Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finishing Off The Year

I read a recent comment about Senator Scott Brown that he is “Not a puppet.” This became readily visible in his vote in favor of repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and START. Can you imagine Kerry or Kennedy going against the grain in one week on two significant issues? Many of the anti Tea Party and just “hate Republican” crowd no doubt will remain silent on how dead wrong they were on Brown. No doubt they will support whatever lock step ultra liberal they can drag out in 2012 to run against Brown so they can get back to the position of mindless orthodoxy. Brown has done a remarkable job of voting for the legislation and not for the symbol of “R” or “D.”

The new year means a new diet for many folks. January usually sees an upsurge in “Y” attendance as all those resolutions are made to get the fat off. I see shows on TV constantly plugging one product or book after another to make everyone slim and attractive like Bogo. The real truth is rather simple. If you wish to lose weight just eat less and exercise more. The weight comes off. Now as far as the eat less that does not mean one coffee roll rather than two but simply eating a more balanced regimen. A key component in any weight loss is exercise and exercise can be just plain old walking especially trails once the hunt for Bambi ends and CPA spends a few hundred large to have a trail system locally. But, seriously, there are some great trail systems locally so just use them.

My son just returned from a stay in Kuwait. His missions were simple - drive into various places in Iraq and extract equipment. The missions usually lasted between twelve and twenty days and the trucks he drove - HET’s (Heavy Equipment Transports) offered wonderful target opportunities. The trucks had amour and all sorts of counter measures but still they’d get hit or close to it. Needless to say several members of the transportation group came home early due to extreme stress and many of those were on their third deployment. On 12/24 the entire group arrived back in Massachusetts and they know their next stop will be in Afghanistan in two years.

One of the more compelling stories my son told was the first time he saw a group of children and tossed candy out the window. They ran thinking it was explosives. Then they returned to collect the goodies. As the missions continued kids began to get some upgrades as we sent over packages of Hot Wheels to distribute.

The Care packages sent to troops are so important. You can donate just the postage for a package which is about $12 and I do believe Oak Point has a Vet’s group that does just that or look up Cape Cod Cares. Just include letters and local papers even if they have no relevance to who may get them. It is not unusual to get a note from a kid in Iowa who is in Iraq or Afghanistan who has a Gazette or Herald or Globe or Enterprise and relays how important it was just to read a simple newspaper and look at articles that we routinely bypass and even advertisements.

Give President Obama a break. He’s trying to enjoy a family vacation and all you get is the shutter bug paparazzi attempting to get a photo op. This applies to celebrities from the “A” list to the “D” list. Why is it important to look at a photo of Jack Nickelson coming out of a restaurant or some reality “star” getting into a car? Who is really fascinated by this stuff? Is this something for 20 somethings? I just don’t get it. Many a time I have seen celebrities in a public place and the last thing I would be is intrusive and try to get a picture taken or an autograph. I remember on a Red $ox road trip we had dinner at a hotel the team was staying at and one of the players was - Lou Merloni - was signing autographs in the lobby so I went over just to observe the madness and he asked if I wanted his autograph. Instead I gave him MY autograph and said if he wanted a picture with me he better have a camera. Fortunately he had one and I’m sure Lou has in hanging in his den.

The famous also get special treatment such as go to the head of the line or a comp. Recently Shaq was at Nashoba Ski area and refused a comp for himself and his children and SO.

That brings up another wonderful Bogo story. In the early 1970s we flew into Hyannis Airport and went to the upscale restaurant on the premises - the Neptune Lounge and they required a suit jacket and tie, Being the GQ person I am I had neither but they supplied me with an awful facsimile. After ordering in came a large party and none of the gentlemen had a suit jacket or tie. I asked why and the response was “That’s Ted Kennedy!” So I repeated and got the same response. I left. I imagine the check is still being held for me. By the way the Senator was highly intoxicated, loud and just plain obnoxious and I know all about obnoxious.

Football time. I am a fan of the NY Football Giants (via NJ) and they have put on the most pathetic display imaginable the last five quarters. Then you have the local entry that has managed to perform beyond expectations. IMO the real star surprise for the Patriots is Green-Ellis. Kid is like Jim Nance for you old time Pats fans.

Huge Hefner is getting married again. The 84 year old Hef is engaged to a 23 year old who professes her love to Hugh.

The start of the new decade is upon us as that takes place on 1/1/2011. The same applies to the millennia which began on 1/1/2001 and not on 1/1/2000.

I am still mystified by the recent statement that about 50 Xmas trees met their fate at the chipper last Xmas season so therefore why bother. I imagine this is some rather telling math deficiencies on the part of the DPW. On our street along there were about ten and we have only 35 houses on the street.

More on the DPW is that the recycle pickup will not take place for those of us scheduled for Tuesday. We’ll have to wait two more weeks in a shinning example of more quality service for the $208 trash tax. My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - called up the DPW so that is how I know. She called again to whine - I mean, to complain - and was told the DPW supervisor would get back to her. Still waiting. Probably happened sometime this century.

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rendered a decision that has resulted in a mandate for all of us to clear our sidewalks and even our steps or face the consequences of legal action either via local fines or from slips and falls. The recent snow storm provided a windfall or snowfall for The Boston Herald that took photos and attempted to interview justices that didn’t follow their own ruling. Naturally they could not be reached for comment. With government officials they are them and there are us and both have different sets of rules.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Xmas trees and other junk

It’s the little things that get to folks and that is especially true in government. In Middleboro the latest directive is regarding Christmas trees. Apparently the semi- new and IMO clueless Highway Superintendent decided to forgo the annual pick up and decapitation of the spent Xmas tress. Our trash tax is $208 and covers very little except routine pick up. No large items. No leaves. No paints. No special collection days. If you want to decide those your choices are two fold. First is to select an appropriate spot on one of our 160 miles of roadways and just toss it. The second is to get a dump pass (AKA - Landfill) for $25 and bring assorted items there but if they happen to fall into a select category there is an addition fee and that fee can be expensive. Yes…the dump will take yard waste gratis but you must haul it in yourself. So now back to the trees.

Your option is to cart the tree to the dump and toss it. No charge except for your time and gas. Now if you happen to be unable or unwilling (ODD?) to do this too bad. No wood chipper to relieve you of this duty. If you do not wish to go to the dump I’m sure you can cruise down Wareham Street and make a personal delivery to the highway department.

The whole trash tax is a joke. For $208 down from $216 you expect some moderate degree of service. If I lived in several other communities this would not be a problem. Advanced notification and large items are taken away. Old sofa? No problem even if gramps is still sitting on it. Ditto appliances, wallboard, wood and just about anything else. You may pay more such as Brockton with a $280 fee or less with Attleboro and their under $200 fee but you do get some actually return on this backdoor tax.

This is a little thing but it is the type of thing that gets locals blood to boil almost as much as an imperial decree not to plow certain streets. What it does show me is an amazing lack of basic understanding of human nature and the fact that when you cut a simple service almost on the eve of Christmas that Middleboro may have hired a few Grinches to take over key position. Timing is everything.

Oil is up to $90 a barrel and the U.S. is continuing to be held hostage to oil producing nations. The truth is we use oil now. We need oil now. We are limited in what we can do for domestic production. The reality is drilling should be allowed without our domestic domain to create some degree of independence. The U.S. should also insure that domestic production remain domestic and not tossed into the international markets. As far as alternative energies that technology is advancing rapidly but until further breakthroughs occur oil will have to do.

The Chinese are now following the U.S. pattern of the 50s with personal transportation - the car. Despite incredible transportation infrastructure development the Chinese seem to want the auto. And they like big ones if they can afford it. Then they have those monster traffic jams that don’t last hours but days. Some truckers carry camping equipment to wait out the jams. Looks like that transportation infrastructure left out four, six and eight lane highways.

Scott Brown is going against party drift in the START Treaty proposals. Brown is also changing his opinion on don’t tell. Brown has done exactly what he said he would and not necessarily follow the party herd. What a far cry from whom he replaced and our Senior senator …and toss in our Congressional delegation.

As far as our delegation let the feeding frenzy begin as one seat will have to be deleted thanks to population shift. Would it be possible to give up all the seats? Our delegation is like a crew of Mynah birds just repeating and following lock step whatever decree comes forth from the leadership. I’d suggest they gerrymander out Barney Frank unless the party needs another fiscal albatross around their necks.

I have a condo in Texas and an interesting thing happened - my real estate taxes went down. Not by much but they did go down since the value of the property went down. How novel!

I don’t know what would be a bigger disaster - another four years of Obama or Palin winning. A perfect lose-lose situation.

ASVAB is the test for joining the Army or Marines and the failure rate is climbing up to almost 25%. The Air Force and Navy require even higher scores than the 31 percentile the Army/Marines require. The average scores for blacks is 38 and for Hispanics it is 44 and whites’ check in at 55.

The Red $ox have managed to rebuild their bullpen just before Christmas with the acquisition of Jenks and the under valued Dan Wheeler. If Bard maintains his performance level and Papelbon can regroup this may be one the best bullpens in baseball.

The Wikileaks founder became victim of a leak as his Swedish police reports were leaked.

President WOW (Walk On Water) ahs managed to cave in on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Many in his own disjointed party have willingly tossed him under the bus. Nancy Pelosi (D-Botox) and Harry Reid (D- Slot Land) even refused to show up at the ceremonial signing of the measure. Is this the beginning of an Obama drift towards the center? Is this a willingness to work with Republicans?

Welcome back to the 1166th.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


SYSCO ends up in Plympton and it appears the deal maker was the quick permitting available. In Middleboro there was considerable behind the scenes activity to get the deal done but, alas, it was a great effort but no prize. My assumption is that SYSCO will use Spring Street on Rt. 44 as their access point for Rt 3 and I-495 . Middleboro rotary may get some heavy duty truck action in the mornings. Maybe the land that was designated for a potential Middleboro site could be used for a casino?

