machinations of some that has worked out rather well.
The G & E had the greatest number of town employees on the highest paid list. A week later an article in the paper mentions G & E rates will increase.
Massport is proposing a raise in parking fees of $2-$3 depending upon lot used. They raised the fees in 2012 for the same amount and with the same reasoning. The added “expenses” and to - and they are serious - To encourage people to use alternative transportation.
And, this just in! Guess what? Massport payroll has hit 100M - well above budget. Not me. I can’t connect the dots between rising fees and rising payroll.
Massachusetts has been handing out jobs to those that have been guests of the Commonwealth. I have no problem with giving a hand-up (or out) to someone who has paid their debt to society, but to place an embezzler into a position of handling money? Then again, maybe they will be more responsible than or elected representatives?
Mark Pacheco (D- Probation) now is on the bully pulpit for a 50M statewide tree planting project. The last gem Pacheco planted on the unwary was the famed Pacheco Law. No doubt this project, questionable at best, will have a similar outcome on our personal bottom line.
A proposed 1.1B casino at Suffolk Downs had run into some permitting issues. Seems the brainiacs at the Massachusetts Historic Commission have decided that thirty former horse barns are now “historic.” Famed sports entrepreneur, Bill Veeck, once wrote a book “Thirty Tons A Day” describing his experience of operating Suffolk Downs. I know where that thirty tons should be dumped. So now the project may be delayed and further delayed over what can be easily corrected by a CAT D3C XL.
What the Hysterical Commission failed to even remotely comprehend is that they are dealing with some interesting folks from Eastie who look forward to this project. You may remember some of those orange shirts a few years back at a TM. I know as I fully remember a load of trash being dumped near my anti casino sign.
If the Commission really wishes to run interference for horse barns there is a viable option. A few days a week I go right by the Middleborough-Brockton Agricultural Fair grounds in Brockton. Plenty of barns still remain.
Taunton State Hospital has some magnificent buildings that date back to 1854. They are a wreck. Some have burned and most are in desperate need of repair. Where is the Massachusetts Historic Commission on that situation? Oh…right….I forgot. There are two standards in this state: One standard applies to state owned property and the rest to everyone else.
The Middleboro ZBA got it right when they mentioned parking and fuel depot for the new cop shop. But, to me, the most significant comment was the building should be a museum and I agree. The MHA should have had that building years ago.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Middleboro - The New Twilight Zone

Middleboro has priorities and we will soon see if building a 12.7M cop shop is one of them. This, of course, comes on the heels of defeating and override of 2 and ½ directed towards education. In Middleboro we throw the book at them since it is more important than reading a book. You examine the profiles of each town in Plymouth County and Middleboro is firmly entrenched at the bottom on most statistical categories - unemployment, college educated, median income…..
Not to be done Middleboro may have a second chance to vote on education. The high school need to be expanded or is it renovated or is it both? That will mean another debt exclusion. The high school is barely 40 years young, so one can fully understand the need to update it.
The TM that will have a shout out on the cop shop will once again clearly demonstrate town meeting is the purest form of special interest. Their vote will be a stuffed ballot with, to no surprise, the local police calling out as much support as possible. And if you wish to speak out? TM should be electronic. Wait! This is Middleboro. Nice to remain in the 19th century.
There is an informational video on the police website to show just how pathetic the structure is. IMHO, that is justification for taking a wrecking ball to the structure rather than piling on money to “restore” it. The video itself is about as objective as a Michael Moore movie.
There is also another video that has a presentation regarding the 12.7M projected project. Now I understand they are going to have a gym. Looking at some of the officers this is a wonderful idea and maybe a nutritionist and diet specialist can be in the mix? Now I understand that the police union is going to pay for the gym. Does that mean they will also be paying a monthly rent for that space? Missed that.
With public safety you can wave the “Bloody Shirt” just so often and then it loses impact.
