Saturday, February 21, 2009


The casinos that I paid a visit to in Oklahoma were rather small and certainly did not have the extensive amenities one would associate with what a potential gin mill in Middleboro would have. Both casinos were in the Lawton area and were Indian gaming - Camanche and Apache - and have had little economic or social impact on the area. I would attribute that to their size and the fact that this is the location of Ft. Sill and has a transient population. I spoke to a few employees and they felt pay was what you would get for similar service jobs in the area. Neither would be a good comparison for Middleboro.

I would see in Oklahoma these "farms" with folks living in trailers and a few oil wells pumping away in the front yard. Why? The key is mineral rights. The land is sold but you can retain the mineral rights forever as it will just pass on from title to title. I spoke with one person who said his 87 year old mother still receives a check of about a $1,000 a month from a property she sold 50 years ago. Not unusual for rights to go back over 100 years and been some nasty court fights over wills that have not specified mineral rights. Much of the reason is that new pumping being within the last 50 years - have made wells considered dry or unprofitable just the opposite. No problem with that here unless MB has the mineral rights to Indian Rock.

Disappointing and frustrating to see what the army managed to do with our son - disappointing and frustrating in the fact they did in 72 days what we could not do in 21 years. Then...maybe we just created a nice foundation and they built upon it. he graduation ceremony was different from any you will see as another son attended. He will retire from the army in a few months after 24 years and the usual resume of a career soldier - Korea (twice), Panama, Iraq, Gulf War I, Germany (twice) and a few other places. He pointed out that unlike high school or college some of the 240 from this graduating class will be dead in a year or so. For many new soldiers this represented an escape from a bad economy, a bad life and a poor education. Those 72 days are as expensive as four years at an Ivy League school.

The economy is now on a faster track for self destruction with extensive federal debt added by President WOW and the fact that bad paper is still a nightmare. My personal suggestion is to have zero capital gains on anyone with an income under 100K. Need some extensive changes to tax code to address the huge losses in retirement funds. Doubt that will be done since too many of those folks have played within the rules.

On a connecting flight to Dallas earlier this week I had to go into LGA to make the connect. Flight arrived late and the poorly designed system forced you to go through security a second time. I mentioned to three TSA agents that my flight had started boarding fifteen minutes ago but got nowhere. Would not let me go through on a priority. Great customer service. End result is we missed our flight and a complaint to supervisors got nowhere. What TSA represents is the governments answer to a mall cop. The lack any comprehension of common sense, service and common civility. IMO they could not catch an elephant in a telephone booth. I have witnessed enough over the years to make me feel this is tossing money away.

Returning home in a few days and it has appeared not much has happened.

Post away.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The stimulus is all set so how did the financial markets react? All major indexes are down. How are bank stocks reacting since a good portion of this is geared towards them? Flat. Look at construction and transportation which should benefit the most. Flat to down. Maybe this will work its way through the system…maybe not. If not it will be one and out for quite a few and if it works it will be a free ride to pile on more debt. IMO the real blame lies in those hardy band of Republicans who captured Congress those many years ago and in a short time tossed their political philosophy to the winds. Republicans want to blame someone? Look in the mirror as their actions begat this.

Bailout II is 1100 pages and was voted upon a scant 12 hours after it was presented. So much for transparency. Over a third of the financial package consists of discretionary spending meaning handouts. Yes…the cities, towns and states “need the money” probably “for the children” and that just covers up fiscal irresponsibility. President What’s His Name left a deficit that is beyond comprehension. In numerical terms it would be a goo goo. However in the spirit of mine is bigger than yours President WOW will exceed that legacy

JP Morgan and Citigroup have announced they are halting foreclosures. That is just dandy as seeing both got a zillion dollars from you, me and some of the folks in foreclosure.

The IRS has announced several programs to help taxpayers who owe and cannot pay. Nothing in the “help” from this most excessive of government agencies about no interest on back due taxes. That measure is the sole domain of President WOW cabinet appointees.

