Saturday, December 24, 2011

End Of Year Post

The environmental nut jobs are on the loose with the proposed Keystone Pipeline that would bring oil from Canada to the United States. So they reject the possibility of 20,000 jobs and would rather rely of the whims of multiple quasi enemies to supply oil?

Maybe these wizards should go back in a time machine and view “The Big Ditch” constructed during WW II. This was known as the War Emergency Pipeline that would supply oil from Texas to New Jersey rather than using vulnerable tankers. In fact they actually started the oil flow before the line was complete.

Sometimes it takes extraordinary circumstance and leadership to address an issue and IMO this is an issue of national security. To set up mindless roadblocks is pure insanity. The pipeline is in our best interests and if it is constructed with the same diligence as the Alaskan Pipeline impact will be minimal or non existent.

Time for some leadership and direct intervention by President Obama.

I have recently been car/truck shopping in a serious mode but one of interest. As a current Pontiac owner I have a special “Off the books” rebate available that is between $1,500 and $3,000. But what I find interesting is the names they dream up. I think all of us have at one time or another bought a vehicle that we gave a special name such as POS or “This car sucks.”

I do believe the American auto industry has done a magnificent job of once again having products that can compete with any. Off course, most large world wide manufactures have their products build in multiple countries and the same goes for parts.

The standard for a vehicle use to be 100.000 miles. Anything after that was a bonus. IMO it is now 200,000 as many of the former bad boys such as exhaust systems and cooling systems use to have a shelf life that was dismal. No longer. But that high end technology comes with a price and that price is exorbitant labor and parts charges. I actually use a collision body shop for many repairs since they are very familiar in their triage business of worse case scenarios. The parts I’ll shop around and check after market or online sources and save upwards to 40%.

Last summer I had the opportunity to tour the Rouge factory of Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. The facility was the original site for Ford production and it is massive but today it is the assembly for trucks. They produce about 1,500 a day and the automation is intriguing. All computer driven. On the assembly line I watched the drones do one specific job over and over while working side by side with their robotic counterparts. The repetition and boredom would have me opening a vein before first break. I can understand why the workers are paid so well since you are being paid for a continually tedious job.

If you wander to Bowling Green Kentucky and are an aficionado of Corvette you can actually observe your car being assembled over a two day period. The computer and production process has your name on everything so you can build your own scrapbook. And being a capitalist society this little venture comes with a price tag - I do believe it is in excess of $500 plus your hotel stay and meals. I also understand with the ‘Vette - an engineering marvel - that virtually the entire car is American made. Few imported parts.

What frustrates me about purchasing a vehicle is that old ploy called “Options Loading.” Try buying a base model. You virtually cannot. Somewhere along the way you will have to determine just what you want and don’t want and attempt to get as close as possible.

What really ticks me off is the way a vehicle is sold. This expensive piece of machinery is then tossed into a dealership that may be ethically deficient or has a sales staff - most do - that reminds one of a street bazaar in Casablanca. It is all about “The Deal” and how “savvy” you are and their need to move the vehicle. Sales quotas, inventory excesses, cash flow and a myriad of other factors all play into how it is negotiated. The only thing that comes close to the full court press at a dealership is being trapped with a time share salesman.

Then, of course, is next up on my hit list and that is advertising. Anything over 200HP is shown in circumstances that are almost impossible with maneuvers that even an experienced NASCAR driver could not do. With trucks it seems every deep voiced actor has been captured to do those commercials. If you are a baritone voice over you have a job for life.

So I finally sprung for a truck. My current battle star had some wheel bearing work, muffle system in need and a bounty of minor ailments that would need to be addressed to the tune of about $2,000 so my ten year old got me a few bucks towards the truck (very few) and will end up in the auto auction. I lost money on that end of the sale but could care less since the aggravation of a private sale was just not worth it.

The truck I wanted was not available at a local dealer so they located one that another dealer would trade off on. Had just the base model and that is a real stripped down one. I have no need for bells and whistles and will probably use the bed so little it is really foolish getting a truck but I never had one. I would have held my breath until the Lovely Cynthia gave her permission.

Then comes one of my real pet peeves and that is the sales tax. You think the wonder boys and girls would have a one week or so open season where they would exclude the first $10,000 on a sale. That is a dream for sure.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another Week Of Bogo Nonsense

Now the flurry of activity to line up for casinos. First up is the wonderful pairing of Robert Kraft and Steve Wynn. Kraft - he of Hartford Patriot fame - wants to lease his land for a casino. Does this mean the illustrious Mr. Kraft will finally fork over the 8M needed for the bridge from his parking lot to Patriot Place? Nothing like a billionaire doing it on the taxpayer dime. Then the usual suspects will surface from MGM to some characters from Macau. Good luck, Massachusetts!

The Robin Hood tax has surfaced and it would take international proportions. What it amounts to is a small tax (small is undefined) on financial institution transactions and this bounty would be past on to poor countries to improve their lot in life. It would generate an estimated 48B and I’m am sure it would be as successful as our war on poverty.

VW is planning a Middleboro move but not much of a move since they are already ensconced in the Metro complex about a mile up the road. It will be a welcomed addition to finally see the building - the former RV center - put to use.

When I first moved to Middleboro they had at least three major brands of cars sold in town with a Ford, Chevrolet and Buick dealerships around. That has been down to zero since McGee moved to Raynham. But we do have a number of nail salons and I can hop on a tanning bed if necessary to give me that George Hamilton look. That, I guess, is the important stuff.

Trucchi’s finally has their sign up.

Flat Iron has discontinued music so I’ll have to go on the road for my BB music fix.

Nice weather means lower gas/electric/oil bills. I encourage mother nature - one hot babe - to keep it up.

The Patriots defense gives it up quicker than a drunk cheerleader on prom night. So much for being PC.

But I’m a Giants fan and they have been down right dismal but are now in first place. Go figger.

Bobby Valentine seems like a good fit for Boston.

Squirrels, rats and seagulls - just a higher form of cockroach and mosquito to me.

Cathedral lost a Super Bowl football game because a player raised his fist for two seconds while scoring a touchdown. This is in violation of a newly emplaced celebratory rule and under the very strict interpretation was warranted, but it is also a judgment call, and it this case the ref who tossed the flag had some serious issues with circumstance and how to apply it.

Alec Baldwin once again had his bizarre behaviors surface. Money and fame doesn’t necessarily translate to class.

Spokesmen for the current failed administration - not be confused with the failed administration they replaced - claimed in 2009 they were unaware of the extent of the financial crisis. After Lehman Brothers folder in 2008 all the forensic MBA’s in the world could connect the dots and the government could not? Laughable.

The financial crisis was handled like a Big Market baseball team handles problems - throw money at it.

Too bad the basic message of OWS was lost in their loony nonsense and scruffy appearance they presented. If they had stuck to the specific message they may have been taken as a serious force.

What is major league baseball thinking of? They instituted a dress code for reporters - and you know it was directed at female reporters - attempting to limit the Victoria Secret’s clothing some wear. First Heidi leaves and now this.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Humbug To The PC Crowd

Christmas is upon us so out of the woodwork from a long hibernation will come the usual suspects whose sole intent is to demonstrate a lack of civility, respect for an ingrained tradition, plain old appalling manners and anything else I can assign from what they manage to dream up in their cloistered little clueless universe. Of whom do I speak? Why the collected Grinches that make up the PC crowd! And, of course, their collective ire over a Christian holiday - XMAS!

I’m an atheist and proud of it but I do have some minor degree of civility and common sense that I manage to apply at this time of the year. I could care less about calling it “A Holiday Tree” - it‘s a freaking Christmas tree! I could care less about a crèche displayed on public property. I could care less about carols sung to God wherever she may be. They can pontificate all they want about Jesus and I could care less. I will not go into a fetal position and whine endlessly to gutless public and private sector entities about “making changes.“ Christmas is important to my family, neighbors, friends and about 300,000,000 or so total strangers who reside - legally and illegally - in the United States. Sure they wallow in the excessive commercialism but they also managed to get their arse in gear and actually reach out to at least give some degree of holiday spirit. I may not be an active participant but I managed to keep my yap shut and throw some fiscal bones to assorted charities. Since I don’t believe in an afterlife I am certainly not investing in a stairway to heaven.

Now along comes assorted PC characters - usually with a abundance of Cambridge and Brookline zip codes - to try and do everything possible to actually put a damper of what a very vast majority celebrate and do so in a fairly harmless manner. Hello! PC! You folks are cranks! Understand you morons it is not the end of civilization to actually allow celebrations to take place. If someone finds it offensive for religious reasons or some type of moral conviction just don’t participate. Hey - I don’t celebrate Ramadan - but somehow it doesn’t toss me into a fit. Stick to that former obnoxious habit of prayers in schools. Concentrate on the “In God We Trust” that seems to still proliferate - although I really don’t get lathered up about it.

What is amazing is how easy some public and private types with decision making powers cave in so quickly to the whims of a few kooks. Seems everyone is so damn petrified of offending someone that they are 100% clueless that who they are actually offending is the 95% or so who participate in all this Christmas shenanigans. Schools seem to be the ones most terrorized by any possibility of being classified as “insensitive.” Tells you the state of education in America.