What is it with Rt. 24? This is now the Highway To Hell to quote one of my favorite bands. I use to work in Boston, Quincy and Braintree and have taken that road thousands of times and cannot recall - even at my advanced age - the number of accidents that seem to snarl traffic. Back when I had a daily commute Rt. 24 was generally clear sailing until you got to Rt. 128 or whatever it is known as. There is nothing particularly unusual about the configuration of the road like there is with say - I-95 in the Pawtucket area - yet it has become almost a daily occurrence to have wreck somewhere. My daughter now travels Rt. 24 every morning and has become an avid listener of traffic reports - something she had never done in the past.

I’m all for an extension of the tax cuts and really am getting a bit tired of the “soak the rich” mantra. There are certainly people of wealth who didn’t exactly extend themselves to any great sense to get the dough - maybe a thanks, Dad? But I know folks who exceed that magical 250K figure that moonbats seem to toss around and they are folks that are driven by long work days, incredible responsibility for decision making and really not living a flamboyant and excessive life style. The super rich - top 1% - have 23% of the income yet pay 40% of the income taxes according to The Herald. Class warfare sells.

The national debt keeps piling on and IMO the one key to the whole mess is a surging economy. If unemployment manages to get cut in half you will see revenues start to erode those many trillions especially when accompanied with some degree of fiscal restraint.

In baseball a good trade is one that helps both teams and the same applies to politics and the recent negotiations/compromise between Obama and the Republicans clearly showed that.

On baseball the famed Baggie Dome in Minnesota had a snow induced collapse. This was IMO the worse baseball park ever created. Thankfully the Twins have a new field and the Vikings may soon also have one.

As Christmas approaches the phone calls amp up on the begging line to which I usually respond: “I do not accept solicitations over the phone.” I really dislike the call centers that some quite legitimate charities use since it does siphon off a considerable amount of potential income.

I do believe LaBelle Chevrolet of Bridgewater is now another victim of the economy. Last time I drove by a few cars were in the lot and the sign was down and there was a sign that signaled a possible used car - pardon me - Pre-Owned car lot.

A high school track star was shot in the leg over the weekend in Mattapoisett as he and his fellow runners made the tragic mistake of running in a restricted area to hunters during hunting season. Earlier in the week a dog was plugged in another town as it is quite easy to confuse a pooch with a freaking deer. As a trail runner restricted means absolutely zero to way too many hunters in the quest for Bambi. I have been to areas over the years that are restricted and well posted only to find the beer swilling and rifle toting crowd out for the kill - deer, cow, horse, dog or human - just plug something. I have talked to many hunters who say it is amazing the changes that have taken place over the last forty years as many keep the woods clean of their rubbish but seem more inclined to sample some recreational drugs and more traditional alcoholic beverages prior to and during the hunt. Things are rough when even some hunters shy away from it.

I have a Facebook page that I hardly use but I did receive a message from Facebook about the possibility of my account being compromised so on I go. I change my password but could not sign on. When I go through the hoops they set out I need a code they have emailed me. Naturally I never received a code and therefore cannot get on and just delete this worthless piece of garbage. OK…just contact them but the trouble is you can’t. No way! Phone is useless. So I sent out about fifty duplicate emails to various parts of the company hoping someone will respond. After three days nothing. Useless

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has become an annual pilgrimage for my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - and myself - The Obnoxious Bogo. This time we decided to venture to the west end of the island to Rincon about a torturous three hour drive from San Juan.

Rincon is a tourist area that is primarily a stop for the island residents rather than a huge influx of those from the continental states. Most of the upscale resorts in PR tend to be in the San Juan and Ponce areas or in their general vicinity with an occasional lonesome one spread elsewhere on the island. I could care less since we stay in guest houses or boutique hotels. Cost and most importantly our personal preference are the contributing factors as we find the large resorts quite self insular and lack the ability to get a neighborhood feel. Bogo goes “native?” Neither of us need a spa or a golf course or a 400 square foot room and twenty-four hour concierge service. We prefer neighborhood stores, restaurants and stopping by local road side stands. We prefer public beaches and actually enjoy being in a neighborhood where chickens may roam the streets despite being the island equivalent of middle class to upper middle class. And where we stayed that is what they did. Kids playing in the streets, dogs running loose, folks sitting on their porches, parking cars on sidewalks and just strolling around. This was a neighborhood and not a four star enclave.

Rincon is quite a beach area that is noted as being a surfing hot spot. The beaches are many and the sunsets are a killer and toss in consistently mild weather and it is a keeper. We stayed at a guest house and were for our five days the only ones. Someone must have warned them I’d be in town. They have eight rooms and all remained empty as this was the end of “low season” which means cheap rooms. Generally “high season” and its accompanying expense starts in mid December so if you go to PR plan accordingly. Now when I say we were on the water I mean on the water. Walk out our room and cross a tiled communal patio and go thirty feet and it is the ocean. You get the picture.

Right down the beach - about a five minute walk - was a resort. This was not a lavish place but one that had those amenities you may occasionally desire such as a more upscale restaurant, music and a bar. We wandered down twice and the place was relatively quiet on both a Friday and Saturday night. The “low season” thing.

I once had a PR student who said to two Asian students: “We Ricans are just like you - we drive like s**t and love to gamble.” How right he is about both. The main highway from San Juan to Arecibo area is Route 26. Two lanes, tolls, great scenery and drivers who seem to stay in the passing lane and go 45MPH with no desire to pull into the right hand lane. You find yourself going right and left to swerve around these folks. I asked a local about this quaint customs and he gave a Spanish term that roughly translated was something like A-holes. The other thing is turn signals. Why even have them? It became a game to see the ratio of who used them. It was about one out of thirty would actually put on a blinker when turning. Massachusetts drivers actually appear polite. After Route 26 comes Route 22 and it is endless traffic lights for forty miles.

Everywhere you go is the lottery. The national lottery tickets are sold on tables set up in front of high traffic areas or on roadsides right out of trucks with lottery signs. Scratch tickets are popular but they seem to prefer the daily numbers and the national lottery. Casinos are in some areas - primarily San Juan - but are small in scope and frequented almost exclusively by tourists.

The language barrier exists. My skills with Spanish are now limited to about fifty words. I can order food, ask for directions, find a bathroom and that is about it. What will often happen is my fifty words and a locals fifty English words will be enough to get things done. Sometimes the results could be unusual as you may end up with a food item that you are totally clueless about. What is also interesting is how many noted American companies do not have their signage, menus and other information in English. It seems in the states they bend over to accommodate but not on the island.

Speaking of food I have never been one to sing, shout or mime the praises of PR cuisine. I’ve just never considered it that special. In San Juan and Ponce you have a variety of restaurants that practice infusion culinary arts that will blend PR cuisine with Cuban, French, Italian and so on but in Rincon it is primarily the basics and a whole list of your standard known fast food chains. I love Churches Chicken and they was one about half mile away and the local bakeries had some exceptional pasties. I did find a local place that did Bar-B-Que and it was great. Pulled pork, beef and roasted chicken and plantains done a variety of ways. The cook (don’t call me chef) went to the prestigious Culinary Arts Institute of America but gave up being a chef for the beach life in PR.

In PR a grande is equal to our small. A standard coffee size is six ounces and a large eight ounces. The Coffee is exceptional in taste and we actually have PR coffee shipped out about twice a year. No more expensive than getting a bag of DD. The local beers - Madelia and Silver Key come in ten ounce cans so size does make a difference.

One of the things that always gets my bride irritated is that PR is far from “going green.” They do not recycle, the streets tend to be sloppy, and we have never seen a solar panel array or a windmill despite their astronomical electrical costs on the island. They must have alternative energy somewhere but I haven’t seen it yet.

If you rent a car in PR it is relatively inexpensive but the highways system is almost on existent. San Juan and Ponce areas have some four lane roadways and there is one connecting San Juan to Ponce but if you go east or west out of San Juan after about fifty miles you are no longer on a highway system but smaller roads. The signage can also be a mystery as in some places it is confusing or does not exist - just like Massachusetts.

For those who are budget minded PR offers a nice option to other non American islands in the Caribbean. No worry about any passports or entrance or exit fees. The weather is excellent and there are many bargains as far as places to stay. The island also options some touring options from a rain forest to the giant array at Arecibo.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday/Education/Hannaford's/Smokers/Korea/Steve Spataro

I did what most do not do and purchased several “special door busters“ online before the rush. Even got free shipping. Also it is not the busiest shopping day of the year as that honor goes to the Saturday before Christmas. One site actually tracks selected promotion items and shows that last year an astounding 80% were on sale for less than the “special price“ within two weeks. .

I was on a recent run with a certain Pulitzer possibility columnist who also happens to have the 2,987th best blog in Middleboro and we discussed education. I got into my usual pontification of the value of vocational education which I consider an absolute gem in the fast deteriorating educational structure. I have one son who went to BP and loved it. The program opened a gateway for him to get into electrical work and that provided him with an employment opportunity until he completed fight training. At one time many, many years ago I ran for the Middleboro position on the BP School Committee and in a field of five managed to finish second. However I did beat out blanks.

I use to spend some time at BP with my son taking his courses and operating a ferry service for him for jobs and after school athletics. Very impressed by the various programs in structure, professionalism of staff, curriculum and expectations. There is usually a waiting list to get in so discipline is not an issue. Screw up you are gone. Where I use to teach - Attleboro - the Vocational School is part of the high school and I believe only one other community has that set up. Unfortunately many of the students I had could not attend Vo-Tech classes due to significant behavioral issues. Those that did managed to get a nice start in life with some decent training and good paying jobs.