My baseball cap is off to Greg Judd who realized he cannot support a bill or a President that goes against his political philosophy and conscience. Judd is one of the few members of the House or Senate who has been quite consistent in supporting his philosophy at the expense of party agenda.

In Massachusetts the idea of reform and austerity seems like a totally alien concept to our legislative and executive branches. The bloated hacks, who are almost universally Democrats, have long used the excuse that the state has had a Republican governor. That excuse is gone and unfortunately Deval Patrick is not. As long as the Republicans can mange not to find reasonable candidates then the one party dominance and continuing failures will only magnify. Just a scan of pension abuses tells all.

Bosley is out now for his chairmanship. This, like gaming, was inevitable once the latest soon to be convicted felon - DiMasi - was sent packing after, of course, getting an extra year kiss for his pension. Hackerama needs money to keep the bloated oligarchy who feel it is ordained for them to continue avoiding what should be done. Where will it end? Taxes and fees will nickel and dime us to death the taxpayers. Cuts are made to the most needy and vulnerable of services while the elite maintain their family lines of “employment.” Naturally any increases is always “for the children.”

In some parts of the country housing values have dropped a staggering 40% with no accompanying decrease in property taxes. This reflects a tax increase and sooner or later a group of property owners will find a friendly judge who will agree to “adjust” property taxes. Think of the level of havoc that will cause!

The political races will soon heat up in Middleboro as perspective candidates return their papers. I suspect Steve Spataro may be in quite a race to retain his seat on the BOS. Meanwhile the local rumors and gossip will swirl around about the various “players” in our local drama.

Along those lines it was fascinating to hear the collective yawn as Steven Spataro outlined his proposed IGA meetings before the BOS by town department heads. I really expect a whole flurry of critical comments directed at the hand that potentially could feed them. IMO this is a bit too late but the town folk did get a greater frame of discussion time on the IGA than Congress allowed on bailout II.

If anyone wishes to continue the discussion of week twelve you may do it here or continue on that bloated comments list. Post away.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


The casino issue managed to make the front page of The Enterprise today (Sunday) as the path is becoming a four lane highway to slots and their accompanying gin mills. Details in the works and my assumption is the Great and Honorable General Court - what BS - will get this done and soon. The coffers are dry and you can raise fees and picayune taxes just so far. Hackerama is in survival mode.

In an accompanying article Alice Ewell did a profile on the troubles and tribulations of Adam Bond and the casino issue. Who is Adam Bond?

I see terms like “grim,” devastating” and “traumatic” being tossed around by states and cities regarding the lack of cash flow. In Boston the teachers union has expressed reluctance to accepting a pay freeze and Mayor Mumbles is now in a position where what has to be done is the exact same thing any other business does - cut labor costs. Some have made the move and others have not as they await a financial miracle. Government continues to add jobs while the dreaded private sector sheds them.

On the Federal level the latest stimulus bill - bailout II - is in the ongoing negotiating phase. The Senate - in what amounts to a political miracle - managed to cut the bill by over 100 billion. Back to the House where the fluff will be packaged on - again.

Hal decided to post on the GK or is it Mary blog. If it gets cold enough this week Hal will also stick his tongue against a flagpole.

Pitchers and catchers report in four days. This in conjunction with the sudden exposure of “Slappy” (AKA - A-Rod) as being a possible user of ‘roids. Don’t know if the government dropped the dime to make the pending Bonds trial a bit breezier or someone just leaked this since this is truly a disliked person.

The PTWS got some play on this site as it has been one of the rallying points in the past on the Nemasket site and JP has an occasional blog on it. Both have led the charge on this issue. This is an easy target but what has me wondering is why isn’t something done about it? The IT Director has to be aware of the all most universal pot shots that site is taking and one way to reduce the heat is to make some changes.

Post away.