So this is one atheist who will have limited Christmas participation. I will be in the holiday spirit which is translated into giving a boat load of gifts to assorted family members. I will have to go and pretend I am interested in a tree - “Yes, dear, this one looks great and it is only $55!” I will have to hang lights out which means seeing how good Medicare really is when I do a flop off a ladder. I will have to somehow hide when it comes to that traditional exercise of sending Xmas cards to people I never even heard of. I am really insistent on not sending out any for two years in hopes that we are removed from all lists. I will toss our usual cache of toys and food to the proper depots. I will have to actually with a straight face tell my daughter her dog dressed in Xmas attire looks “cute.” So if I can swallow what little pride remains for me this time of year so can the handful of PC types who can just burrow away until 12/26.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Say Goodnight, Barney!

Howie Carr said it best about Barney Frank - “Xmas has come early.”

Wrentham Outlets should have a 24/7 mental health clinic open from 11/1 through December. Special interventions should take place for any and all - customers and store managers - involved in any Black Friday sales.

Black Friday is a 100% corporate insult to a steady customer base. You can shop a store year round yet refuse to participate in the foolish madness to save a few bucks and you lose out.

A car dealership tells you all you need to know with the term dealer as part of the title. You go in expecting to “deal.” If you have some poker playing skills and do not mind playing the game you save some money. If you are not adroit at this economic song and dance you do not make out as well. The whole process is reminiscent of “negotiating” with street vendors attempting to sell you knock off items. What is really so pathetic about the situation is that extra few hundred can mean a bundle more to some than others. At least with the internet all those sales tactics and prices are now open for display.

And for car dealers I don’t want an LCD TV or a $500 Visa card so just (insert laughter) apply it to lowering my price.

Comcast is my ISP. I also post on Comcast Forums and just about exclusively on the sports forums. Comcast had decided to close the forums with no apparent reason given. Comcast had 36B in revenue and a net of 8.4% on that revenue,

Comcast also has a help forum that helps customers with trouble shooting. Several years ago I discovered that the forum was operated by volunteers and they had - after some diligent Bogo research - limited access to personal information. I contacted their legal office about this and fired off letters/emails to just about any government agency that is responsible for broadcasters. Can you imagine your bank allowing “volunteers” to “help out” who had access to your personal information?

Many years ago a local political gadfly - Larry Carver - was on the G&E Commission. Larry and I would often converse on a multitude of issues especially politics. Larry was a socialist so we were often polar opposites. Back in those days I was firmly entrenched in the wonderful world of computers and that fascinated Larry. Middleboro was not wired for cable and I do remember that they had a study committee formed to determine if it should be an in house (G&E) operation. Larry and I discussed it many times and he - like I was - felt it was a potential cash cow for the town despite the enormous start up expenses. Eventually it was a no go for the G&E. I know the town did experiment with a phone service - my memory is a bit shady on that - and that was a bust. Some communities have been highly successful with in house cable systems and others have not. Always wondered - usually when I get the cable bill - how it would have worked out.

Private enterprise has motivation to cut cost and keep expenses low - government does not.

In ten years TSA has spent 57B and currently has 65,000 employees. The agency (no surprise) is layered with high level administrative personnel. This according to still another independent study.

I saw some of the excerpts and Gingrich actually makes some sense. Time for another trip to Mexico and make sure I get the real and not faux Prozac this time.

Black Friday had a limited number of killings, robberies and assaults. Way to go, people!

For the uninformed China is adding two new coal fired plants to the grid each week.

The hunt for Bambi has commenced with the opening of shotgun season. Beware walking in your backyard or any place that is marked “posted” as that sign seems to attract Elmer Fudd & Co.

Congress now has an approval rating on 7%. BP during the spill was 16%. Nixon was 24% during Watergate. Even Hitler managed 10% in a recent poll.

Congress has managed to take every minor difference and magnify it ten fold so everything goes into lock down mode. Into this must step leadership and that leadership comes from the executive branch and the failure has been tragic and a bitter disappointment. Obama is clearly a dismal failure of epic proportions. After two years it all became his and in the year that has passed he has done nothing but demonstrate he is an entrenched far left ideologue. If he had a fraction of the ability of Clinton this mess would not be present. A centrist is needed even when philosophical one is not a centrist. Even one of my personal heroes - HST - managed to get almost a 1,000 pieces of legislation passed under similar circumstances.

If you are Martha Stewart and get some insider information and dump a stock you get jail time. If you are Nancy Pelosi or any of the other anointed you get to keep your dough and laugh at us. Until Congress has some real rules of conduct and continues to live above the law and above the rest of us with special privilege we’ll all be what we are - suckers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday Special

A pharmaceutical company needs to develop a type of Prozac to be used for those with excessive consumption and greed.

The Patriot Act had good intent but needs to just go away.

Too many Alpha males in politics and business have a sense of entitlement when it comes to females. Herman Cain is just the latest and one of the crudest to exemplify this.

Thirty-five years ago if you mentioned flat tax I’d think you were nuts. Now I’d consider you a visionary.

I saw Obama give a speech at the Pan-Asian conference. He is now our Lecturer In Chief.

Why are the Israeli’s waiting so long to whack Iran?

Should Lakeville now use the moniker “Home of the cheap bastards.” Their median income is approaching 100K yet the do things on the cheap and attempt to sponge off of Middleboro.

The TSA continues to mystify me. I see many great agents but I see way too many dolts with not an ounce of common sense or customer service skills.

Occupy Wall Street attracted too many kooks especially from the far left. Despite good intent that is killing it.

Those supermarket prices continue to spike.

Shotgun season is about to begin as the hunt for Bambi will go full steam. As a trail runner I will admire the post apocalyptic deer kill by counting the number of empty beer cans and pints under the deer stands. Do the Environmental Police ever give these folks random breathalyzer tests.

The Brockton Water Department may be the single most dysfunctional department in the entire state.

I have been inundated by an array of calls for loans and credit cards. Made sure my no call status was updated.

Watchdog agencies like the EPA are now more pit bull agencies using their interpretation of the law for an out right money grab in excessive fines.

Sign of the apocalypse. The United States has 300M people and 70% of the worlds lawyers.

Biggest offenders in insider trading? Our Congress! And they are exempt from same punishment anyone else would receive. Until Congress is forced to live under the same rules as the rest of this they will remain an elected criminal organization.

Fitch Group issued a warning on 11/16 that U.S. banks were at risk over fiscal issues in Europe. WTF! Just about everyone already knew this year the stock market dropped almost two hundred points in less than an hour. The idea with the market is to get on the right side of the “con.”

Massachusetts casinos were “inevitable.” Don’t count out Middleboro.

Should Black Friday sales be halted as a public safety issue?

Rising from tha ashes is Crazy Days or is it Krazy Daze? Just in time to add to my tee shirt collection.

Green School is coming along and done without CPA money.

Lawyer rant # 23,768. The BOS cannot ride on the MHA fire truck for the Xmas parade since it is a liability issue. Insurance company will make no changes to policy to cover it for a day. Industry standard and done on advice of their legal department.

The state raising the retirement age from 55 to 60? Amazing! Many in the “Dreaded Private Sector” face working well into their 70s.

With gaming comes a whole bevy of lucrative new government jobs to manage the pack of semi thieves operating casinos. I can just imagine what will happen in the next five to ten years.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - and I recently completed a four city whirlwind tour in China. I will not bore you with the incredible sites we saw but bore you with some snippets of what China is really like.

We had a two section trip so we had two guides - “Johnny” in Beijing and “David” in Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Johnny and David were their Americanized or Western names which is a common practice among the Chinese when dealing with Westerners.

Johnny has been a guide for five years and holds a MA in political science and David was a former high school teacher who has been a guide for ten years since it is a far more lucrative position than teaching. Johnny was 31 and his wife is the editor of a gossip magazine along the lines of US or People. David is about 15 years older and - like Johnny - has one son. His wife is a teacher. Johnny has never been to America but David has led several tours to our country where his favorite city is Las Vegas. David - like many Chinese who come over here - treat it as a shopping trip usually for high end electronics.

Both David and Johnny were party members - a requirement - and Johnny’s parents had been incarcerated during the Cultural Revolution. Johnny was far more political and displayed the usual semantics regarding Chinese expansionism into Tibet and Mongolia and noted that his government uses its ties to North Korea as a bargaining chip for our ties with Taiwan. Johnny did recognize that China has a dismal human rights record but the government has become more cautious for as he said “It is not good government to piss off a billion people.”

China is also a nation with virtually no experience with democracy. Their introductions to the West have by and large been negative. This is a nation that was carved up by the West and occupied. They have a long history of serfdom that can match Russia. They have been ruled by invaders, Emperors who were good and bad, devastated by the Japanese and fought a bitter civil war. For most of their existence who ever could put food in their bellies was “The good guy.” The 19th and early 20th century trading houses along the Bund in Shanghai are a stark reminder of a not too distant and brutal past.

My impression is China is less of a socialist nation economically than the United States at first glance. It is not a government run economy but a government monitored one. Businesses understand there are lines you just don’t cross and if you do the penalties can be excessive. One businessman was convicted of 9M in bribes and graft - tried and sentenced to death. Think about that, Bernie Madoff. They deal harshly with anything that may destroy foreign investment and foreign consumer confidence.

If a business violated the government standards say in environment the result is usually a minor fine and a program developed to meet those standards. Continual failure means an increase in punishment. The government also controls energy, water/sewer, transportation and other infrastructure but it is a mutual partnership. Think of the MBTA owned by the government and private enterprise with a 50/50 split. Some instances it is pure government control. Some it is not.

The Shanghai News and NY Times were virtually indistinguishable. The Shanghai News would report the good, bad and ugly. Government fraud, police brutality, strikes, excessive business practices, poor environmental control by the government, lousy safety standards and on and on. Was some highly critical articles regarding government policy and I found that impressive since my knee jerk impression was one of a repressive communist country.