There was and continues to be an impression by some that Vo-Tech is a place for academic under achievers and some of the early MCAS results may have supported that hypothesize. But those scores have improved considerably and many of the Vo-Tech students attend college rather than go into the work force. A significant number in Attleboro attended the usual mix of schools for more advanced technical schools to highly advanced schools like Wentworth and the engineering and architectural schools at Northeastern and Boston University along with community colleges. In my opinion much of that educational stigma is just not valid.

Another option in the Vo-Tech spectrum is the Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dartmouth. Bristol Aggie as it is called offers Vo-Tech training in the area that its name references. I know Middleboro has some students that attend and I know through my past experiences in 4H that the school is exceptional Programs offered are in a variety of areas from large animal science to natural resource management.

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that we are providing progressively less support for our students.” That was a quote from School Committee member Paul Hilton in an article in The Gazette regarding floundering MCAS scores and continuing budget short falls anticipated with further cuts in state aid. Naturally all those problems will be rectified by tossing a boat load of money into the school system. The article seemed to be the first shot in another attempt at a prop 2 and ½ override and follows of the heals of a snippy and disgruntled letter a few weeks ago by another SC member.

Hannaford’s had an interesting advertisement in The Brockton Enterprise showing their prices were lower than those of S & S and Shaw’s. No big surprise to those of us who are regular shoppers but what they didn’t mention was the dirty little secret of supermarket chains - zone pricing. Price in one market in the chain may not be the same in another market in the chain. Different zones have different fliers. I first noticed this many years ago when I would shop at stores in Quincy and the same specials and prices were different than those in our area. This was pre internet days so I simply had a talk with a manager who explained the various factors that form the basis for zone pricing of which the most important is competition. I was also told that certain areas that are less than economic powerhouses will generally have higher prices mostly as a result of pilferage - employee and customers and lack of foot traffic (customers). This is one of the primary reasons why major stores just don’t wish to locate in poor neighborhoods. Racism is usually tossed when pressure is exerted to have a store locate or to stay and the counter argument will be we are not in business to lose money.

The AP has a story on 11/22 explaining why the stock markets went down over 1%. The reason was mounting debt issues in Europe and especially Ireland coupled with tension in Korea. On Wednesday the markets go up again over one percent and the AP story has Europe debt crisis and tensions in Korea ease and world markets go up. On Friday the markets go down almost a percent and the story headlines are world markets flounder on European debt issues and tensions in Korea. No comment necessary.

Anna Jacques (rhymes with flakes) Hospital in Newburyport now does not hire smokers. First shunted to the loading docks in sub freezing weather and now stamped do not hire. As one of the first members of GASP (Group Against Smoking Pollution) I often wondered if our initial foot in the door legislation would eventually have unforeseen consequences. GASP first signification project was to ban smoking in supermarkets. Seemed reasonable enough. This was accomplished by making the smoking issue one of public health and not - unlike with AIDS - a political issue. Today smokers are ostracized to the fringes where they can enjoy their detrimental habit as they please but banning employment and requiring urine tests to insure they are not lighting up on the sly?

Most smokers that I know respect the air space of the non smokers and most smokers have attempted to quit numerous times. Almost like losing weight and gaining it back on and losing it again. A real merry-go-round. The health consequences of smoking are well documented so this is not an issue of conflicting data. No global warming debate with this puppy. But sooner or later extremist take over and you see this now as a classic example with Anna Jacques Hospital.

President WOW (Walk On Water) managed to get an elbow in the chops and that required twelve stitches. This is the end result of a pick up basketball game and he managed to get the errant elbow. As a former gym rat who use to play some heavy duty B-Ball up to my mid 50s I can fully understand. Seen that many, many times. In all my years I never managed to get one stitch from basketball - of course I had a fracture cheek bone thanks to an errant elbow for a teammate and have also managed to break every finger several times - but no stitches! I’m sure WOW - a true gym rat - has many similar scars.

I may be a New York Football Giants (via New Jersey) fan but I hate the Jets infinitely more than I dislike the local team whose name escapes me. I also dislike Dallas and the Colts infinitely more than the local team so I wish them well in what amounts to a show down on Monday Night Football.

I watched some college football this week and noticed a significant number of coaches had state troopers escorting them. My first response is a simple why and the second is it a paid detail?

Now North and South Korea are in a rocket launching spat. The ultimate punk is Kim Jong II who stands to inherit daddy’s little armed to the teeth nation. Kim Jong appears to be attempting to show pops and the generals he has a pair by whacking an island of about 1,500 innocent bystanders with his latest weaponry. You have one side with a hot economy and another side with plenty of military toys and little to eat - unless you are the twin porkers named Jong. I just love the way these various characters dress up in their military uniforms with all those phony medals. As far as I can determine there is absolutely nothing in this little foray that is in the “What’s in it for us?” category. We still - along with the U.N. - are suppose to have some type of commitment to help defend the South which is why we have a presence. I have seen some video’s of the North and their allegiance to their Fuehrer and it goes beyond bizarre.

My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - and I will be heading to Puerto Rico for a few days. This has become an annual event and I have finally convinced her to go somewhere on the island besides San Juan. As a member of the famed “Cheap Bastards Club” I prefer PR over other islands in the area just based on cost. Really a bargain - even the airfare. The car rentals are exceptionally cheap thanks to few fees and taxes. My $92 rental for five days ends up having only $13 in taxes and fees. In many cities it is close to 50%.

A special thank you for BOS member Steve Spataro for helping distribute candy for the Middleborough Historical Association at the annual Christmas Parade. Steve also had to put up with my usual banter.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A TSA Thanksgiving

Egyptian Air Flight 990. Investigators claim pilot did a suicide crash. 217 dead.

SilkAir Flight 185. Possible suicide pilot. 104 dead.

Private pilot crashes his small aircraft into IRS building.

Massachusetts - Snow Airport having an illegal training other Illegals on small palne operation.

This is just how freaking stupid this whole TSA joke is. What does it take to load up a Cessna 150 and fly at a few hundred feet right into Fortress Logan and take out a fully loaded heavy right on the tarmac? Or just flying the damn thing into that gas tank in Dorchester? I’m sure the geniuses that run our security are aware of this or maybe not? I’ll probably get a knock on my door and a pat down. Just look above at that issue at Snow. This was a fairly harmless situation since they were Brazilians attempting to get a pilots license that is gold back home. But what if they were not? Have they got cells planning crap like that? Does it take much for a terrorist network to spend the time and effort to get someone trained low end?

Israel has long had the tightest airport and airline security in the world and they manage it without strip downs, pat downs and nuking the passengers. Amazing! Lot of personal interviews with some profiling and common sense.

I can’t imagine why the TSA mall cops will not use some common sense. They are suppose to do their own version of profiling but some of those chosen for intensive personal attention just make one wonder.

Will perv’s now focus on getting employment at the TSA? Some airports have actually decided to use private companies and do not use the TSA. Seventeen at last count.

Do we give up our rights when we buy an airline ticket? Where is the line drawn? IMHO virtually every pat-down would constitute sexual assault in the real world. Yeah….I am really ticked off by the whole mess and especially being laughed at by terrorists.

The Ware Report found rampant corruption on Beacon Hill. Now that was a real shocker! I never suspected. Wonder why the report was released AFTER the election. Anyways, the Governor is in avoidance mode and the report simply shows what most of are already aware of….it’s not what you know but who you know and contributed to that gets you on the fast track for a job in the Probation Department.

Of significant mention in the Ware Report was our Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Payoff). Turns out he allegedly was involved in this mess by requesting one of “his guys” get a plum probation job which - a true miracle - happened. Then “His guy” is requested by the Senator to seek contributions to the Pacheco slush fund. Pacheco has denied all. Marc…do you know Chuck Turner? The report questioned the credibility of the Senator.

Steve Grossman won an election and is already hiring a defeated Democrat for his office staff. The payroll patronage is on to build up that old monthly kiss (pension).

Governor “Almost One And Out” Patrick is still on the kick for tuition breaks for illegal immigrants. Amazing.

Middlesex County Sheriff James DiPaola won his election and was on tap to collect a salary of 123K in addition to a newly minted pension of $98,500. Why? A state law exists that allows one to collect a pension if they are elected to a paying office. DiPaola had a “good conscious” moment and resigned.

Another investigation of insider trading on Wall Street. Certainly hope Martha Stewart isn’t involved.

How can someone write a story in the Peirce Trust that questions the methods of selecting beneficiaries by just a cursory review of Town Reports? You have the trustees available so interview them to get an idea of how the fund is managed, invested and what criteria they use to select where the money goes. Shoddy research is an understatement.

The stock market took some hits in the last week or so thanks to ongoing debt issues in Ireland. But when you look at Ireland it ranks 57th in world GDP - just behind Finland and ahead of Morocco. And this causes billions in losses? The logic is it is symptomatic to possible failures in other countries. Now Ireland has been handed a 100B bailout. This was the hot economy just a few years ago and now it is another European Economic Union welfare handout. How quick it can fall apart for a business or country.

I love the upsale I and others get at “Quick Lube” type places. I was getting my usual simple oil change when customer after customer was called into the shop to be given varying degrees of bad news regarding their vehicle. Then came my turn. I was showed the transmission leak I had that was barely noticeable so I said “That looks serious! I’d suggest you get it done right now since I don’t want any further issues” I got the no problem and the $200 estimate for a flush, seal and filter change so I came up with my own retort: “Oh…a charge? I had that done by you folks two weeks ago and less than a thousand miles ago. I requested it. Filter, seal and fluid change. Looks like you’ll have to see what you screwed up.” About 15 minutes goes by and out comes the service manager again: “I checked your records and you are correct. This is nothing more than residual leakage.” Sure. Told them I’ll watch it for the next 12,000 miles just in case.

Last year my daughter had here car fail inspection at a dealership in Raynham. Why? The seat belt in the real was frayed. I looked at it and she had to have what was frayed pointed out to me. This seemed like total BS since they wanted $300 to replace it. I took it to a station here in Middleboro that we generally do business with and they laughed at it. Total BS. Just an attempt by a dealership that is suppose to have a great reputation just trying to make a sale.

