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.