Their economy is very service oriented since you do have 1.3 billion folks and many barely surviving. The poverty level is $90 and that is for a year. David made 10K as a high school teacher and that is an excellent salary and - get this - you have to pay for high school. Folks can’t afford it? Good luck! The working age is 18 but that obviously is a national joke as the government just can’t control what goes on. Same as here. Occasional bust and that is about it.

Their middle class is rapidly expanding. Very similar to our numbers when adjusted for national income differences. But the big difference is just imagine the good old USA having one billion poorly educated and trained peasants dropped into our laps. That’s China. They still have 20 million living in caves. About 80% of their population would considered a rat infested inner city dump Beverly Hills.

Our politicians - especially the failed president and war mongering right wing - like to point out the rapid economic expansion and especially the infrastructure. Well - Mr. President - they had little to begin with! In China they have 442 airports with paved runways. The U.S. has 5,600. I saw farm after farm using nothing but manual labor. Their rail system is fantastic for what there is of it and the safety has become fodder for jokes. With 1.3B Chinese it doesn’t take a Bogo or an Einstein to figure out why industry is growing. Upward fiscal mobility circa post WWII U.S.A.

Both guides emphasized the one child policy. I asked if there was a deliberate attempt at this and my suspicions were confirmed. There are certain talking points that are suppose to be highlighted and they understand that reproductive freedom is an issue that seems to burn with us. You can have more than one child but unlike the U.S. where you are rewarded with a deduction the opposite happens. Without a stringent population control program they would be India or Somalia.

I did discover that life is considerably different in the rural areas. Some of the customs that we consider weird still exist. There is a reason why China has 50M more males than females. The government also has policies that are far more what we would consider textbook totalitarian out in the sticks. The rural areas are also festering points for clandestine manufacturing and drugs that are funneled into the city and foreign countries. Close down one operation and two more start up. One of our guides compared it to how we tried to eliminate stills. Also a bundle of prejudice against the rural folks. They actually have their own term for “Pink Eyed Village.”

As far as the military what struck me is the lack of military presence even in Tian An Men Square. I really don’t buy into the military expansionism or threats to us for the simply reason nether the U.S. or China really are colonials but more capitalists and it is bad - very bad - for business when you kill your customers. I saw far more military presence in South Korea a few years ago. David wrote off Chinese expansionism in Tibet and Mongolia as adventurism. Others were quick to point out that when a carrier task force does exercises with Taiwan off their mainland coast they realize the potential fire power could devastate the entire country in a few hours.

China has a abysmal human rights record. They are quick to execute - like Texas only much larger. But what we fail to understand is that the advancements that have been made over the last sixty or so years. China changed dramatically in 1989 and again with the open economics of the acquisition of Hong Kong. The Chinese will quickly point out that you cannot compare their development to the U.S. of today but to the U.S. of the past. Just as we had a struggle and still do for ethnic/race/gender equality so do they. It is changing and changing rapidly. I just saw a rather open society and not as repressive as I expected. Folks I talked with were open and honest about their opinions of their economics and government. They will quickly point out our own failures of the past and consider it a template for guiding them. I talked to a group of Chinese businessmen who were adamant that economic differences could be eliminated if Obama and Hu (their premier) were locked in a closet and CEO’s from both countries were allowed to negotiate differences. As one said “You would get 60% and we would get 40% or the other way around. Maybe both would get 50%? But we know what we are doing and they don’t in Beijing and Washington.” Another businessman said to me “I would hate for us to be #1. Always more difficult when you are on the top. Even if we were #1 I would suggest we keep our mouths shut.”

While we were I China the election process had begun. Like Tip O’Neil said “All politics are local” and that applies to China. They will over a period of months elect 15,000 representatives to the various provincial and national legislatures. They are all party members (many in name only) but with stark contrasts just like in this country. Think of our Congress as all Republican ( frightening) but with various factions from moderates to conservatives to religious fundamentalists to representing just one issue such as abortions rights would be in our country. From talking with our guides I got the distinct impression that the powers to be have let the barn door open and it will be quite difficult to instill any repressive measures. Still the specter of a return to stricter methods is always present. I am not nor are many of the Chinese disillusioned to that fact.

American presence is everywhere from KFC to Wal-Mart. After several days of horrible Chinese food we were at a mall in the Bund section of Shanghai and I gorged myself on a DQ banana split, McDonald’s fries and Diet Coke and a cheesecake at Starbucks. Some stores have sections of American and Western goods which are prized for their workmanship and quality. Even the Chinese realize they produce a pile of low end crap. Also a big problem is the rip-off goods that are passed on to both tourists and especially the locals.

The food. OMG is it just awful. Every day we’d have a lunch and dinner that was almost all the same. Similar to our Chinese food but not even close to the variety and virtually nothing fried. White rice and some type of noodle concoction with every meal and greasy soup. For breakfast we had an American breakfast with a variety of Chinese food available and those breakfast buffets were something. The entire trip was five star hotels (in one room we had five phones) and the buffets were spectacular. Never seen better. Piles of fruit, meats, cereals, juices and just about anything else that once had a face. Service was impeccable.

In China they have health care but it is a conglomerate of self pay, government and private employer. The cost is quite reasonable but the real unusual thing is you have no primary care physician. You keep your own records in a blue book so you may go to the doctor thirty times and see thirty different doctors. Yep, Doc, I need more Oxycontin - says in right in my book! There is also Chinese and Western medicine. The Chinese is a preventive approach using herbal medicines and the Western is the same as we practice.

Basic services in the city are handled by district. Imagine Middleboro having each precinct responsibly for its water/sewer, trash removal, parts of the electric grid and parts of any natural gas. Some places you really do not drink the water.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back Home Again Post

David Madden step right down and say hello to Charlie Lincoln. Madden is the former mayor and fire chief of Weymouth who managed to appoint himself back as fire chief before he left office with the end result being a boost in his pension of $30,000. Everyone in Weymouth signed off on it. Quirk in the law “enabled” this legal and morally reprehensible move.

Good economic news will be when I go to the store and see country of origin as USA.

Maybe it was Al Gore who “invented” Occupy Wall Street and Elizabeth Warren who “invented” the internet?

The more I read about Joe Biden the more I realize the VP is just an overbearing jackass. Wonder if he can spell potato?

A fantastic World Series for those that bothered watching.

Why doesn’t Medicare cover dental?

While waiting for Beavis and Butthead to come on I managed to get about a ten minute view of “Jersey Shore.” The term “retroactive abortion” comes to mind.

In Massachusetts charter schools have out performed publics even with similar composite student bodies. Nasty little secret is how many teachers send their kids to private schools. They know something.

I really don’t care for Zombie movies but Walking Dead (TV) and 28 Days Later are the exceptions.

worth of olives disguised as a bagel?

The little brats come to the door on Halloween with attempts to plunder my candy stash. Naturally they have “threats” such as a trick if one does not fork over a treat. The little plunderers act just like politicians in training.

Rails-To-Trails just offered me a free 2012 calendar with a donation of $20 or more. How is it free?

Nordstrom’s Department Store has a great policy - no Xmas decorations until Thanksgiving.

Maybe stores will discontinue that stupidity know as special Black Friday early AM sales.

No way I’d own a Mini Cooper.

Whenever my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - claims I (and other males) am an embarrassment I just point out The View or The Running Of The Brides at Filene’s Basement.

Why does the government fund PBS when it seems half the programs are from England? Maybe the Brits should fund it?

The BOS in Upton managed to make national fools of themselves over a Rosary Vigil. Somehow they had their own convoluted interpretation of separation of church and state and were “educated” by two civil liberty lawyers.

Check out the CPA website. Link on left sidebar under local favs.

Alice Elwell had a great article on dump scavenging. Middleboro (no surprise) does not allow dump picking. Probably a manpower shortage.

Khazei got kicked to the curb by the Democrats so that liberal poster gal Lizzie Warren can have a clear and open shot at Brown. Khazei is impressive but when the party upper crust speaks he bows out.

Hannafords has appeared to shut down self check out. Does this mean no more $10

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shanty Town And More

At the weekly Edgeway Park hearing Selectman Steve Spataro took exception when one of the tortured home owners used the term “Shanty Town.” Well just take a stroll through what passes for the architectural nightmare of our scenic downtown. Exactly how would one classify this collection of 70s kitsch and crumbling late 19th early 20th century buildings?

Start your walk and examine all the weed infested bricks and the sickly trees with their metal grates surrounding them. Did anyone ever hear of weed killer? Hey…just stroll into Benny’s and grab some. Weeds are deadly to cement ands brick. Just look at those store fronts. Is there a contest to see which building owner can create something that will actually surpass Boston City Hall Plaza in sheer ugliness?

Then that parking lot behind Benny’s. That place looks like the military had artillery practice. Was there a war? Did Lakeville attack us and have some F-18s strafe that lot?

On Jackson Street next to the Middleboro Youth Building is something that resembles the back lot of Costello Dismantling. Why is all that crap piled there?

Speaking of Costello he had the right idea with the Washburn building. Just crush it.

And getting back to Jackson Street that parking lot behind the cop shop is also in dire need of repair and maybe a note to B & H auto that it is not their lot for their truck. The trees along the street are also weed infested as the fascination with those metal grates surrounding them provides a wonderful weed attraction.