Patriots caught a break with Peyton Manning making an over throw on a pass.

Red Sox have been discussing the possibly of getting Adrian Gonzales from the Padres. Gonzales will be a free agent after 2011 so if a trade is made I would hope they would have a contract in place but the deal makes little sense to me. For the money Gonzales would require the Sox could resign both Beltre and Victor Martinez and not part with the players necessary to trade to get Gonzales.

A by law will now have to be written regarding the CPA and this will be interesting to see who ends up getting the power to select committee members.

An article appeared over the weekend that questioned giving more money to teachers with advanced degrees. Research claims that the increased education is not reflected in increase performance. No surprise to me. I’ve seen folks without a degree in 4H and scouts run classes that were great. The article pointed out the state of Washington where the added expenses total about 300M a year. This does not even address the added pension costs since pension is based on income and education increases income.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sensible Alternative To BB Post

Now that the election is over a few trial balloons have surfaced in Massachusetts about addressing the revenue issue. Revenue issue is a kind way of saying raising taxes and is like calling a used car a pre-owned car. The possibility of tinkering with the income tax and increasing the gasoline tax are starting to read their collectively ugly heads. When you vote to maintain a sales tax “For the children” the interpretation is simply and that is that the folks will quite naturally be accommodating to other tax increases or fee increases. According to the Taxpayer Foundation Massachusetts has the largest per capita debt of any state with fellow traveler California close behind. Two states that go lock step with the demands of public service unions.

I really enjoyed George Bush (R- Hanging Chad) attempt to rewrite history on an interview regarding his failed presidency. Dubya certainly matched the inane attempts of Jimmy Carter and his revisionist rant of a few months ago. I’m sure both probably consider Warren G. Harding as a personal favorite. I can’t wait down the road for Obama attempting to make sense out of the train wreck he helped create.

The CPA is now in the books as far as Middleboro is concerned and I hope the local Historical Association will be able to grab some of the funding. The conditions of the buildings had reached a point where a decision was going to have to be made on not restoration and repair but which one to save while leaving the remains for the wood pile. Fortunately the Association came into a generous gift which has allowed renovations to take place that will at least preserve the site. Now CPA funds may allow the Association to address other critical issues on the property.

Republic of South Korea had full page spreads in newspapers across the United States on 11/11 thanking the United States and those of the United Nations that helped secure their freedom.

Governor “Almost One and Out” Patrick pledged a billion bucks to Bio and pharma to create jobs and last week two bio firms announced layoffs. Another stimulus type bill that results in a taxpayer bill.

A nasty report surfaced from the government that outlines drastic steps that must be taken to address the debt issue. Naturally the mention of increase in taxes and reduction in benefits was front and center. Good luck with that.

One of the key components in the above was structural changes to that great Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. Reduction in benefits, increase in retirement age and further cuts to Medicare were prominently mention. Why is it that those who actually contribute must take the brunt of government failures? Seems like the last group to have anything slashed is the entitlement crowd especially illegals.

The government with their enforcement arm - the IRS - has also proposed an elimination in the home mortgage deduction. This is not new as the tax code has had countless little items dropped over the years and the cumulative impact has been to have more revenue enhancement.

The increase in retirement age and pension reductions has hit Europe hard as one nation after another has to deal with rising costs and lack of funds. The solution advocated is an increase in the retirement age and that has been met with riots that have shut down some countries particularly France. Imagine what the war torn streets of Paris would be like if they proposed an increase from age 60 to 70 for retirement rather than 62.

Mayor Mumbles in Boston is taking on the unions. Amazing! In Massachusetts it is especially evident the power the police, fire and teachers unions wield and how a very, very large portion of our legislature seems to pay heed to them more than the average Joe and Jane. Mumbles is attempting to get some relief on health care which costs Boston 300M a year. The city currently pays 82% and there are options such as the state run program that could provide cost relief. Mumbles is actually attempting a home rule petition to circumvent the unions. Good luck, Mumbles.

The clear consistency in the government budget is excessive pension and health benefits that certainly put to shame most in the dreaded private sector. The matching contribution in the dreaded private sector is about as rare as a cognizant column from BB and most employees have to make do with what they can cobble together with a retirement plan of their own. In my own days in the DPS the health care bill was usually a contributory 50/50 split and in virtually all areas of the public sector it is in the 80/20 range or higher with the taxpayer footing the greater portion of the bill. Middleboro is no exception.

The Cabot Club has folded. This is a 100+ years old civic organization that had made significant contributions to the quality of life in Middleboro and the dwindling membership finally forced the situation and they are in the process of dissolving. I do see a lack of involvement in certain organizations I was active in such as scouts and 4H.

Nice letter by Wally in The Gazette.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Assorted Blather

On November 4th my portfolio finally exceeded the levels it was at prior to the Ironic that it happened when the Republicans had a political blowout at the expense of the Democrats.

I started to watch more TV news prior to the election and for post election summaries. I found Fox to be - by far - the most balanced and informative. I also watched Beck expecting the reincarnate of Satan but found him more like Joe Pyne. Theatrical and entertaining.

Electronic media outlets have now dropped any pretense of impartiality.

What I found interesting is how much the Republicans gained in state legislatures and governorships across the country. I saw one of those wonderful maps and the country is about 90% red.

Amazing how the state auditor race turned out. A candidate that even the Globe endorsed and virtually all newspapers across the state endorsed. Connaughton’s credentials far exceeded that of Bump and just showed the power of that just vote D in state elections. Bump replaces a career hack in DeNucci (D - Punch Drunk).

For some reason the Red Sox exercised their option on the contract of David Ortiz and based on DH market value vastly over paid.

It’s OK to “March around downtown” with pictures of Obama morphed into Hitler thanks to that pesky little thing called The First Amendment, Bumpkin. Same thing that allowed you to make statements about them in the first place.

The guess the “Cap & Trade” is now officially dead?

I’d love to see Mitch Daniels give it a go for President in 2012. I’d also like to see the Democrats run Jim Webb over the failed Chicago hack. Maybe a ticket with both of them? Nice third party to separate us from the House Of Medici (Dem & Repub) that control the process.

John Kerry (D-Minnow) has reportedly still not paid his tax on his yacht. Maybe we should take a collection? Buy more ketchup?

Looking at the new “Mistah Speakah” I know what happened to all those old bottles of “Man Tan.” We go from a pumped up Botox queen to someone who spends a good portion of his life in a tanning booth. Thankfully I am naturally beautiful and don’t need any artificial enhancements.

Jan Brewer (R- Jingoist) won her return to the governor’s seat in Arizona. Her hard line immigration stance actually was successful.

I wonder how much money will be siphoned off of CPA to “protect” buildings that need a wrecking ball and not refurbishment? About half of downtown Middleboro could use some serious bulldozer work. At least that new theater shows some architectural class. Nice start.

Sooner or later a Randy Moss will meltdown. He did it in college, on his first trip to Minnesota, with the Raiders, the Patriots and not on his second visit to Minnesota. Has a pattern been established? Now this immensely talented and occasionally disinterested and lazy performer has surfaced in Titan land. This is the team whose owner - Bud Adams - gave the “double bird” to Buffalo fans and he is actually the class of the organization.

The “Failed Sports Reporter” - Keith Olbermann got suspended from the dismal performing MSNBC over corporate ethics violation of giving donations to political campaigns. The way he gets destroyed in the ratings by Fox it will be no great loss. Typical moonbat hypocrite.

Suo had an interesting post on the lack or demise of heavy manufacturing in this country. I still see some of the shells of former operations even on the South Shore. is a site that dedicates itself to American made products.

The abysmal “Leader of The Free World” has decided to skip town in wake or is that before the wake that happened on Tuesday. These trips are planned well ahead and I figure his pollsters gave him the numbers and WOW figured it would be a good time to vacate the USA.

The Herald is ripping into Blarney Frank - again - this time on his connection to a hedge fund. Any financial institution that got any support from the government will have that connection linked to Blarney by The Herald no matter how tenuous the connection.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Winners (W) and Losers (L).

The Tea Party (W) - The attempts by the loony left to demonize this group only reinforced they must be on to something. Voter anger? Well….they managed to take full advantage of it.

The left (L) - they actually thought 2008 was a mandate! It was all about Bush and now it is all about Obama.

Media (L) - No more campaign dollars for endless ads. Here comes the pink slips.

George Bush (W)- Tossed out along with his party just two years ago. What an embarrassment! Now? Democrats and Obama screwed up even more.

The Economy (W)- Banks and businesses have a few trillion in cash lying around waiting for some good news. That happened on Tuesday.

Racial politics (W)- A Black guy can screw up as well as a White guy. Racial parity has reached the Presidency. Now get Hillary in there.

Hope & Change (L) - Little hope and no change.

Obamacare (L) - No matter how good something may be when the government tells you by shoving it down your throat you see the reaction. Americans are an obstinate bunch.

Excessive Regulation (L) - The campaign theme of over regulation was ingrained in the Republican babble. It is true and it worked.

PAC Money (W) - Doesn’t make any difference if it is from the left or right there is a bundle of it. Then comes the Lobbyist.

Massachusetts Republican Party (W) - Finally actually challenged in some races. Get some experience and some names on the ballot. Maybe that one party state tag may disappear?

Massachusetts Democratic Party (L) - Business as usual may be out the door.

Massachusetts Congressional Delegation (L) - We’ll go from ten to nine in a few years. Wonder why state loses out?

Obama (L) - This lightweight has made Jimmy Carter look like a combination Washington, Lincoln and FDR. Remember when he was called a liar in Congress? How very, very accurate.

Rhode Island (W) - Goodbye to Patches Kennedy can only be a plus.

Bush Tax Cuts (W) - This will stay with us.