Next up is the fact that the RMV fees will now go up 20%. Why? Feed the machine, of course. The registry is the proverbial cash cow and the extra dough goes elsewhere. The major target in this latest heist is the MBTA. Of course, lest we forget roads and bridges. That is just another pile of manure. Back years ago when bonding was finally payoff on the Massachusetts Turnpike another little fiscal sleight of hand took place to keep that a toll road. Of course that money was going to (drum roll please) - roads and bridges.
The Callahan Tunnel project in Boston will come in under budget and ahead of schedule. Maybe that company should build the cop shop?
Then, you have the state reviving the “Taxachusetts” slogan. Something called the Tax Fairness Commission has resuscitated the graduated income tax. How laughable can you get? Fairness? What a pile of BS. The whole idea is, once again, raise revenue. The machine needs money to run. At least the sales tax is not being raised - again.
Money is behind the various exotic gin mills being proposed across the state. Make money for profiteers and, of course, the money to feed the machine. What the Tax man, and woman, does not grab the pinky ringed casino crowd will. And, why stop with the gin mills? Step right up pot shops! As usual the connected get the licenses.
With pot licenses some of the money goes to drug programs. With casino money some will go to gambling programs. Seems rather strange.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pitchers And Catchers Report

Those great words: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
William Delahunt, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is now the pot king of Massachusetts. Out of the tenty medical marijuana licenses handed out Delahunt managed to get three or 15%. Not a bad haul. Wonder if political connections had anything to do with it? Naw….not here in Massachusetts.
I recently returned from a trip in which I had the opportunity to talk with several folks from other nations. Really a globe trotting experience. Many were interested in our politics but were cautious about discussing the subject, but I was also curious - especially in regards to the current White House occupant.
There is an incredible about of negativity in regards to his performance. The perception is Obama is well over his head in dealing with his peers in other countries. Most folks have followed the same trajectory in regards to Obama and that is down. The hope and change mantra was actually universal and seems to have really dissipated among our friends (and enemies) overseas and on our borders.
I recently spend some time on a tour of the Little White House, used extensively but not exclusively by Harry Truman. Now when I view Truman there is an ingrained personal prejudice since I consider him one of our top of the line residents of the Oval Office. So we I see his desk with a “Buck stops here” name plate I realize that the current president is in the low minors and HST is a major league super star.
You steal $30,000 and get 50 hours of community service? No restitution? The logic is it is “Difficult to pay under his circumstances.” How about a part time job? So that figures out to $600 an hour pay? Just what gives? From what I could glean from the articles on this situation the money was not exactly spent on articles of need. Nice message, Judge Carpenter. And a great job by his attorney.
There is a proposal to give driver licenses to illegal’s. Yes, just when you expected Massachusetts not to get any more screwy this comes up.
Middleboro will now be a tourism Mecca. I am planning on a tour of closed store fronts, nail salons, abandoned housing and my favorite pothole infested streets.
Scarlett Johansson is certainly easy on the eyes and this young woman has a pair that many males need to adopt. Ms. Johansson is spokesperson for Sodasteam, a company that manufactures at home soda makers. The company actually converted a munitions factory to a production facility, is environmentally sound and green to boot. So what is the issue? Why has Ms. J. been hung out to dry? Well, the company is Israeli. And, of course, to many of the beautiful people that means anti Palestinian. Ms. J. told the whiners to “stuff it.” You go, girl!
Mohegan Sun, a rather expansive gin mill, is feeling the heat for putting lien’s on the homes of those who owe a rather substantial gambling tab. Why did they extend such credit and why did the fools use it? Debts are collectable.
Massachusetts DCF continues to put clients at risk and do a side step, along with the governor, to be as evasive as possible regarding accountability. The head mistress of the agency, one Olga Roche, has been in fine avoidance mode.
A very nice rent is the $1,200 being offered for a ten year lease on the now deserted Eastern Bank in picturesque downtown Middleboro. This is a great bargain for the renter and will probably be negotiated downward in number of years. The goal, of course, is to add a potential business, besides a nail salon, to the downtown. Everything possible should be done to reach an accommodation with the tenant. The risk of a new business venture is well documented as most just fail.