Now occasionally someone actually decides to invest and make some decent changes such as The Alley Theater. Too bad it is within shouting distance of a major eyesore - the former Steve’s Sports Den.

There are some things that are so bad little can be done except to bulldoze the mess and start over but it would be nice to just keep the place reasonable clean by cleaning gutters, repairing walkways, weeding and doing something besides hanging a few flower pots.

The scruffy lay-abouts that are Occupy Wall Street (OWS) obviously are clueless. Wall Street an issue? Gee…just because fines totally billions were levied against Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of American, J.P. Morgan and others they OWS gangs think something nasty was going on? Forget all the residual crap that is festering around the movement that reeks of the mindless panacea that socialism will put forth. Toss it out! Forget the “living wage.” “excusing student loans,” all the chants of “social justice” and every other deflection. When they abide by their name - OWS - they are right on target. The entire system is toxic and has been for years.

OWS will face the same problems as the Tea Party and an attempt will be made to hijack as much as possible by more perceived mainstream forces. The TP was seen as a legit movement and it attracted a large segment from the fringe - usually wing nuts - that viewed it as a pathway to respectability. The Republican hierarchy also so the potential of hooking up and viola - you have mix master politics. Deval Patrick has already been stiffing around the OWS gang in Boston and the moon bats do see all those wonderful posters about open doors to illegal’s, tax the rich, fair wages and on and on and realize just maybe they can get some political hay out of this. Are both parties bottom feeders that one should not trust? IMO that is answered by the overwhelming numbers that now designate party affiliation as “U.”

Attention Middleboro (borough) Gas & Electric. Please tell the driver of vehicle M78 727 that when you go into Cumby’s at the intersection of Wood and R28 it would be nice to not leave your doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition of a running vehicle.

At this same store last year some idiot did exactly the same thing with his high end tricked out truck only to have Bogo The Magnificent save his pathetic arse. Some “students” were examining the situation and one had already opened the passenger side door when I made mention of the potential of the vehicle not being in their ownership. The lads quickly bolted towards the cemetery and I waited for the driver to explain the situation. He mumbled a “thanks” and that was it.

So if you ever need a ride hang around the local convenience stores and just wait for the idiot Du Jour. Trust me - you will not have a long wait.

Our two senators are at odds over the impending exit from Iraq. Kerry wants the boys and girls out by the end of the year while Brown is a bit hesitant on exit strategy. The exit strategy should be out ASAP and same with Afghanistan.

Social Security has a COLA increase after several years but the increase is not based on significant regional cost of living indexes. Metro Boston is simply far more expensive than most other places.

\Now for some seniors this money will be wasted of foolish stuff like food (Friskies or Nine Lives?), clothing (Goodwill or Salvation Army?) and shelter (Tarp or tent?).

Elizabeth Warren is going after “The hick vote.” That is polite speak for going after “The third rate dips**t vote.”

The Obama solution to all vexing problems is the continued expansion of government. Each regulation, bureau, law, increased agency power and tax just erodes individualism a wee bit more.

Going green in Massachusetts means the green as in money is gone.

Food stamps and EBT cards offer a lucrative secondary and under the radar market. Selling benefits is quite common on social media web sites.

The original “Halloween” was a great horror movie.

Verizon may have the worse level of customer service in my memory.

House values in Middleboro go down and taxes go up. So I guess when they finally go up the taxes will go down!

How does New Hampshire get jobs? They simply poach them from a tax burdened source just south of their border.

The pension and benefit bloated MBTA is reeling in debt. The proposed solution? Why an increase in the gas tax.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lotta Great Stuff!

A nice shout out to Melissa and the Mess Movers for making a dent in the trash roadside and other in Middleboro. Maybe just seeing folks around doing pick-up duty will provide encouragement for others to join and maybe for others to be aware.

I posted out on the infamous BB blog about how the local cop shop has decided to use the public parking venue behind their “house” as a personal dumping ground for the hulking wrecks of former cruisers. Why? And they are not alone. Seems that down in the lower park area is a truck that is also town property that is just sitting around rusting away. G & E also has accumulated flotsam and jetsam in their backyard.

Amazing how our spectacular DPW is willing to harass residents for not removing the fallen remains from the semi hurricane but does zero to address the issue of town entities acting like common polluters. Why the free pass?

Now I also noticed on Route 28 a massive amount of rubbish piled into the entrance way of the water department station. A glance will show that a good portion of that is just the type of stuff that the local trash removers routinely will toss back at you such as wood but they can leave that out for whoever is responsible for carting it away. Amazing that this marvelous double standard apparently exists. Now I could also single out the area around the DPW which is also far from pristine and maybe just about any other area that the town operates. Just seems like stuff that should be taken care of. Maybe someone should give a ticket to Andy Bagas?

I guess if we who actually pay an exorbitant trash tax followed their shinning example they would litter us with paper - as in a summons. Maybe it is time for the Town Manager to actually get after some of our illustrious department heads to set an example that is positive and clean up their own litter boxes.

On the trash front is the 22nd of October is actually a unique opportunity to drop off stuff and the dump (AKA - Landfill) for free. Much of this represents items that many other towns routinely grab for no additional charge. Middleboro appears to be the only community in SE Massachusetts that when faced with a service issue has the standard phrase on why they can’t do it: “We have a manpower shortage.” What they really have is a service and creativity shortage.

I have often said it is “The little things” that get folks all ticked off. Mayor’s White and Flynn of Boston were masters at recognizing the importance of city services. Flynn would go around in a snow plow on storm days and even cruise around the city to make sure trash was being picked up. No excuses. They both knew you could waste millions on hack jobs and handing out contracts to political supporters but when that phone rang at city hall or at the office of a ward boss that was what took priority and it was usually one of those “little things.”

When you toss your money into the great fiscal swamp known as a 401(k) the big point is to diversify but in today’s economy so much moves in tandem. Overseas markets will often mirror our own or visa versa. Twenty years ago a debt crisis in Slovakia was meaningless but today it sends shock waves reverberating across all global markets. Like I have said before - a camel farts in Egypt and the DOW goes down twenty points.

Sectors also seem to go down in tandem also - utilities, manufacturing, tech and on and on. But diversification is more that just markets as it is also specialized bonds, precious metals, commodities and a variety of other areas that one can toss 5% or so into. One of the areas I have tossed a few meager bonds towards is currency markets. I have found you can protect yourself in a fluctuating market but not like you could twenty years ago. You lose but just not as bad as it could be.

Some of the real gloss is off mutual funds since they have been underperforming index funds especially targeted ETF’s. Index funds is merely buying into the DOW or S & P or even a specific sector. One thing is the index funds have lower costs and I have no seen one that requires a “load”{ or upfront fee for the pleasure of giving a fund manager millions in bonus and salaries for losing your money.

With the mutual funds one of the increasing problems is cash flow as they have to have enough free cash to pay off withdrawals and that can depreciate a fund quickly by forcing the selling of stocks or other investments below their intended value. Funds also can be hit by stocks such as Citi Group that go below that magical $5 a share price that funds dump them at. Hence the reverse 10-1 split by Citi a few months ago.

With the real estate bubble firmly puncture that anticipated growth of value is now gone. The 500K house is now worth 350K but for the most part that has tricked down. Again the big issue is loss of equity meaning the loss of money to buy shiny new toys further eroding the lets spend it all mentality of a consumer driven economy.

Across the globe it really can be rather simplified as to why problems exist - countries have too much debt and large obligations and limited revenue. Get more revenue (taxes) and that means less money for shiny new toys or other wasteful things like food clothing and shelter.

The latest disaster of the current failed administration is a jobs bill the primarily props up the public service sector. Giving money to states to increase or maintain staffing levels for teachers and safety just does not create jobs and is just political payback for union support.

Step one is problems in (fill in the blank) and market goes down. Step two is problems ease in (fill in the blank). Step three is go to step one. And some wonder why Occupy Wall Street exists?

On the recent Mess Movers expedition I was down at the playground area and you can see the need for extensive improvements that could and should be made. A new bathhouse for the pool area, refurbish the tennis courts, fix that mess of a skate park/basketball court, some pavement work, and maybe even some trail expansion from the herring run along the river. There are still some old trails in that area that could easily connect to the power lines and to the existing and need to improve trail system on Barden Hill. Even cross Sachem Street and get an easement through the sand pits and into Pratt Farm. This would be a fantastic opportunity for CPA initial expenditures and would provide visible services for thousand s to use. Don’t know how it would work or if it could under present CPA restrictions but it is worth the investigative effort.

SYSCO project is moving right along in Plympton. Say….just how is that marvelous hospital site in Lakeville doing?

Why does an Obama press conference always seem like a college lecture?

For years I have questioned the operation of the Red Sox by owner John Henry. Ah…sweet vindication!

The failed administration has the unique position of being pro-jobs and anti-business.

One of the key points of the Occupy Wall Street crowd is access and that access is bought by lobbyist. Folks appear to be on the outside looking in.
The wing nuts have a tendency to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street participants and connect them to the loony left and that is so reminiscent of the moonbats attempts to do the same with the Tea Party and paint them as far right nut jobs.

What in the world does it take to finally realize the ownership of Edgeway is just bottom feeders.

On Route 105/28 island intersection in Lakeville is a remarkable fall display of mums and other assorted vegetation. I see this around Lakeville but not Middleboro. Middleboro once had a garden club and do they still exist? I know they use to do community service projects like this.

A pizza shop should be automatically rejected as second rate unless they have anchovy pizza.