Nancy Pelosi (L) - This one makes some of the whack jobs the Republicans ran actually seem like statesmen. She’ll be back - Botox and all.

Republican Party (W-L) - Now that you are the dog that chased the car and caught it - what do you do?

Democratic Party (L-W) - You get hammered and still have a lost soul in the White House but at least you have someone to blame - the Republicans! What goes around comes around.

Gridlock (W) - It will only get worse but is that a bad thing? The less they accomplish the better off we are.

Bogofree (W) - A whole new round of trashing to begin in January. Just change the names in those old posts.

New Hampshire (W) - More business for those of us willing to travel. If I’m going north I “stock up” on the return trip.

CPA (W-L) - How do I weasel out of paying? Now that battle starts among those wishing to divvy up the funds.

Pollsters (W) - Very, very accurate.

Sales Tax (W) - 3% to 5% to 6.25% - do you notice a trend? Yep….complain about the state government and vote them back in with money to screw around with. This is a mandate for more taxes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pre Election Post

The TSA is the government answer to mall cops and now the leverage of lunacy they have been given is now expanded. Those of us who refuse the full body scans are now subject to what has been called the “foreplay pat down.” Refuse the scanner and you get a nice body search. This is one of those issues that conservatives, liberals and moderates show their collective disdain for. It is beyond politics and into the realm of evasiveness that goes beyond comprehension.

Juan Williams has exposed NPR for what it really is - a taxpayer financed mouthpiece for the left and even the far left. His big crime is actually lending an articulate and dissenting voice on the FOX Network and that certainly did not sit well with the PC crowd getting funded on our dime. NPR programming seems to center around the BBC. Maybe the prevailing mindset is an English accent lends credence? The government is in the news business and that is a place it should never have been. Time for all taxpayer funding to be stripped from a state run news agency.

Been no real casino stories for a few months - something to be thankful for.

SYSCO to Middleboro would be a nice addition. Plenty of room.

My election prediction - Democrats in Massachusetts will win everything. Then starts the two year campaign against Scott Brown.

Patriots do not look like a football team to be feared.

If I could convince my SO Halloween would be a rite of passage - as in passage out of Massachusetts only to return in mid May.

I look at the lowering of the sales tax question as a state wide prop 2 and ½.

I have no problem with alternative energy sources especially wind power but the more I investigate Cape Wind the more it appears to be just a bad and highly flawed proposal. I don’t care one hoot about the esthetics of a wind farm but I do care about cost and is it fiscally feasible to the rate payer. Does not appear to be in this instance and I originally was a supporter.

GEX is an ETF that specializes in global alternative energy. In 2008 this fund lost 56% of its value from when we purchased it. So far it has recovered exactly nothing. Morningstar has given it a one star rating and that is as low as they go. The Street has it as a solid sell and some others no longer report on it. What it comes down to is alternative energy is just a lousy investment that will not improve until it becomes fiscally imperative to seriously develop those alternative sources. That is not happening soon. As far as I can determine that has nothing to do with the Koch brothers.

Local kid gets shot in NY and some serious questions revolve around the incident. Next thing you know information is “leaked” to the press and forensic evidence conveniently disappears. This is the stench of a cover-up.

Not to be outdone some Boston cops decided the best way to arrest a juvenile was to rough him up. The video shows what appears to be at least five officers corralling the kid on the ground while two whack away on him. These guys have restraint training and the kid was unarmed. Unnecessary.

A broker has placed the value of The Boston Globe at $75M. And here I always thought it was “worthless.”

Another car rental strange days moment that seems to be with just about every agency. I have a five day rental at San Juan for a total with all discounts and taxes for $150. Noon to noon rental. Then I do a noon to noon rental for just one day and the total is $26! It is actually fiscally sounder to do five one day rentals rather than one five day rental. I see this all the time.

John Kerry (D-Cap’t Hook) has - surprised - blamed just about everything in Washington on Republican Obstructionism. What a tired and worn out song.

So far I have been inundated with campaign fliers and phone calls. Best one is the travel brochure made up as an anti Barney Frank message. Hey, Blarney, how is that 500B siphoned off Medicare “protecting seniors?”

Deval Patrick, Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill. The Queen of Green - Jill Stein - is looking better each day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Say Goodnight NY/SYSCO/Elections/Trashing Lakeville

Money can’t but happiness as shown my the dismal performance of a team about 300 miles south of here. They did lay out 208M this year in payroll and managed to fall short. IMO if Boston had reasonable health the NY team - whose name escapes me - would not even had made the playoffs. Said team and other big market teams have contributed mightily to the destruction of the baseball salary structure. A signature call of one of the announcers of the team - whose name escapes me - is “See Ya!” How appropriate.

A fascinating documentary is available on the financial meltdown called “Inside Job.” This lays out the blame and it is painted with a wide brush starting in the early 80s with deregulation and finishing off with Obama. Everyone has their fingers in the pie or looks the other way with special hits given to the Ivy League crowd and their majestic economic advice. This is a richly deserved bi-partisan trashing.

Along these lines I continue to be amazed my Barney Frank and his pattern of denial in this whole mess. There has been enough vids and documents that have surfaced to show he simply had legislation supported that would buy votes and had just about zero to do with economic realities. When confronted Barney does his highly agitated routine complete with his patented name calling and finger pointing. The sad thing is this buffoon with go on to his 15th term.

Appears Barney Frank’s partner is tailing his opponent and has managed to get into a riff with him. As the campaign for Frank states there is nothing wrong with this or accepting a huge “gift” of a five star vacation from a bank Frank helped bailout. Legal - yes. Highly inappropriate - yes, again. Stalking is what it really is.

Deval “One And Out (maybe) Patrick” looked lame the other night in a debate with Baker. I’m still waiting for that tax relief.

Those of us collecting from the ultimate Ponzi scheme - Social Security are not collecting a stipend this year thanks to the economy being stuck in a pit of molasses. My problem with the COLA is that - like the casino deal - it is not linked to regional cost of living. Nor is areas of increase in the economy that impacts seniors such as health care considered as part of the formula.

My last trip had the annual rental car adventure that I torture myself with. I usually rent at Houston Hobby and return at San Antonio. My first look at prices was about three months before my trip and the rental for a compact was about $700 for a week including all charges. This was the cheapest and it was with Dollar and I booked it knowing it would change as time went forward. About two weeks before we left I made my final reservation and the total was $303 including a $87 one way charge. This represented the fourth booking as I kept getting lower and lower prices and it was with Dollar that now seems to have taken over from Alamo as the cheapest rentals in Texas. This bizarre routine goes on every year and the real joke is what the taxes and other charges are. The base rate for the car for one week was $109 and the rest were all to feed government sans the $87 charge. Reminds me of the recent meals tax debate locally where the screw the tourist became the mantra for passing it. Fine unless you happen to be the tourist.

On the rental cars what is interesting is that when you have a city like Houston with two airports there can be a significant difference in the cost from one airport to another and the same applies to airline tickets. Car rentals are generally cheaper off airport grounds so sometimes it is economically advisable to take transportation to your hotel and rent as needed.

I like ice tea and especially the one at McDonald’s. When it is delivered they have a straw with it and I simply say “no straw” and they proceed to toss out the fully wrapped straw. Happens every time. In KC last summer and the summer before when I purchased a bottomless drink at the ballpark they refused to fill up the old one. Board of Health required them to toss it out and give me a new one. Magnify that by 5,000 and that is quite a few cups and quite a waste that is needless. So much for all those “Going Green” initiatives that seem to be everyplace. This is just a few examples and I have seen many more.

While in Austin I paid a visit to the Story of Texas Museum. While wandering aimlessly around the building I notice a maintenance worker changing those squiggly little light bulbs. He had on a face mask with a plastic faceplate and rubber gloves like Mr. Wizard use to wear while mixing acids. He asked me to “Stand about ten feet away” as he removed another of the pesky little squiggles and replaced it. Had a brief conversation and told me this is what they have to wear. I thought those things lasted something like a million hours? Turns out they have to be replaced on a regular basis.

SYSCO is dead in Lakeville and I am mystified why they hung on so long on this deal. Now Norton can get back into the mix as can Attleboro and Middleboro. This is a top of the line company and a solid investment for those that want consistent growth and steady returns. Maybe if it was a twenty year old fire truck they would have gone for it.

I love the “Quality of Life” argument that the Lakeville folks put on the table. That hospital and the bowling alley and Dewey’s certainly are photogenic. Don’t want any warehouse screwing that up. Then you have the collection o mini strip malls that seem to proliferate in Lakeville. High end shopping at its very best. Only time we hear from Lakeville is when they need another water connection.

The director of the Middleboro food bank did a General McAuliffe and called Lakeville “NUTS” over their vote on SYSCO. IMHO Lakeville seems to have no water lines, sewer system, no town trash pick-up, a town hall not open on Friday, a hand down ladder truck and now no influx of jobs. Explain that to the clients of the food bank who need work.

I have had it explained to me time and time again but it still makes no sense. How can a company beat expectations, show positive and sustained growth for a quarter and still have its stock nosedive? This happened with Apple the other day. Dropped over 6% in after hours after beating expectations.

The Fed recently met in Boston and their pronouncement on deflation should be a warning sign for all of us. The last thing this horribly failed administration needs is deflation. But what good is inflation? Thing of the huge debt rung up being paid off with cheap money. Deflation just makes that debt more expensive.

NPR that bastion of political correctness and Uber liberal points of view managed to can a commentator who was open and honest about feeling uncomfortable with Muslims on a plane. Gee…let me see if I remember? Nineteen Muslim terrorists board and hijack four aircraft and kill 3,000 people. My…I wonder why he feels uncomfortable? This nonsense has a good portion of its funding from our tax dollars.