I will watch the Olympics very selectively. With some events, such as the Biathlon, I imagine there are probably only twenty people on the planet that do it. The bobsled is something I will eventually try at Lake Placid.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winter Continues

Massachusetts now need a state climatologist. That’s right! No checking the Weather Channel or the myriad of weather forecasters that appear endlessly during the day on our local news outlets. Nope. Our governor wants our very own climatologist. Forget more funding for a totally mis-managed Department of Children or Families. This is, no doubt, urgent - probably as urgent as nine million bucks to renovate his corner office digs.
Now the administrative logic behind this assignment is global warming or its new euphuism - climate change. The idea is that the state climatologist will somehow “help” on this situation. My guess is Patrick has never heard of NASA and NOAA, which are fairly sharp on that issue.
But, since I am retired, a few extra bucks will help. Here it is, Governor. When a bad storm hits with get beach erosion and flooding. OK….that’ll be $100,000, thank you.
The rotary backup reached new, at least from my previous observations, lengths. Is bigger really better? The line last week at about mid morning went from the famed cross right on down to the rotary. Thankfully I was exiting Burger King and avoided the nightmare.
Now the rotary mess is suppose to be eliminated (ha, ha) with an exotic design that the state has finally decided to fund. My feeling is this with be the Big Dig of Middleboro.
And while discussing Burger King they have a few holes in their menu. Holes are usually a term used to described pricing inconsistencies. This one was obvious. Three French Toast sticks for $1 and five for $2.49. McDonald’s has a few pricing holes of their own. Always good to examine unit pricing at super markets since the occasional large is sometimes more expensive than the small.
The street I live on was plowed several times during the last storm. The street was kept passable until the storm dissipated and then came a few “runs” by the plows and it was clear and wide. Nice job. Not only that, my Christmas tree was picked up. That trash tax of $208 does have some upside.
I have to grudging admire the Patriots. Much adversity and managing to make it to the division finals where I will half-halfheartedly lend my emotional support. Three of the coaches involved in then current NFL dust-up, Belichick, Carroll and Harbaugh and, for me, truly difficult folks to like.
I hate to see a business close but there are exceptions. I am very familiar with Isis. That is a chain of stores that target upscale first time mothers with products and services. I looked up the term Isis and it is the Egyptian Goddess of overpriced products.
Isis also practiced the same policy far too many defunct businesses employ and that is to collect money right up to the day they close their doors. The seedy characters who operate like this need serious jail time and not bankruptcy protection.
The latest debate surrounding trash is the new and improved containers that Middleboro may soon have. I have seen the automation in action for years and it is very efficient. But when a member of the BOS points out aesthetics I get a chuckle. Yes….I often confuse Middleboro with Dover and Manchester By The Sea.
Your tax dollars hard at work will now fund a sex change operation for a convicted murderer.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Trashing

Can the Boston Globe sink any lower? Yes, they most certainly can.
The latest was a 10 page puff piece disguised as “investigative reporting” when the reality was it was piled higher and deeper with excuses for the Tsarmaev family. Of course the usual victimization of the two bomber brothers took place. All their “poor upbringing.” On and on with assorted psycho babble and, of course, no real input from the victims. You know, the 260 injured. The four dead cannot speak for themselves.
So this entire family has drained resources that should go to our own domestic needy. The various welfare benefit’s the entire clan has received has been well documented - the total for all the years the “political refugees” have enjoyed our system is in seven figures. And this is immigration reform? This is now know in Massachusetts as “The Full Tsarmaev.” The whole ride from Mass Health to EBT cards and, of course, public defenders for other members of the clan who have been nabbed shoplifting.
So now the idea is to spend another boodle of dough providing a defense. Great. That is our “system.” We also enjoy a “Free press” so the Boston Globe can write anything they wish to write. What I and others can do is simply point out that the Globe is full of manure and that the death penalty should be applied as quickly as possible to this “Tussle haired youth.”
Why does it take “Up to ten days to unsubscribe,” yet the other crap is immediate. Sign up and you get buried.
Massachusetts unemployment is now higher than the national average.