I’ve been watching prices really shoot up at Hannaford’s the last few months. Get ready for “Wacky Wednesdays” at Trucchi’s.

Market Basket just beat out Wegmans in a recent price comparison.

Many corporations are flush with cash but are not going to risk capital with the ramblings of the current failed administration. Health care, taxation, environmental policy and energy policies are among the potential risks that corporate expansion faces. Why take the chance? Wait for more favorable political conciliations.

I see the old McGee building is now being used and that leaves the Morse building down on the Middleboro - Wareham secure border empty. Rumor was a Market Basket being located there.

About 25 years ago they (town) reconfigured some house numbers on our street. Myself and a neighbor never changed them. Recently someone from the town did a routine appraisal on our property and reported the “crime.” I finally added a second number to the first since I have received several letters from the police. Now the regulations are routinely ignored and a fire captain who lives on my street is in violation. I reported to the person handling this massive 9-1-1 issue the fact that I counted at least ten violations in a half mile radius of my house. To date nothing has been done. So much for enforcement.

Speaking of the idiotic - or why do you give these folks guns? In Swampscott one Anthony McKay became aware of a local druggie attempting to break into McKay’s car. His wife called the cops and McKay confronted the perp and the perp ended up with a busted jaw. Naturally McKay now faces assault charges and I quote from one Sgt Tim Cassidy (AKA - Sgt. Shultz) of Swampscott: “We don’t want anyone to fight back. We want them to call us.” Maybe he was groggy from too many paid detail hours?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Middleboro

Occupy Wall Street has been in the news as this throwback to the 60s and early 70s appears at first glance a grassroots (no pun on “grass”) movement. Some of the protesters appear in a time warp from days I remember and like in those days there seems to be a convoluted list of demands, issues and targets that made for amusing reading and that is definitely true with this current movement. Some of the “demands” appear right out of the far left playbook although the protesters claim they have no allegiance to either party and seem to actually place a significant amount of blame on the now quite weak shoulders of the Community Organizer In Chief.

Now the bottom line to me is this scraggly group is onto something. They may not be able to articulate their ire except in slogans or in some rather convoluted and bizarre interviews with media but they know something is wrong - seriously wrong - with the way this nation, this administration, previous administrations and a long list of Congress after Congress has consistently been in the bag to special interests, unions, high profile (and low) billionaires, banking and investment interests and just about anyone who has access thanks to having oodles of cash.

This is one protest I would gladly join and may. If they wish to target the Commodities Modernization Act or Gramm-Leach-Bliley I’ll climb on board and carry a sign but I will continue to sleep in a real bed and bathe daily. These folks are onto something.

The financial services sector is just a joke. The salaries and bonus figures are nuts and for what? How valuable are they? OK…doomsday has arrived and we are picking up the remains of society so who would you rather have a carpenter, plumber, electrician, mechanic or a financial advisor?

Is Herman Cain the Republican answer to Reverend Wright?

A 7B pipeline is in the works from Alberta Canada to Texas. This has an interesting dilemma for our current (and latest) oval office failure - support environmentalist or unions who want jobs? Maybe the Prez can look into his magic teleprompter for an answer?

On a recent trip to Texas we stayed at a resort since our Great White Elephant condo was finally sold and I am just amazed at the various methods high end hotel chains flat out screw over customers. First off is the internet charge that runs at this place $14.99 a day where at Motel 6 you would pay zero. Then comes the resort fee which is what you pay for services that should be included in your bill and often for things you will never use. This can be up to 15%. Of course you get two complimentary papers so maybe that’s why you’d pay twice as much as the Quality Inn next door? I had managed to get a huge discount on this place and paid about 40% less than the rack rate but otherwise there were plenty of places in Galveston with ocean views, free parking and a breakfast for half the price.

Next up on my hit list is the airport mall cops - TSA. “Sir! What do you have in your back pockets?” “Ah….I don’t have back pockets.” “SIR! What do you have in your back pockets?” “My arse is the only thing in my back pockets and you can enjoy the pleasure of doing a feely to find out.” “Sir! There is no reason to respond in such a matter.” “I can respond to an idiot question with an idiot answer when I deal with idiots.” Somehow I managed to get through security. I really don’t think the agent caught the reference.

Rick Perry’s daddy had a rather unique name for the old hunting lodge.

Been some talk that Chris Christie is too fat to be president. The last few have been rather svelte and how did that turn out? Where is Taft when you need him.

My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - and I have never taken a cruise. We travel constantly but a cruise has never been high on the list and in fact is somewhere below experiencing a sand storm in the Gobi desert. In Galveston a new cruise ship docked and this one was a combination Disney World, casino, endless buffet and petri dish. We both decided that just maybe we may try a cruise of three or four days but I know it won’t fit our style. We both like to leisurely explore places we go and TLC (The Lovely Cynthia) enjoys sitting on a beach for hours while I hate to be confined and a ship appears like a large gerbil cage. But we may just finally do it. Folks rave about the cruises but I just listen and say internally “not for me.”

Mitt Romney (R - Waffle House) is suppose to belong to a religious cult according to some mainstream religious pundits. For an atheist they are all cults with some just more established than others.

Elizabeth Warren (D - Consumer Reports) is the current front runner for Brown’s seat. Warren portrays herself as a “lass of the people” and I’ll not try to buy into that elitist Harvard BS with a 500K compensation package and the fact she can’t even file finance reports on time. Tack on her very close ties with the administration and that is Trouble with as capital “T.”

Massachusetts is one of the dwindling few states that actually still has favorable numbers for president WOW (Walk On Water).

The Boston Globe once again has managed to show what a two bit rag it really is as the bow tied bum kissers outed the Whitey Bugler informant. This may seriously put the woman at risk especially from assorted nut jobs who may wish for their 15 minutes of fame. The whole tipster program will also be jeopardized thanks to this incredible breech of common sense. The wonder is who tipped them off? Well …to me just think FBI.

If size matters then visit the new Wegmans super market. This place makes a big box store look like the corner mom and pop operation. I’m familiar with the store from my travels and find it daunting as I just feel uncomfortable in the large super stores. Hannafords and Market Basket are about the right size for me and the prices are find plus I know where everything is without using a GPS.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

MCC And Smoking

Massasoit Community College has implemented a smoking ban that forces the addicted into two designated areas to enjoy their slow method of killing themselves. The administration at MCC had actually conducted an extensive survey that showed overwhelming support for such a ban. I have zero sympathy for the addicted.

I grew up in an environment where smokers were allowed to run amuck with their habit and the whole process was consider chic and sexy. Unfortunately I have little tolerance for the foul aroma and it made life quite difficult for me. As I got older any bars or restaurants were off limits or I resigned myself to about an hour before the burning eyes and pulmonary irritation took place. I was an outstanding candlepin bowler but that had to go since bowling alleys looked like the morning fog over ‘Frisco Bay.

On airplanes it was a disaster. In the early 70s I had to travel for business and three to five hours in a closed environment meant hours of recovery. Classrooms were also a problem as folks would just light up and in fact light up in all public places. One of the reasons I thrived in a computer environment is that smoking was prohibited around the equipment. But changes would be taking place.

In the late 70s I was part of a group called GASP - Group Against Smoking Pollution. Goal #1 was a simple one - to ban smoking in supermarkets. The approach was through local boards of health to make it a health issue and not a political one. By this point there was - unlike global warming - irrefutable evidence of the negative impact of smoking and - pardon the pun - the smoking gun of second hand smoke.

The wheels of fate have now placed smoking into a realm where even the addicted have the manners and common sense to know where and when to light up. I have a boat load of sympathy for their entrapment into the addiction but I have even more sympathy and responsibility for myself and maintaining good health.

So the whinny little group at MCC is offended that they are under strict supervision. Tough. Cry me a river since I went through the other side of the equation for 30+ years. The excuses they put forth were flat out pathetic. You can’t go without for five or six hours? Please. If you were flying from Boston to LA you’d be shut out and somehow manage.

Now I don’t want the foolish addiction banned. If someone wishes to light up in their car or home just go for it. Hopefully they’ll have some common sense and not expose the non smokers to their pollutants. But it is now getting to be a much better world for the majority of us who do not practice the habit. I can eat without having my eyes burning and travel without any worry of someone puffing on a gawd awful stogie next to me. Even hotels I now only have to worry about bedbugs and not the pallor of smoke the previous occupants has left as their personal gift.

In the work place the loading docks are now important gathering places as the smoking zombies assemble several times a day for what seems like endless “breaks” to puff away. I know when I was in the DPS (Dreaded Private Sector) there was a strong undercurrent of resentment over time lost as the zombies fled for their magic puff.

I know most want to quit and have made multiple attempts but like serial dieters they seem to go back and forth between cold turkey and a rendezvous with the Marlboro Man. At least with my ice cream addiction I can exercise the excess off and somehow second drippings from my chin won’t send someone into cardiac arrest. The simple fact is the various forms of smoking are designed to kill you when used as directed. The actuarial tables do not lie on that one.

Where I taught and still tutor I see one of the worse results of behavior disorder and it is exemplified by smoking. What better way to churn up the adults and authority figures than to puff up. Many of the students started at ten years old. A real defiant and “Take that” attitude. Many will flat out say “If I only knew then….“ I have seen some with a pack a day habit that has put them into a situation where even their meager employment dollars are drained to feed the habit. The program has interventions to help but, unfortunately, the success rate is akin to the recent Red Sox September.