The Koch brothers are now the bad guys from the loonies who infest the far left since they are the great backers of the Tea Party. I guess these loonies never head of George Soros? Or if they did they have convenient memory loss.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SYSCO and Texas Comments

The situation with SYSCO is laughable. In Texas this would not even be an issue - jobs and business. You go to cities like Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas and there is almost continual growth and not the stagnation. A company with an excellent reputation and a potential influx of tax dollars and payroll would be welcome. In Lakeville it appears to me that certain elements would be elated to have a passel of $10 jobs and the latest mall Du Jour. I did a Google Maps peek at the Norton facility of SYSCO and there are houses around the complex and Norton is trying everything to keep them in town. Attleboro is also interested and is hoping the deal falls through in Lakeville so they can get a shot. Did anyone ever contact those folks in Norton to get some feedback?

The Strand is the historic district of Galveston. This area was devastated by Hurricane Ike and it has almost totally recovered as businesses have been refurbished but there is one small problem - crime. An article from outside Texas appeared showing that the Strand - about twenty square blocks - is a festering pit of criminal activity. The key piece was the incredible high number of rapes and sexual assaults until it was pointed out that the rape crisis center for the Island and a good portion of off Island is located in The Strand. The statistics simply record where it is reported and not where it happened. I guess they have a confirmed liar somewhere doing some Clark type research. That killed that “report.”

I like Victorian homes and Galveston has about the most I’ve seen in one city - something for a place with 56,000 inhabitants. Many did suffer some damage in the storm but have been repaired. We did notice a few exceptions and some where being dismantled for “parts.” The homes have unique color schemes that have that touch of the Mediterranean with some bold greens, pinks and reds. Many have small gardens that are open to tours a few times a year for charity events as are a few of the homes. You can actually walk around one thirty block are and see them. In some instances questionable housing has taken root over the years so you can see that squeezed in among stately Victorians.

The Houston Ship Channel entrance is through Galveston and the first thing we noticed at night was the great number of ships at anchor as their lights stretched out into the evening. Turns out there was an accident the day before that closed down the channel and it would take a few days to clear the mess so everyone has to queue up to get in and out of Houston. Was forty ships waiting to get in and twenty-four waiting to leave. Think of a seagoing version of air traffic control only some of those ships are a 1,000+ feet long.

April 6th of 1830 represented a day that tossed down the gauntlet on illegal immigration to Texas only it was the Republic of Mexico that was attempting to curtail immigration from the United States from coming into Texas. What was first encouraged was now to be discouraged since the new immigrants refused to adopt the laws, customs, religion and just about anything else that the Mexicans were promoting. Despite this ban land grants were still being sold in the U.S. by impresarios who were Angloes and immigration still continued. The law was finally rescinded but it was too late. Texas independence was on the way. When revolution did come it came with significant support from the native Mexican population who considered themselves Texans first.

Austin bills itself as the Live Music Capital of The World. There is an area between 2nd and 6th streets that is littered with small clubs and live music in addition to the almost steady stream of concerts. The area was not as crime infested or run down as similar areas in Memphis and Nashville but it was not for us. Littered with the under 30 crowd on the prowl.

Austin has a pension problem. Public pensions that is. It’s killing them. Sound familiar? A city worker - non safety and teacher - can retire at age 55 with 20 years service and get a full pension. That is 90% in Austin. You retire at 50K you collect 45K for life. The proposal is to increase service time to 23 years and age a few years.

On the plane from Dallas to Boston my seat companion was going to Boston for a health care conference. He worked for the Franciscans that operate a non profit system in Texas. The Obama plan is causing problems already as they have seen some facilities and doctors refusing to take any new Medicare patients since the government has reduced reimbursement figures. He was excited about the portability of the new legislation and not denying for pre-existing conditions but now is starting to measure the plus and minus of the situation and is getting more and more in the minus column.

Austin is the Texas version of Berkley or Cambridge but with more moderation. Many of the Texan moonbats are mystified at how Massachusetts can continue to send Barney Frank to Congress. They wonder why we can’t see what is under our noses? And now with the latest being Barney’s jet excursion for one of his bailout buddies I have to agree.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pre Vacation Post

John Kerry (D-Gigolo) has managed to outdo even his usual blather by his pronouncement on the general intelligence of the electorate. Too bad this tax evading yachtsman was not up for election since it would be a slam dunk he’d be off to writing his memoirs while ensconced in his Louisburg Square Beacon Hill “cottage.” Kerry has displayed both contempt and a clear inability to grasp that folks are just fed up with the way government is being operated.

Continuing in the vain of the clueless is one Barney Frank who is seeking something like his 49th term in Congress. Barney is an expert at the full spittle reply when confronted about both his behavior towards those who disagree with him and his compliance in the fiscal meltdown. I expect that Frank will be elected - again - so just maybe that will give some credence to the Kerry remarks.

President Obama has decided to take on quite possible the largest special interest group in the nation - the unions that represent teachers. I never did in all my years of questioning receive a reply as to how the have handed out my dues on a state and national level with their various public interest groups. Obama has stated he wants bad teachers removed. How does the administration plan on determining a bad teacher? I can usually tell by observation and the primary source - the students. Be surprised how objective and clear cut they can be in their evaluations.

Notice that the teachers union in Massachusetts has contributed $560,000 to fight the reduction in the sales tax. For years I asked the national, state and local associations where they were funneling my dues? Exactly what causes were they “fighting” for? Never managed a reply. Never.

One of the real keys to the economy is something called consumer confidence. It has not presented a pretty picture for sometime.

The Bush tax cuts will expire and that is in the lap of Reid. Reid decided not to move on with extending the cuts despite bi-partisan support and it will potentially hit most of us. Amazing when it is mentioned we can’t afford the tax cuts but can support a failed stimulus bill or two…or three.

Liberal Democrats (AKA - Moonbats) now prefer to call themselves “Progressives” a term grabbed from those Republicans of a 100 or so years ago who actually targeted the excesses of - you guessed it - Democrats! Well…the progressives still stand for lack of personal accountability and responsibility, big government as a cure all and the endless look for more revenues. In their world all businessmen are robber barons and anyone to their right is a bigoted reactionary in lock-step with the Tea Party.

The “Progressives” had a nice meeting at the National Mall in D.C. over the weekend and titled it “Power To The People.” IMO this was the usual collection of “activist,” “organizers,” and “union leaders” with one clear thread in common - they get their bucks from the taxpayer. Naturally it is a show of survival as the TP and most of America is on to this long running con game which has ultimately given us the former “community organizer” as president. Ah…just the thoughts of ACORN.

If somehow the Republicans managed to take control of the house will that mean the outgoing collection of moonbats will put forth a flurry of social engineering bills? I somehow think enough Blue Dog Democrats will prevent this.

Patrick has still refused to addresses his exact position of benefits for illegal immigrants.

Massachusetts will probably lose another member of Congress once the census figures are final. If we were really, really lucky we would lose all ten.

Charlie Barker (R-HMO) is just about tied with Deval “One and Out” Patrick in the race for governor. Tim Cahill is hanging around and Green Party or whatever they call themselves candidate - Jill “I’m an MD so I know everything” Stein - is at 4%. Deval is attempting to drift a bit further to the right on certain issues to feel he is more in tune with the general electorate. I’m still waiting for my property tax relief.

Tim Cahill (I- Long Gone) is now hanging on by a thread in the race for governor. His Lt. Governor candidate defected to the Republicans much like Cahill did from the Democratic party. His poll numbers are starting to approach those of Jill “I’m from Harvard so I know best “ Stein. Both will soon be passed by blanks.

Ken Burns is back at baseball with “The 10th Inning” that is a must for the fan and non fan. Lttle sappy but still a nice trip down memory lane.

Now we have the latest Tea Party babble coming from Senate Prez Murray who did the BB thing over the TP. The tired old song and dance about “nut jobs.” It seems the only criticism I read is the name calling. No one seems to mention anything about the base root of the movement which seems rather simplistic to me - fiscal sanity, immigration reform and leaner government are common themes. When you run scared the only thing you have is to take the low road.

The TP has put forth their collective complaints and have a rather rapt audience but they seem a wee bit short on substance. I’m just wondering what the master plan is for scaling down government or tax policy? From what I have been able to gather this is more of an emotional movement at this point rather than one with a solid platform. A lot of sound bites in their rhetoric. So I’d venture a guess that most of their positions will be weaved into the Republican Party platform in fine detail. Personally the less one says the better the chance of not doing a Kerry. Might be more advantageous to talk in slogans. With Obama I said he couldn’t be worse than the last guy but has managed to put that notion to rest. Could always happen again.

The famed Amish Mantel are now being advertised in the paper as winter nears. These are manufactured by the Chinese branch of the Amish community.

Comedian Stephen Colbert - a sidekick of Jon Stewart - recently appeared before Congress to give “testimony” on Immigration. Unfortunately he did this in character and I imagine that in the small minds of those who dreamed up this stunt that passes for legitimate testimony. Both of these well past their shelf life entertainers appear on “The Daily Show” a comedy take on news with a left wing slant. I have not watched the show in years simply because in became a flat joke after awhile. You could sense the punch lines. Think SNL. IMHO this was done significantly better by TW3 (That Was The Week That Was) many decades ago. Better writers, better performers and satire not mockery. I guess his appearance may be appropriate since the ultimate joke has been in office now for almost two years.

Marriages and down and records are being set for food stamp requests. Gaps between the rich and poor continue to escalate. Now rich is defined as that 20% making 100K or more a year of which the top 5% earn 180K or more per year. I guess that recession is over!

Southwest and Air Tran are now going to be one. As a frequent traveler both these carriers are high on my list to avoid. With Southwest I have rarely found their advertised fares available. I have flown them twice and on both occasions I felt I was in the Wal Mart of airlines. That the corporation is solid is beyond doubt and they do pay rather well but it is just not for me. Air Tran is the reincarnation of ValuJet that was involved in a horrific crash in the Everglades about 15 years ago. I have flown Air Tran several times since Houston - Hobby Airport is a key route and have found the level of service an abomination.