Elizabeth Warren (AKA - Princess Liz) is one of the signers on having no credit checks for potential hires. In the next few years I imagine companies will be required to have a federal stooge sit in on all interviews.
The EPA had a high level employee be a virtual no show for years. Told his superiors he was on “Special assignment” from the CIA. They bought it. 900K later he finally got nailed. Bet they ran no credit check.
Will Brennen’s Smoke Shop open up an outlet at Highpoint?
Now 7,500 EBT card photo ID requests have been returned as “undeliverable.” Gee….wonder why? Better get on it, Deval, these are lock votes.
Middleboro is certainly looking up. Our downtown will be wonderful with a pawn shop, “smoke” shop, numerous nail salons, drug “rehab” facility, and Steve’s Sports Den. I guess that means a transformation from a historic district to a hysteric district.
The intersection of route 28 and route 105 is one of the few times I can state “I told you so.” Having three lanes in two directions and two lanes in another two directions is a recipe for congestion and that is what you get. I’m sure the wizards that devised this will also cure the rotary issue.
Our glorious new cop house will be Reedy’s archery until the glorious new cop house part Deux is completed - if it gets voter approval. I find it amazing that the department is understaffed and then they built a 9-12M dollar complex. I guess brick and motor is more important than feet on the pavement.
The new library parking lot is a fine addition. Children’s room at the library has always been exceptional.
A glitch in the Delta Airlines reservation system allowed certain fares to be a fraction of their normal cost. This occasionally happens within reservation systems for airlines and I am a pure skeptic at this point. What a great way to get site traffic and be on the news nationwide.
A gimmick in the Dodd-Frank Act requires companies to disclose CEO compensation ratios, with that ration being based on corporate average. Just another way to fuel the fires of income inequity.
Xmas trees will now be picked up. Maybe Andy’s math was defective are there were, in reality, more that 40 trees.
Chicken wings at Dave’s Diner are the best in the area. A close second is Boston Tavern and Harry’s.
The greater D.C. area is 73% above the median national income average. I guess that is what “The Big Zero” means by income inequity. Government does pay - both above and below the table.
Computer controlled trains are everywhere. In Shanghai their baby buzzes along at about 300MPH. And it is passenger loaded. I fully expect drone technology to eventually result in commercial aviation without pilots.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Failure That Is Obama

Just when I think our President can sink no lower he manages to do just that. I thought his race baiting had been the nadir, once again I am proven incorrect.
The latest is his “Selfie” photo with two other intellectually questionable characters. One being the PM of Denmark and the other of England. Like three frat boys and girls and a kegger in which too mush was consumed they decided to take a camera photo of themselves.
The wonderful choice of this self indolent behavior was midway through the sendoff of Nelson Mandela. What a wonderful display to put on the world stage. I imagine the usual suspects for this dismal failure in the corner office will surface and probably blame it on Bush.
The simple fact is this representative of those who have adopted an alternative lifestyle via handouts, is just continuing down the path that will label him as the premier example of mediocrity to hold the presidency in the last 100 years or so. Move over corrupt Republicans of the 20s - make way for Obama!
I am a firm believer that health care should be available for all. After all isn’t the responsibility of government the safety and well being of the citizens? Amazingly….or maybe not, the ACA is in a continuous stage of crash and burn - and I am not making reference to the web site. That will most certainly improve.
Where the problem exists is millions of policies have gone to dust and with it an even larger group of formerly insured who must now fend for themselves. Some of the more ardent supporters of this dismal president have all of a sudden noticed they are getting a BIG HIT with premiums and deductibles. Way to go, 18-34 age group. You wanted him and now you got him. The fact is as more comes to the shine of light the more reality sets in with the ACA. Wait until the tax burden - hidden or not - start to surface.
The most important thing is providing services for your constituents. Mayor to be Walsh met with Mayor to leave “Mumbles” and the most important part of the discussion was city services - meaning trash pickup, snow removal and answering the phones. Blow millions on a bad police contract? No problem. Schools underperform? No problem. Sweetheart developer deals surface? No problem. Trash not picked up? HUGE PROBLEM.