My daughter was a student at MHS ten years ago and literally could not use the girls facilities because of the dense smoke. This is a similar problem at where I tutor. The smoke wafting out of the boys rooms can become a dread for me. In fact out of curiosity I once asked an attorney I know if someone like myself with a documented health reaction to smoke could actually bring a criminal complaint against someone smoking in a restricted area by claiming it as a type of assault. He was quite fascinated with that concept.

The malfeasance of the cigarette industry is well documented. Most have managed to weasel out of class action suits despite the evidence that shows a pattern of lying, skewering facts and attempting to debunk the opposition - much like those global warming advocates did a few years ago. But the risk-reward is really great so take a chance. Most of the companies have managed to diversify so much that cigarettes only represent a fraction of the business. They fully comprehended the direction public support was going.

Now the excuse machine at MCC was in full force as the addicted attempted to somehow do a weasel t6o get their way. Too far to walk? Hey, it will do some good for your lungs. The excuse that it could lead to car break-ins. Oh - so smokers are car thieves?

So I am sure the latest brouhaha at MCC will just go up in smoke.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Dis n' Dat While In Sox Mourning

Barney Frank who is an ardent advocate for online gaming received $18,600 in contributions from that industry - if one can say gaming is actually an industry. After being the poster child for financial malfeasance with his bluster, inane advocacy and then attempted avoidance of the Fanny scandals how appropriate it is that he supports such foolishness as online gaming. Did with housing.

Deval Patrick is furious over the mere idea of having to present proper ID to vote. We use ID’s for everything. Why not voting? Makes sense.

Green energy has certainly been green - real green - for some. The Solyndra mob appeared before a Congressional hearing and it seemed like the 50s and 60s again with pleas of “The 5th.” Appearing more and more like the executives were simply crooks and the administration is up to their eyeballs in this mess. Think Teapot Dome.

I watch excerpts from the Republican debate since about five minutes is my tolerance level. Huntsman and Paul seem reasonably normal but the rest?

The Town Manager and the DPW honcho seem to be approaching the storm rubbish issue the same way in that their first response is to try and figure out how not to do something rather than how to do it. Apparently neither have spent any time in customer service.

Some cities and towns will actually cut back on very visible items as a way of encouraging the peasants to pony up some more cash at TM or with a 2 and ½. I’m am sure nothing like that will ever happen in Middleboro.

Friendly’s is back on the brink of another Chapter 11 protection.

Deval Patrick continues to dismiss Secure Communities as the body toll rises.

Tom Brady’s bride got off with a warning for going 70MPH in a 55 zone. According to the State Police about half of those stopped got warnings so this was not any special treatment. The others were probably judges, court officers, Reps and others connected.

In the movie Contagion one of the characters utters the phrase “Blogging is graffiti with punctuation.”

Obama’s support among Black voters is now eroding.

Maxine Waters (D- Mothership) said “The Tea Party can go to hell.” Chris Matthews made a comment about the blowhard Limbaugh that just about said he hopes someone off’s him. Andre Carson - a Black Caucus Member - stated the tea party would like to see “Blacks hanging from trees.” Now if the right made comments like this it is hate speech.

I read that some fees such as the dump (AKA - Landfill) pass cannot be paid with cash. Now despite what it says on our greenbacks this is perfectly legal to refuse cash for public and private obligations. The legislation (coinage act of 1965) is poorly worded. To me it is an insult. I read into it a lack of trust of employees.

Chief Gates says being a policeman “Is a young man’s job.” Well so much for any 21st century enlightenment on the part of the chief. In case he missed out there happens to be women who actually do the job. Yes, Chief, they do things besides sell cosmetics and pop out babies. Maybe, Alice - a woman! - quoted him wrong?

A young man’s job part II. Has Chief Gates ever roamed around town and took a look at the police details? Some of these guys have been retired for years and I feel like setting up a lawn chair at the work site for them just to play it safe.

A young man’s job part III. Why? Is there some unique quality about being young that defines the job? Maybe you should just shove all those 40+ characters out the door? Say, Chief, how old are you? I guess our chief is both an ageist and sexist?

Design flaws is a way architects and engineers explain away problems some with monstrous consequences.

Aircraft design is fascinating since most experimental models go through vigorous testing before they are rolled out for military or commercial use so I will use that as an example for baseball.

The Comet was a magnificent aircraft and represented the first commercial jet. Built by de Havilland it was placed in service in 1952 and did have some issues that were resolved. Then came a series of mysterious and fatal crashes forcing the fleet to be grounded.

Now why is this related to baseball? Well the aircraft itself was agreed to be of quality by everyone involved. Hundreds of designers and engineers were involved and all agreed on its air worthiness. The fatal flaw was windows and you can read about it. Simple and unsuspecting. Actually new territory. This is similar to the Red Sox in 2011 as the fans and media all jumped up and saluted the choices made with signings, trades and who would get dumped. Heck most felt 100 wins were well within reach and I thought 105 could be obtained. But there are design flaws.

Some of the flaws became apparent from the 2-10 beginning and then magnified as certain expectations were not attained. Most were placed on the back burner as the team went on a 72-37 tear and then the flaws kicked in. Some seem to be how certain players approach the game. Others are the small stuff like not hitting with Runners In Scoring Position or not making a routine play that extends an inning. Then the issues of complacency, clubhouse karma and even ability start to surface. Like with the comet the design flaws are there and will have to be addressed.

Right now Boston is the Comet (de Havilland) and the Yankees are Boeing. de Havilland never really did recover.

IMO the blame for the entire mess of the Red Sox lands on Theo Epstein. Theo loves metrics or the numbers of baseball to make decisions on player acquisition. They use their own proprietary software to crunch the numbers but someone one piece is missing - character.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Birthday Post

I suspected Roger may have been in trouble about five days before the election when I received an attack ad from Brunelle. When that happens it shows some internal polling may have said “trouble.”

Brunelle also lost Middleboro. Seems to have become a family tradition in the last year.

Despite Pacheco (D-Probation) Roger still lost Taunton. Maybe someone will also run against him?

Borders is just about done and the usual pithy article of hand wrenching lament appeared in the paper with a flurry of quotes from loyal customers and now pounding the pavement employees. The impression was this was some type of monolithic conspiracy to get rid of a landmark business. Huh? No, folks, it was a company whose business model was not updated and tragically failed.

I worked for Howard Johnson Companies from their robust days until the company was essentially dissolved after passing hands from Imperial Tobacco to Marriott. HJ was iconic and also a convoluted mess of mismanagement. They were rift with poor decisions that even those in the lower depths of management would shake our heads at and say “Why are they doing this?” When changes were being made it was without any real plan and was far too little too late. We could all make a list to rival anything put out by Harvard Business School on companies that either went belly-up or are a shell of their former self and a good portion of the common Joe and Jane’s could have told them well before the end came what was wrong and what needed to be done.

The latest in hand wringing guilt is legislation proposed for Massachusetts for businesses to disclose there links to slavery. Now this is not some type of slavery that still exists in parts of the world but their links to our own 18th and 19th century involvement of making a buck off of it. Slavery was extremely profitable in this country for both north and south and many businesses and institutions profited or were formed as a result of profits taken in human trafficking. But somehow this is just more self induced feel good legislation.

More new revenue needed. Is there still some folks incapable of connecting the dots? Revenue means taxes means less income means less food for the government machine.

Ron Paul has said he’d support an audit of the Federal Reserve. That alone might be enough to support him.

Deval Patrick is Mr. Bluster when it comes to the recent daycare tragedy and Mr. Silent when it comes to an illegal killing someone with vehicular homicide.

Why believe anyone? I went to have some muffler work done that I knew was necessary and the prognosis was also two other items that needed immediate attention and that would be about $700 so off I went to the service manager at a car dealership where I have established a business relationship. I was having a routine oil change and asked them to investigate. Items not needed. Always good to get a second opinion.

To the BOS - thank you for the kind words.

Try as they might the wizard’s in The Fed and the administration just cannot control the economy. It’s all about productivity and there is little of it.

The NFL now looks like Arena Football or the early days of the AFL. Wide open passing and inflated QB numbers.

Obama made a smart move with the millionaires tax proposal. The 250K is off the board as being “rich” and the super rich have been designated the fall guy and most seem rather cooperative from what I have read. Puts the Republicans in the corner as there is not much play in this for them when discussing a million bucks a year in income. Just wish I could join them.

Now about all those super rich. I saw an article using IRS figures that showed the zero tax status was for less than one per cent and most others paid at a significantly higher rate that reflected their income. Hmmm.

Reward systems are wonderful. In fact many are the foundation of behavior modification systems. You reward young children and older ones as a way of showing a job well done or some type of improvement that has been made. Applies to adults. In fact we have rewards and punishment built into our existence. So why is it that our tax system punishes success? Seems the more successful you are the bigger target you become.

I continue to read about how the tax burden has actually decreased and that is simply incorrect. When you talk taxes it just isn’t federal but any state tax and any type of adjustment to deductions. I save everything with taxes. Everything. I pulled returns over a forty year period and my percentage increased across the board and that was primarily do to deduction manipulation, increase in FICA and a huge growth in state tax especially sales tax. Some of us are old enough to remember Volpe’s “Temporary” 3% sales tax.

On the above there are several web sites that really show how much we pay in taxes. Amazing how much is hidden. Some will even differentiate between a tax and fee. I have even seen some exotic math that attempts to extrapolate the impact of corporate taxes, fees and mandatory regulations as a inflation index.