The Red Sox are officially dead but they did manage to hang on until the last week of the season. Even with inconsistent pitching and a sloppy defense a healthy team would be printing playoff tickets right now. It was there’s for the taking but just didn’t happen. It will be interesting to see if they sign Beltre (doubt it) and Martinez (50/50) and renegotiate a lower dollar deal for Ortiz. Papelbon has little trade value and I wonder if they just might not tender him an arbitration offer? They need some serious bullpen upgrades and I would love to see them get Brandon League from Seattle and sign potential free agent Dan Wheeler. Bard looks like he is capable of closing and the rest of the bullpen is unreliable and dispensable.

The “Stat Monkeys” are making a big push for a Cy Young Award for Felix Hernandez despite his 13-12 record for the worse team in baseball - Seattle. I don’t buy that total metrics argument. As the commercial goes “You play to win the game” and that is exactly what David Price, CC Sabathia and Jon Lester have done and done under the pressure of a race in the toughest division in baseball. I’d have “King Felix” third on my ballot.

BOS had a flag issue as it turns out they had a protocol violation for flying the flag under another symbol. Next week I will go to Texas where the state flag flies adjacent to the American flag since Texas was an independent nation when it entered the union. Vermont is the only other state to fall into that grouping.

Town Meeting time in Middleboro and this is “The purest form of special interest” one can find. I don’t recall any earth shaking warrant issues so you will not see the usual parade of groups interested in their own pet agenda. I remember back in the day when I placed value on this only to watch groups of teachers or firefighters or town employees vacant the TM after their issue was decided.

Off to Texas next week and to see how a real state operates. No comparison to Massachusetts. We lack well behind in the common sense and manners department. The really big cities like Houston and Dallas are the exception but the rest of the state is truly a fascinating place especially Hill Country. I’d have relocated there years ago but these decisions are two way and my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - changed her mind about relocating as in “I love the winter.” On this trip we shall spend some time in Austin which is the moonbat capital of Texas. Plenty of liberals - oops - “Progressives” in Austin. Been to the LBJ Library before and it is excellent but the ranch is a bore.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why Blog?/Trashing Democrats/Student Loans

Why blog? In my case it was one of anger, frustration and exclusion. I felt the entire story needed to be told and I felt I accomplished that. But why continue? I consider mine more like a diary - not as intrusive as a blunt personal diary but one none the less. I just put out random thoughts and things that have caught the attention of my itty bitty attention span. Being an idiot I can recognize idiocy and just love to pounce on it. Politics certainly provide a wealth of opportunity as do other ideological stationary bloggers and some of the comments they make. That became an inspiration for the idiot comments on the sidebar. My own comments could probably provide a mother load for someone doing the same thing. What I really enjoy about reading other blogs is that these folks are actually serious. They really take everything they say as a spot on accurate assessment.

A professor in graduate school once told me that reading my papers was like driving over a bumpy road with no shock absorbers. Construction is certainly not my strong point in writing and although I have an extensive vocabulary I try to write as simple as possible. I am not impressed by the way the Times or The Economist can turn a phrase so I have no one to attempt to impress. Besides it is too much work and just doesn’t feel comfortable.

With my own blog I really don’t care about having ads on it or dedicating it to one or two issues or even beating the drums of rigid thought for a political, religious or some other issue. The blog is designed to be open to any who wish to comment on anything.

I have received some emails where some have requested that I write on a specific topic. I had one recently that wanted one on Social Security since I was involved in that discussion on the 5,672 best blog in Middleboro. Another wanted me to tell the real truth of what goes on in schools and another had something about writing my impressions of MCAS. I might explore some of those topics in greater detail. Just my thoughts which is nothing more than a personal opinion. Usually much of it is just centered on observation and experience with some links where necessary. I have always tried to provide links that will show a differing of opinions since I have recently seen the absurdity of rigid thought in say a discussion on global warming.

The National Bureau Of Economic Research has made the proclamation that the recession is over and has been for months. No doubt this non profit research group in Cambridge has no horse in this political race. Yep…sure…no doubt. I guess it was just a convenient coincidence that this “report” surfaced as the Democrats and Obama are reeling with nasty economic data a mere six weeks from the election.

The Democrats continue to be befuddled by the growing legions of Tea Party recruits. They are just puzzled about how this latest “hate group” - according to the drifters in the far left - can even be taken seriously. Well, moonbats, it comes down to having unpopular legislation shoved down the throat of the electorate. Toss in a failed stimulus, the comical ranting of Reid, Pelosi and Frank, an unemployment rate nearly 10%, a convoluted tax policy and a president who is lost without his teleprompter. That about sums up some of it and moderates - like myself - can certainly find a bundle more in their anger than we can in the failures of a pathetic president and congress.

The Boston Herald has been running some stories of late showing how profitable it can be to be a state legislator. The total compensation package is usually in the $90,000 - $100,000 range. Virtually all have full time gigs outside messing up our lives from their perch on Beacon Hill. The list is littered with the usual collection of lawyers, small businessmen and insurance agents. A comparison to other states show just how well off our under performing collection is. Then you can easily migrate into what that means for friends and family by having a relative in the House. Wonder how many wives, children, cousins and so on are on the state payroll? A few years ago I believe the Bulger family had a total of twenty-nine planted in various agencies of local and state government.

Columnist Dale McFeatters had an interesting take on the fact that the TARP program ballyhooed by Bush and Paulsen was actually a success. The government is making money of it. This was 700B of our money tossed the way of financial institutions. I hated it but the story did do some limited eye opening. The Stimulus has by all accounts - including sympathetic to the administration economists - been a bust. I guess the Democrat version of trickle down doesn’t work.

Someone from the Fed passes gas and the markets go up or down a 100 points. I can’t imagine a more knee jerk group than the Gordon Gekko crowd.

Larry Summers is another in the list of Obama economic advisers to jump ship. Summers will return to the crime scene - Harvard. The economic team - the Pittsburgh Pirates of economic teams - is having some deserters. Wonder why?

I recently saw that the unemployment rate in New Hampshire was 3% less than Massachusetts. NH also has a favorable business climate where lower taxes are attractive to bringing in a new business and for capital investment for those operating. Less in taxes just make it easier. The lower tax structure in the state also assures that it will be attractive for those wishing to relocate. Massachusetts is in competition with its neighboring states and is losing the race with NH.

Student loans amaze me. How many with virtually no credit can actually get a five and even six figure loan based on the fact that your eventual degree in Art History or Music of 16th Century France will allow you to pay it off. The default is around 20% and climbing and that loan never goes away. How many degrees are really cost effective? I’ve had student teachers from places like BC, PC and Wheaton over the years who were education majors. Now what they are paying could buy a decent house. What many pay in a year they could go to an excellent alternative in the state college system for four years. The ROI (Return On Investment) takes a lot longer at 150K versus 40K.

College isn’t for everyone. I often counsel students that are on the borderline to dabble in a course or two in community college and to find a job that few want to do. Those jobs usually pay some significant money. One student of several years ago learned to operate a backhoe. Eventually bought his own and a truck to haul a backhoe he purchased. Now has a home and a nice car and plenty of business. Tagged on several other certificates to operate heavy equipment. A rare success story from the students I have had.

I’ve often felt that a job is a potential gateway to do the things you really want to do. I have a son who was an electrician. He used that as a base to do what he really wanted to do - fly. He had a pilot’s license before a driver’s license. Now he parlayed that into flying for a commercial airline. Jobs can be important to earn the money to do the things you really want to do and those things can often be another job.

I often USE to tease my daughter about her going to UMASS - Amherst. The party school run by the Corrupt Midget during her tenure as a student. She often uses that as an excuse to squeeze monetary sympathy out of me as in “I could have gone to BC” and that translates to big bucks. Well according to a recent study from England UMASS is ranked 56th and above local stalwarts BC and BU. From my own comparison I attended graduate school at both BU and BC and also the long departed Boston State College that was absorbed by UMASS - Boston. IMO BSC was on a par with both the privates. I had two very aged and non doctorate professors at BSC who were among the best I have every seen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mostly Political Stuff

Earl Sholley made me pick up a Republican ballot this time around in the primary. Sholley in the ultimate campaign bad taste moment placed campaign literature on cars while folks were participating in services at church. This is certainly not illegal but is rarely if ever done. Sholley excused his behavior with his “First Amendment rights” and I fully concur and I exercised my rights by voting for his opponent. He’s running against Barney Frank - what a choice that will present. Enough to convince me to continue my vow to nor vote for national candidates in the finals. Fortunately Sholley is now a footnote.

Rachel Brown and her supporters have been around town for several months getting signatures and attempting to drum up support for her run against Barney Frank. Brown is right from the LaRouche school of nut jobs but I signed her nomination papers. I’ll sign anybody who wants to run. Heck….I once voted for Jessie Powell! Brown got 19% against Frank. Now the former Philanderer - In - Chief, Bill Clinton, is making a campaign stop in picturesque Taunton to help lend some support for Frank. No doubt the message is clear - let’s not make this a Scott Brown replay. I’m an Indy so to me this screams out as P-A-N-I-C.

Tea Party did exceptionally well in the primaries and that has made Democrats ecstatic with the idea the TP is an isolated group of Neanderthals with homophobic and racist tendencies with no agenda other than to tear down the current administration. Easy pickings in the fall. Be careful of what you wish for. The TP has shown strength across the country and they attract a considerable cross section of America. May prove far more formidable than expected since the “Great Middle” is who will decide this upcoming election. Posted that on the BB site so I’ll put it here.

One thing the TP has done - and I have not really seen it in the TV sound bites - and it comes right out of political science 101 and that is the influence the TP has had on all candidates. Many will now tread rather softly realizing the potential results of voter anger.