That is exactly why the Democrats better get in full damage control and not the verbal platitudes and barbs the president incompetent tosses out. This is real personal when you mess with a key element such as health care and it screws up. Even the I’ve got mine so what crowd have the “That could have been me” mantra going on. This really hits home.
But why stop with health care? The scandals, domestic spying, mis-management, foreign policy blunders, outright executive lying, misuse of government agencies and on and on and on are well documented. You don’t have to be a Koch Brother to realize that an incompetent is now in command. Great. Can it get worse? Well….a few more years will certainly muck it up even further.
The good thing is the executive screw-ups are so bad that they just maybe fatal to the Democrats in the 2014 elections. Many are already scurrying around to attempt to distance themselves from the mountain of failures that they just may be held accountable for. I thought there was no possible way the Republicans could capture the Senate and maintain control of the House. Internal divisions and those pesky “T” types seem to have placed the party in reverse. Then they were rescued. The titular head of the party is the president and, folks, he is flawed to the nth degree.
I am sure I will occasionally be able to give president incompetent his props, but I expect them being fewer and fewer.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More Great Stuff

Power lines are great places to run simply because other trail systems often cross over them. Side trails that were in place for horseback and ATV’s are quite common and can run for miles. I am very familiar with the area in which the current version of forest strip mining is taking place.
Over the years I have run those lines from one end to the other. So when they say a 300’ cutting is taking place the big question is why? Rarely do you have tress causing an issue along transmission lines especially those. You would need a freaking 2,000 year old Redwood to cause an issue. This is a real overreach by a utility and should be treated the same way as any environmental disaster.
The headlines in the Enterprise: “Governor Comes Bearing Gifts.” The article mentions 27.4M to Massasoit, 4M to City Hall Plaza, 2.5M to Ames Shovel Works Housing and a few more. Does the Enterprise realize these “gifts” represent tax dollars? It is not a “gift.” but a redistribution of money collected from all of us.
Hal had a great profile on his Enterprise bog on who the eventual perp would be on the tragic hit and run in Middleboro. Hal was totally wrong.
A dope shop in Middleboro. I want all drug laws gone so this means nothing to me except it will be a cash cow for the proprietor.
Using the internet and social media only for marketing specials excludes a good portion of your customer base. Why do it? I was recently at Ocean State Job Lot where they have internet only coupons. I asked what happens to those that don’t have access - especially seniors. The reply was “get a computer” and for seniors “Go to the library or COA.” Real marketing wonders at that company.
Ban out of state use of EBT cards. Guess how the Democrats voted?
Proof of seeking a job. Guess how the Democrats voted?
Green card holders getting welfare benefits. Guess how the Democrats voted?
The last thing the Democrats in Massachusetts want to do is rile up their base. This pattern is clearly demonstrated in the lack of enthusiasm and common sense when it comes to welfare reform.
The Tsarnaev was milking the system endlessly. Mass Health, Section 8, SNAP, EBT, and just about every other handout available. The whole clan was living on our dime and could care less about America or anyone here.
“If you don’t have health insurance, you don’t have to do anything.” That famed proclamation by The Liar In Chief. His arrogance is only equaled by the incompetence his administration has demonstrated.
So now Obama has a luke warm admittance that things are not what they should be. Brilliant!
I have some real issues with Republicans and their social positions, and, likewise, some real issues with the overreach the Democrats seem so fond of. Is there anything they are not willing to go all Nanny on?
The recent actions of Democrats show that on the track to nonsense they are in a neck and neck race with the Tea Party.
Francis Slay is my new political hero. I know nothing of his politics but I do know he is the mayor of St. Louis. What did he do that has me thinking some real man-love? Slay didn’t make one of those dumb arse bets pols like to make when a sporting event takes place. He passed on making a “bet” with “Mumbles” over the series outcome. Thank you, Mayor Slay!
Appears the recent government shutdown had nil impact on the economy, if you wish to believe various articles that have appeared in financial apparatus such as the WSJ to The Economist. So much for the blather from the failed administration and their supportive economist. Turns out the economy is rather resilient.