Now a local battery maker has decided to jump into bed with the Chinese and their operation will expand rapidly to a Chinese hedge fund involvement and 400 jobs will be added - in China. Huge subsidies by the Chinese who seem to make this work while The Great Community Organizer can hang his accomplishment teleprompter on Solyndra.

Elizabeth Warren will attempt to unseat Scott Brown. She has the usual liberal credentials so there will not be the slightest of maverick in her as with Scott Brown. Dems want this seat after the embarrassment of 2010 and the way things are going they may need it and a lot more.

I see occasional piles of brush lying around town and that rings of Citation City for the DPW. Ah, folks, not everyone pays attention to the latest missive from the DPW about under service. So maybe Andy Bagas will find some “manpower” to go around and tell these folks to get with Middleboro’s new do it yourself program. $208 does not buy you what it use to.

My running or waddling partner’s bride took a nasty spill on one of her bike excursions. Now unlike us she is actually a well conciliation athlete and that is a huge plus in any rehab since the body is already conditioned and the work ethic is present.

I buy junk food. Potato chips and honey roasted peanuts are two favs. I will take a non guilty pleasure of snacking on them but there is s problem. My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - can resist me but not the junk food. The peanuts I thought were sucked up by a vacuum they have disappeared so fast so the directive has come down - no more junk food! So I have to pay the penalty for maintaining my svelte body? Oh the pain!

You can live off the past for just so long and the Red Sox have done nothing since 2007 despite an expenditure of 600M. The latest round of free agent signings have been a monumental disaster. IMO the need is apparent. Theo’s shelf life has expired and I hope he resigns and takes over the Cubs. Theo has done a masterful job of building up the farm system and making beneficial trades but has been a failure at late season pitching additions and those FA signings.

I also feel Tito has lost control of this team and has been managing defensively for a few months. There seems to be increased concern over clubhouse dynamics and the Sox should also look for a change in that direction.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Ides Of September

Unions gave Democrats about 400M for the 2008 election cycle so what is the end result of that? About one fourth of the latest “Recovery” Act is targeting unions mostly of the public sector variety as money will flow to local governments to prevent layoffs in that sector - primarily teachers. Now you know why Roger Junior has all those pamphlets/mailers coming to your house with the various union labels assigned.

Rick Perry has decided to come into the territory of the blue sans Scott Brown. Perry - to us - talks funny, prays and has trouble keeping his mouth shut. Take away the pray portion and it sounds like a description of Barney Frank.

How do members of the BOS stay awake during those various hearings when all the blueprints are dragged out and the power point tuned up? I know I’m lost with everything but a map but when they start talking the engineering gibberish it is like a sleeping pill. I’d spend hours asking pointless question after question since my learning curve on this stuff would need a serious boost.

This poster nailed it on the daily stories on the Greek debt crisis. From Yahoo.

“Brand new day...same old contrived Greek Euro zone debt story. You could cut and paste this "news" 100 times and it wouldn't make a difference. They must think we're all idiots.”

I have been inundated with calls for both candidates for the 12th seat but there is a difference. The ones I get I ask a simple question “I’m in Middleboro. What county is that in?” Roger’s calls are from phone banks and all are clueless. Union water boy? You bet!

When an executive of a company has a consistent pattern of making fiscal blunders what is the eventually outcome? For Boston the 2011 free agency list is Crawford, Albers, Wheeler, Jenks and Aceves. The only productive one has been Aceves with Crawford being a huge disappointment at 22M a season. Just add these to an ever growing list and it should be enough to convince Theo Epstein to take that Cubs job. As a GM he has done a remarkable job of building a farm system, drafting and in player development but that is only a fraction of the team expenditures as the big ticket is free agents and he has failed.

The DPW has no manpower to remove brush yet has the manpower to cite folks who don’t remove it. Nothing more consistent than inconsistency.

It was “Inevitable.”

Now what would be interesting is no one bids on a license.

Wonder what “The Raven” is up to?

My real problem with a casino is that it is a form of income distribution with the distribution primarily going to those who don’t give a hoot about the folks where it is located.

Government stimulus means jobs but they will just be temp jobs since no real manufacturing will take place. Now with these infrastructure jobs will the materials be made in the U.S.A.? Or will this be like the Canadian Obama tour bus? Seems if you are going to use rebar, wire, construction tools, heavy equipment and so on it should be a priority to have domestic.

Michael Bloomberg - mayor of The Rotten Apple - claims the job picture is so bleak we could have riots in the street. If Mr. Mayor wants to see some problems I’d suggest he get off his billion dollar arse and examine the tax structure of his city and state. City tax, state tax, sales tax, exorbitant gas tax and on and on she goes.

What generates a recovery is our consumerism and we just are becoming a bit more diligent about what we purchase and how we do it. So one way of curtailing that even more is to increase taxes and further reduce the spending power.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Another Week Of Being A Malcontent

Storm hits and the BOS and DPW do a Casper The Ghost and disappear. The trash tax in play. $208 well spent. The usual pronouncement of manpower issues will prevent the additional pick-ups that may be necessary and how many other communities have managed to at least do something?

On Tuesday after the storm my running partner and I were cruising down to Eastover Farm for a run when we came across a convoy in Rochester complete with a wood chipper and front end loader. This was Marion Road and they were loading up the fallen wood including batches left out front by residents. Now just maybe this was something they were not suppose to do but did. Their primary objective was to insure that this roadway also had no obstacles left by the storm or was it just that in conjunction with providing service? On the way back to our usual stop at 7/11 we came across two Wareham DPW trucks doing similar activities. Guess other towns can cope with a “manpower shortage.”

Seems like Middleboro has decided to figure out ways of not doing things rather than doing them.

National Labor Relations Board is now going to require employers to have posters in the workplace describing the employees right to unionize. Wonder if they cleared this with Pacheco?

Huntsman. Perry. Bachmann. Romney. What a crew the Republicans have to fight it out for the nomination.

Martin Hanley and Charlie Lincoln appear to have a lot in common.

Probably the only thing more dysfunctional than my blog is Social Security. Rick Perry hammered away at this scheme during the Republican debate of which I saw an excerpt. Think I would actually watch that nonsense? I have been an advocate for partial dismantling of this system for decades and just maybe some in the political mainstream will finally do something about a program that makes Bernie Madoff look like a fiscal Mother Theresa.

The Obama latest stimulus is a mixture of little bits and pieces from proposals of both Republicans and Democrats so the term would be “nothing new here, folks, just move along.” The first stimulus was about twice as large and under its guidance unemployment went from 7.6 to 9+%. This one should bag us the coveted 10% plateau.

I am a Keiko supporter. My support is based entirely on two things. First is her fiscal positions and the second is the huge influx of union dollars for her opponent.

The infiltration of the Republican Party by overly religious elements disturbs me as much as the public employee union ties of the Democrats. I have often called myself a “political bisexual” in that I can go either party or none. I’m finding none becoming all to attractive lately.

When is enough enough? In Afghanistan our presence is about as valued as that woodchuck is in our garden. Simply put they hate us. They hate our government. They hate our religion. They hate our money. Well…maybe not the money since they seem to be putting that to good personal use. I just can’t see any value to our continuing to nest in that country, I thought “The Big Zero” would have had us out the door by now but he is also buying into that famed “Strategic withdrawal” mantra that the military experts continue to espouse.

Football season is about to start which means a goodly portion of the female population will be without male companionship for five months. Six if your team is in the playoffs. Then there is Fantasy Football which also requires huge blocks of time. Have fun, ladies.

Sal DiMasi is going to the federal can. Is that three or four speakers in a row? Easy to lose count.

What do police do? Proposals are put forward to get more “on the street.” Why? Well how about an outdated and failed policy on all levels to deal with drugs. Simple as that. More cops to address an issue that needs a different perspective. It is fiscally attractive to sell. To buy you need enormous sums of money and an easy way to acquire it is via grabbing it from someone else. We really need a controlled substance to be controlled, taxed, regulated and enforcement for serious violations such as we have under DUI’s. What we do now has not worked. It never will work.

Our drug policies have not only impacted our country but others. Mexico is in a shambles and much of it is because of pitched battles between drug cartels. The same applies to Columbia. Many others countries are also in the mix.

The DARE program was a total disaster. It did nothing and there is enough hard evidence to show that.

Obama’s proposals had an interesting impact on financial markets - they lost big time.

I had a recent meeting and espoused a position that has always done me well. I always examine the negative first. I always consider what can absolutely go wrong and assume it will. I first started to employ this mechanism as a baseball fan but found it did wonders in everything from purchasing items to buying/selling stocks. Perfect? Certainly not but it is always better to embrace the positive after you have fully examined in detail the negative.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Storms And Other Stuff

Once again an illegal has been involved in a horrid crime. Once again it could have been avoided. Once again an illegal had an extensive resume of legal entanglements. Once again the Patrick Administration refuses to address the logic of rudimentary law enforcement. If the law had been applied to getting this character sent to jail or “home” this could have been avoided.

Secured Communities is a great piece of legislation designed to help combat the infiltration of illegal’s and especially attempt to deal with those who accumulate an extensive criminal record. Why the Patrick administration is so reluctant address this issue and cooperate is just beyond me. Is it some type of warped political philosophy? Is it for fear of offending a potential voting block of legal’s? The governor has repeatedly ignored questions that put him on the spot light with this issue and uses his usual canned responses.

Now Obama’s uncle is arrested for a DUI and he had a license and an SS card. Another “Humanitarian” entry?

If a president does what he said he would do during the campaign cycle and when elected he will be successful. That is what he was hired to do and what the voters bought into. With the current president does that apply?