Speaking of the TP as a division in the Republican ranks just might not be a viable way for Democrats to look at it. A recent non TP commentator from the GOP stated that in the end our common goal within the party is not to place another Democrat in Washington. Have to wait until November to see if conservatives are fed up enough with the party direction to desert candidates. Democrat liberal wing has long done that.

Panic stricken Democrats love to point out Christine O’Donnell as what is representative of the TP and, of course, Republicans. Even Rove and moderates within the Republican Party have tossed her aside. Well - do a search on Alvin Greene who is running for the Senate in South Carolina - as a Democrat. He makes O’Donnell look like a political Mother Theresa. Point being both parties are littered with some rather questionable characters - where is Leo Kahian when you really need him. Is this the best we can do?

A pundit finally realize what the brilliant Bogo has been saying for months - the TP would not exist without the failures of the current administration and Congress - both parties.

9.6% unemployment. That unemployment has hovered around that figure for a long, long time and the blame Bush no longer works. As Carvell said many years ago :”It’s the economy, stupid!” That will be the key issue and all the promises of the administration will be tossed out front by the Republicans. They will minimize their own compliance in this mess and get away with it. Anger voters vote. Republican strategist probably gleefully hope the dismal failures continue until at least January when the new Congress takes over.

I read that a certain confirmed liar spoke before the city council in Fall River regarding the proposed gin mill for that city. A confirmed liar speaking before a group of politicians? Lot of potential there.

Locally I have watched the BOS meetings on TV on a regular basis. I watch MiMi (what is with those two M’s?) and wonder what in the world the voters of Middleboro were thinking? No doubt she is kind to animals, looks both ways crossing the street, does not litter and certainly makes attempts to beautify our simple town but does that translate into being a good Selectman or Selectperson? I really had an open mind - no lobotomy jokes - when she arrived on the Board. Give her six months to get an idea of blending in and getting comfortable. The old learning curve. IMO the learning part has not taken place nor will it ever. Being a nice person just does not translate into being a competent member of the BOS.

What should be front page headlines in every paper in the country instead found itself buried in the inside. A cartoonist in Seattle, Washington - as in Seattle located in the U.S.A. - ran a cartoon about drawing Mohammed for a day. So now the “Religion of Peace” has issued a Fatwa on Molly Norris who has - under advice of the FBI - gone into hiding. The FBI recommended she change her identity and all associated information. As Ms. Norris explained she is effectively in the witness protection program without the government paying. Oh…she also had to quit her job. This is a freaking American being threatened in her own country? I hope there is more to this story since on face value it speaks volumes.

Say, LBJ, how has that War On Poverty worked out? Looks like one out of seven Americans are at poverty level. Maybe excessive taxes and lousy economic policy has something to do with It? Oh…and don’t forget social engineering. AKA - handouts.

The bill continues to spiral for Cape Wind and I have clearly changed my position on it. Now the have estimated the tear down costs. Every time I read about this project the bill goes up and up. This is become the “Green” answer to The Big Dig.

Cuba has decided to cut 500,000 from government jobs. That represents about 10% of the total work force in Cuba. Castro has already acknowledged the failures within the Cuban system and this sort of settles that. Wonder if we are viewing the future here now taking place there?

According to the latest Census Bureau data the state with the highest median income is - surprise - New Hampshire! I know a bundle of businesses have relocated to NH but it probably goes much deeper as in an influx of escapee’s from Massachusetts. In our state we approach every fiscal issue as how can the taxpayer be squeezed a bit more with escalating taxes and fees? Southern NH has now become an interesting snapshot of political breakdown. Many more Democrats have floated in but they seem to be those of the Blue Dog type that have a great connection with many Republicans and Independents on fiscal issues, immigration and foreign policy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Post

Governor “One And Out” Patrick has finally and quite reluctantly agreed to support any roll back on the sales tax. This finally came about after a series of evasive maneuvers showed where he really stood. Cornered with shrinking poll numbers and the excellent chance he’ll be canned he gave his approval. The only reason, Dear “One And Out”, that the measure is on the ballot is that your administration and the legislature approved a 6.25% sales tax. Wonder why the Tea Party exists? Ain’t a group of racist thugs but a grass roots movement that has had enough of government excesses on the local, state and national level.

Illegal immigration is being an issue front and center - in Europe. The EU is devising plans to attempt to deal with the same onslaught we face here. This is not your grand dad or great-great grand dad’s immigration but one that seems to focus more on separation rather than assimilation.

President WOW (Walk On Water) is starting his campaign moves to help floundering Democrats. Exactly how is he doing this? By blaming Republicans and Bush. Where have I heard that before? I listened to a mouthpiece for the administration the other day touting the various “successes” in the last two years and those were health care, stimulus and financial reform. That is success? Majority disapprove of health care and the stimulus has failed. Financial reform has be laughing. Think cagey banks and investment houses will find a way around that? The bottom line is the November elections will be a referendum on the performance of this administration and Congress. The only good think for WOW is with the distinct possibility of a Republican controlled Congress he’ll have someone to blame in 2012.

Old friend Mitt Romney is now the front runner for the Republican nomination in 2012. Even in Alaska he is polling better than Sarah Palin (R- Clueless).

Michael Barone, a political analyst for the Washington Examiner, reports that five Democrats running for Congress have run ads highlighting their votes against Obamacare while no Democrat candidates have run ads showing their support.

A casino is in the works for a location about one-half mile from Gettysburg Battlefield. I guess that means no mosque - just a slot parlor.

BB finally created a decent column last week in the Gazette. Took him long enough. Easy to create such a fine work when you have an interesting, dynamic, virile, and just all around great person to focus on.

A book burning has been delayed or terminated by pastor Terry Jones who was going to toast up a few copies of the Quran. This is an apparent grab at his 15 minutes of fame and naturally it got a group of Muslims in a frenzy - not quite on the scale of Danish cartoonist frenzy but relatively close. Maybe the pastor should hook up with Australian Muslim cleric Feiz Muhammad who recently called for the beheading of a Danish politician. Give me that old time religion, a few book burnings and beheadings.
It is amazing when one pays a visit to a Muslim country. The rule is often a clerical dictatorships or their government’s tread carefully over possibly offending religious mandates. IMO the ultimate goal is to eventually have a world wide homogony. In many other countries our First Amendment is not understood and that is especially true in Muslim nations. I just have difficulties separating spiritual Islam from political Islam.

The per diem list has Calter at over $1,700 and our other two reps at zero.

I placed my football predictions on the sidebar but limited it to the Giants and the Patriots. The Patriots also managed to sign up their fast fading QB to a contract extension that will pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 72 million so that at least he can attempt to get close to the income his bride brings in.

A new ice cream shop has opened up downtown and they do have an extensive offering of hard ice cream and two varieties of soft serve. Have some cakes and beverage service and other ice cream treats.

Castro now claims that the “Cuban model doesn’t work for us anymore” but was “still worth exporting to other countries.” I wonder if that means the current administration?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day Post

Obama health care has seen Medicare Advantage leave 200,000 in the lurch in Massachusetts and now the estimates are over 3,000,000 will be looking elsewhere nationwide. I guess that is “change?”

Now that I am on Medicare I see managed care first hand as a recent procedure was rejected as being “too close” to when it was previously done. My secondary insurance managed to pick it up but with many that simply does not happen.

While on an insurance kick I am wondering why Medicare doesn’t have a dental program? I looked into private programs and they happen to be costly for the coverage provided. Say $40-50 a month for a single subscriber with deductibles and caps of $1,000 per calendar year. You know how much a root canal and crown cost? Doesn’t even come close. Now I like to negotiate prices on everything and dental care is one. I asked on my last visit if I could get the Mass Health or Medicaid rate and they said no. So the simple hygienist appointment will cost me twice as much. So today may be my last visit to this dentist to whom I have been going for thirty years. I’ll shop around for what the basic costs are - hygienist, full X-Rays, crowns and simple fillings.

“We expect a little bit of violence while we transition.” That was one of the remarks by Joe Biden regarding Iraq. The current failed administration also praised the previous failed administration for the success of the troop surge. Stories regarding how many billions were and continue to be wasted in Iraq are in the news with projects unused. Next stop Afghanistan.

In the last few months I have had the opportunity to go to court on matters not related to me and have notice an eerie comparison to casinos. With both as long as you keep them coming back you will make money. Howie Carr likes to say “In the halls of justice the justice is in the halls” and that seems quite appropriate. I enjoyed listening to the bargaining back and forth between lawyers as they attempt to reach a mutually acceptable compromise rather than to risk it all before a judge. The judges I have seen certainly give credence to the very old statement that a judge is someone who knows (contributes) a governor.

Hurricane time which means I go to the store and but 20 gallons of milk and 20 loafs of bread. Maybe all the cases of bottled water? But the hurricane became more of a windstorm as the day and night progressed with the Outer Banks region giving it a big yawn.

Red Sox are not officially dead but to me the season is now over. Tampa and New York show no signs of a tailspin and Boston has too many players on the disabled list. I think $28,000,000 is on the DL.

Middleboro has some type of road improvement in the picture as politicians - both local and state - were falling all over themselves in self congratulatory mode. I understand there was a medical team available to treat all the strains from patting themselves on the back.

The latest poll to see who we’ll get stuck with for governor shows “One And Out” with a slight lead over Baker (R-HMO) with Tim Cahill a big money scratch ticket away. Sooner or later Cahill will have to back out.

The Tribe seems to have stirred some interest in those few hearty souls who actually care about the casino. Tribe has decided to invest what little money they have left to copy virtually every public document in existence. The speculation appears to be centered on the anti element who are fascinated by this. I think the Tribe may actually use all this paper to build an origami casino in Fall River. The mayor at that fast fading collection of abandoned warehouses sees the casino as a fiscal savior.