The Weather Channel was a wonder during the storm. They had what passes for reporters everywhere. How do they manage to get those characters in evacuation areas? I thought that was like a “no fly zone” to keep your arse out?

Of course I went out and purchased 50 gallons of milk, a 100+ loafs of bread and went to “The hood” and got an AK-47 to fend off the looters in my neighborhood.

The real truth to us locals is we know beyond a doubt what the storm is capable of especially along the coast and we also know that the real bad boys are the winter Nor’easters that really do the damage. They have consistent winds that can last for a few days. Then there is the ice storms. They really chew up the landscape.

Now in Middleboro the usual power outages happened and it will take a bit of time to get everything up and running. The damage seemed minor with the occasional building going one on one with a tree.

What will happen with the damage claims is we all come face to face with that lovely term “deductible” which is insurance talk for screwing us out of a few dollars. Then will come the adventures of the adjusters whose primary job is to low ball any damage claim and frame it in such a way that you think you have to accept it. To get a legitimate claim paid to restore your property usually means an extended song and dance that could involve lawyers and arbitration. The idea is to wear you down.

In Kansas I bought a $5 lottery scratch ticket which was - surprise - a loser. The top prize listed on the ticket was $1,000. Amazingly low. I didn’t check to see if they dole out a substantial number of top prizes but in Massachusetts a $5 scratchie usually means a minimum of one million as a top prize.

I love the liberal whine about FOX News. Then the benchmark of their pride and joy - MSNBC - goes out and hires Al Sharpton.

Speaking of liberal do I sense that that key Obama voting block - liberal white guilt - is starting to fade?

Obama is proposing tax credits to businesses that hire vets and especially wounded warriors. I imagine a Jim Thomas letter is in the works on this.

In China there is no old age pension system. No Social Security to fall back on. What they do have is a substantial savings rate since it is save or rely on relatives.

I wonder why there is no connection between our Medicare and Social Security retirement age. I retired at 62 yet had to wait until 65 to get on Medicare. Now the retirement age has been raised but the Medicare remains at 65.

Tiger Woods and PED’s. I’m starting to believe some of the connections that make it plausible. Based on his past history probably extensive use of Viagra.

The New York Football Giants (via NJ) are a physical wreck. The ever expanding injury list has put a damper on any expectations which were relatively low to begin with.

The Red Sox continue to hover around north of .600 and considering that woeful 2-10 start is a remarkable resurgence. They are playoff bound.

The recent primary showed the power of special interest groups and IMO that most powerful are still unions. They can generate sure fire voters and provide a bundle of cash. Even the influence peddlers like Koch and Soros pale. They deep-sixed Frawley in the last election despite his being a Democratic loyalist and a pragmatic one. Last thing the MTA or any other union - especially of the public variety - needs is someone who they cannot totally control. Pacheco is up to his eyeballs in orchestrating this election and he is just a premier example of what happens in a one party dominated state.

On the national front Obama continues to amaze! That the long list of Republican lightweights actually match up with him is a telling tale of just how far down Hope & Change has sunk.

Consumer confidence continues to sink and you can tie that in to voter sentiment. Gotta blame someone.

I have had a real flurry of emails from some unknown countries in Africa lately. What happens is someone’s email gets compromised and the address book becomes a target for mass mailings. I mean I didn’t know so many died in plane crashes, auto accidents, falls and anything else that is a storyline on a 1001 Ways To Die.

Several years ago I answered a telephone inquiery about a “prize” I had won. All I had to do was pay shipping and handling. They were located in Chicago and I said: “Hey, I’ll be there in a few weeks and pick it up.” They hung up. Goodbye plasma TV.

My son Bob never wanted a Kindle until he saw mine. Didn’t realize how versatile and lightweight it was.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kansas City

Kansas City is the annual Red Sox road trip and this year on both the visit side and the baseball side it was quite successful.

We stay at son #2’s place in Leavenworth and you can’t beat the price - free. He’s former army and his neighborhood is interesting as it is a five year old development sprinkled with current and retired military.

Leavenworth is a base town and also a prison town with military, federal and state prisons numbering six. Many former military - such as my son - work in corrections, the VA or on the base as civilian security. The entire community revolves around this with special emphasis on the military. Just the names of local establishments, the constant displays of flags and all the special discount offers that go with being military.

You know you are in a different environment when the front page of the paper has a picture of a high school principal doing a repelling course as he participates in a Junior ROTC Program. Imagine ROTC in our high schools. Probably have the ACLU and soccer moms going ballistic.

Touring in KC area is always an adventure since it is not exactly a tourist hotspot. This time my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - had to do some touring with herself and another deserted spouse while we attended games. But three games were at night so the baseball escape route was rather limited. We did take in the HST Library again and spent some time at a wonderful museum in St. Josephs called the Patee House. Eclectic collection that took hours to tour. The city also had a Civil War festival going on and that took some time.

The ladies did manage a few shopping trips and the movies as we attended the night games. They also paid a visit to the HST homestead in Independence right near the HST Library. A potential visit to tha Jazz Hall of Fame and Negro League Museum did not materialize. Both are great to tour.

KC is Bar-B-Que and we were not disappointed. A small place was near my son’s house. Located on a country road with a dusty parking lot and a dumpster out front it didn’t look like much. The mimeographed menu was quite limited with about five sides and five dishes. My wife thought the brisket and three ribs would not be worth it since it was $10.95 and the ribs would be those baby backs. She took the small ribs cut instead. These ribs looked like something Fred Flintstone would eat. I ate the brisket and managed two ribs and gave up.

Now no adventure by Bogo is complete without a whiny complaint and mine is the ballpark. Great place except for one detail - they don’t do any replays of anything positive by the opposition. Ellsbury made a great catch so they show the run scoring on a sac fly. Larvarnway hit’s a wall double that looked like a HR but how could we even get our view with no replay? Great defensive plays totally ignored. This happens every year we go. I have complained before so why stop now? Just go up the food chain.

I spoke to the Direction for Fan Relations one Carrie Bligh and expressed my issues. That with some blind spots on the sight lines certain plays need a replay. In Boston every play is replayed as long as it meets the MLB guidelines. Most other parks do it. And in baseball a good play should be recognized even if it is by the opposition. I also mentioned that the owner is David Glass a former high level official with WalMart. And WM just prides it self on customer service.

Ms. Bligh fully agreed and said that at their end of year meeting this will be her priority on input from her side.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paid Details

It is a rather simple sign shaped just like a stop sign and attached to the end of a long pole. One side has in red letters stop and the other side has in green letters go. A workman just moves the sign to inform traffic how to proceed in a construction site. I see this in my travels all over the country but with one exception - Massachusetts.

Here we have one of the most pronounced handouts to a union that I can imagine. It is called the paid detail and it can be the source of substantial pay to police. I have often wondered why I see multiple state police cruisers at work sites with officers not visible that often outside the cruiser. The lights provide that moth type attracted to drivers who are careless or have ingested too much alcohol or drugs and seems to have been responsible for a rash of tragic incidents in the last year or so.

On the local level the paid details will usually be found hovering around a G & E “work” crew to direct traffic and generally insure that the hole is properly excavated. Now the usual justification is it is a safety issue and we simple citizens should be content to have such well trained law enforcement officers in the general vicinity to make sure no evil doers or miscreant drivers create any “issues.” The retired officers especially look in prime physical condition to handle any problems that may occur.

Recently BB and I were returning from a running foray and were cruising along route 28 when a work site appeared. I could see the cones out and, of course, the mountainous G & E truck that was the usual hive of activity with a G & E crew. I slowed. Neither BB nor myself had the slightest idea if we were being waved forward. The arm signal could not be seen with the glare so I crept forward until I realized that there was actually a half hearted effort to signal us to scurry along. After running the gauntlet of cones we came across the second member of the detail who I noticed was deep in conversation with someone in a cruiser. I am sure the topic for discussion was advanced law enforcement techniques.

Attempts have been made to at least diminish the fiscal impact of this golden goose with the latest being by the Patrick Administration. From what I have read the savings are about nil so I guess it’s the thought that counts.

I know a few years back the administrators in Halifax attempted to eliminate paid details. Not sure if the chief was involved or this was some type of austerity program implemented to contain cots. I’m not sure if this was during the Benjamino regime and they may have been forced to find pennies elsewhere to fork out cash to their spiffy ambulance service.

Paid details will probably be with us forever. When I discuss it with officers in other states it usually results in inquiring about job possibilities, housing costs and the weather. But what I would like to see is a simple concession to logic - get those freaking stop/go signs so I have a clue of what you are doing.

Alone the legal front comes another jury that was sent down from the mother ship to make judgment. This one found one Albert Arroyo innocent of fraud which, specifically, was collecting a disability from the Boston Fire Department for an “on the job injury.” Now this “bad back” made it impossible for him to work even at a desk job or fire prevention but it did not stop him from competitive body building or palying hard ball baseball.

Albert also claimed during the trial that the union encouraged him to file for a disability. I just can’t imagine a public service union doing that!

I actually followed this trial and assumed it was a slam dunk but now you just never know. I have no idea what this brain dead jury was doing and the decision is just incomprehensible to me. So Albert will continue to collect 65 large each year for the rest of his life.

I have now lost count of the number of union inspired materials I have received from the Brunelle campaign. As a retired teacher my wife and I have been inundated with the usual MTA fliers. Brunelle is the education candidate? No....he is the one that will be able to do the bidding for the MTA just like his sponsor Pacheco has done.