What is the HFPA? That is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that distributes the yearly Golden Globe Awards to movies and TV. The “Association” has exactly eighty-two members many of which have questionable connections to any legitimate news agency. For example the president of the organizations, Phillip Burk, lists his associations as “Australia” and “Malaysia.” For the sham awards the “Association” received $26,000,000 from NBC. Members are often transported around the world on junkets that would make any politician envious just so that some may vote for the right movie, TV show or entertainer. In another day and age this was known as payola. The organization is also a non profit and has quite a substantial record of questionable practices that go into the exclusiveness that they protect by routine rejection of credentials of some rather legitimate foreign news sources.
President WOW has poor marks on handling the economy so he has decided to put his efforts into “overdrive.” Then why the Clark did he waste so much time, effort and political chits on a health care program that is being both skewered and now - finally - seriously being “adjusted.” It’s the economy, stupid….to quote a famous American.
Governor Deval “Second Time Around Is Better” Patrick is turning into a Republican! Now in the target of the Gov is Massport another hack infested dumping ground loaded with six figure salaries for paper pushing. The state is loaded with agencies and quasi agencies that seem to have the main purpose of providing “employment” for the connected rather than services for the taxpayers.
The Herald had an interesting editorial on the dreaded private sector providing sick pay to employees. This is a rather convoluted issue since some companies have a firm and generous policy while others have none. Sick you lose. Where my daughter works sick days are deducted from your vacation days. Now the legislation proposed is to have one hour of sick time accumulate for every thirty hours worked up to a maximum of seven days. That seems like a rather decent approach but The Herald - like Bogo - feels the primary reason is to take the focus off the excessive sick leave and numerous other benefits that are available in the public sector.
My own personal experience was that in my last year of teaching I had not taken a sick day in the system I worked in. I could accumulate these up to a maximum of 180 days. I could also contribute three days a year to a sick bank which I did. In my last year I suffered an Achilles rupture followed by surgery and then during rehabilitation another rupture an a total reconstruction. The building I worked in was not handicapped accessible so a jaunt up four floors was not in the picture. So I had my sick days and managed to take 138 of them at full pay. That is why they refer to the other side of the fence as “The dreaded private sector.”
The system I was in also had a buy back for sick days. If you worked for at least fifteen years in the system you would be entitled to $30 for each unused sick day up to a maximum of 120 days. I would have lost my days since I only worked thirteen years in the system. Now administrators were essentially contracted labor and many had contracts that called for full pay buy backs with no service requirements. Many other public service unions have these same conditions with tweaks for their members. The buy back is significantly better for say the MTA, police and fire.
I had a certain perverse pleasure in purchasing The New York Post on Monday and giving it to my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - so she could read all about what NY thinks of her Patriots. I certainly would have loved a smack down of the Jets but some things just don’t go as expected. I figure this depression will last out the week but it will never match the one when my NY Football Giants (via NJ) beat the locals in the SB. At least that one eliminated all talk of how I could react so emotionally to the Red Sox.
Allin Frawley will now run for the BOS so that is now down to two replacements for the current members up for re-election. Anyone who reads this blog - all four of you - know that I really don’t care to have Marsha and MiMi around for another term. Marsha has consistently demonstrated bad judgment in her latest tenure from her “defense” of the IT Director to that abysmal performance on attempting to limit speech before the BOS. As far as I can determine MiMi does little beyond planting flowers and mimicking Marsha. As I said - the political version of an appendix. I hope neither candidate announced for their run will run against the incumbents but more as own their own merits as that 10% or so of us who will actually vote are well aware of the actions of the BOS.
Many years ago my wife purchased a Hyundai Elantra station wagon. The car was decent and the price was quite affordable. Nothing special but a car that was serviceable for us for many years. The Elantra represented just about the top of the line except for an under $20,000 faux sports car Hyundai manufactured. How times have changed. First came the Sonata that matched up with the mid market cars of the United States and Japan and now comes the Equus that has an MSRP that starts at $58,000. I’ve read the reviews and it obviously matches up rather well with the higher priced European and Asian imports at considerably less money.
Now my car of choice would be a new Bentley Mulsanne that costs about as much as a home in Middleboro. $300,000 or more for an off the shelf model that is all hand made with such excesses as leather from cows especially raised for the use in the car - no barbed wire marks. I remember seeing a great looking Bentley many years ago at Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream in Whitman. A family dressed like they stepped out of The Great Gatsby but what caught my eye was the Bentley had a small bumper sticker that read “My other car is a Yugo.”
Now if you want a real bargain I’d suggest the Indian made Tata Nano which translates to something like “A total piece of crap that you will probably die in.” This $2,500 mistake sits in many a depot in India unsold. Seems it is a bit risky to drive with the occasional explosion and the fact a good wind can crush it. If you like power than this 30HP “car” will generate about as much as a riding lawnmower.
The great gin mill debate will now surface with the new sitting legislature. Just how will this eventually pan out? Seems “The People” want some sort of means to piss away more money on gaming besides the lucrative scratch tickets. An improving economy will have various members of the pinky ring set coming forth with cash in hand, in bags. Stuffing it in bras and all sorts of great coin to get their gin mills up and running. I look at the investment potential in say neon. Neon will be big…big….big! I know some hate the term inevitable but that is what it is. Where the potential for tax dollars exists to feed the hack machine then onward with gin mills.
Now I really don’t mind the gin mills as I know exactly what to expect. As an entertainment option they are fine with great dining and quality entertainment. I will do what I usually do and plunk down my $20 for the $1 slots and get that out of the way. Maybe “I’ll get luck” and walk away with a princely sum of say $50? Just maybe the state will siphon off some of the money and problems that are going to R.I. And Ct. Maybe Clark from Connecticut can inform us all of the hazards? I for one do not intend to attempt to legislate personal choices.
In Middleboro the specter of a Tribal gin mill still exists but only if they can find a tribe that doesn’t remind one of the Keystone Kops. Being a NIMBY I would be surprised if anything is ever even attempted after the on and off again multiple times fiasco that has taken place. I’m sure the various investors involved in backing up or propping up The Tribe are looking for more viable alternatives. I doubt even the most ardent of pro casino folks are feed up with the circus that surrounds this whole mess.
I still harken back to that casual meeting I had with some various tribal elders at the Crazy Horse Memorial out in SD several years ago. Three different tribes and all involved in gaming and all with the same view: Watch out for the investors. Take as much control as possible. Get them out ASAP. Have your own people take an active role as possible.
The Pawn Stars is a reality TV show that takes place in a pawn shop in Las Vegas. Some of the items that have a value placed on them can be quite expensive. I saw one show in which a George Washington signed lottery ticket was appraised and the appraiser said he would expect it to go for $15,000-20,000 at auction. The why sell it to the pawn guy for $8,000? Need cash that quickly? Degenerate gambler? Makes no sense to sell it to a pawn shop when consignment to an auction house will bring you more.
Many “experts” in finance are touting a massive “Bull Run” on the stock markets. Just what one needs to hear is more predictions regarding the direction and solvency of our world wide financial institutions. One bold predictor even marked 9/4/2013 as the day that would represent the S&P having doubled. I don’t know if that will be accurate since according to the Mayan business we all will have been vaporized by then.
A few weeks ago on the sidebar I listed the salary of Joe Kennedy as far in excess of 500K a year for running a non profit and this is not unusual. Where my daughter works as a teacher is a non profit specializing in Autism and the salaries and benefits are just not that substantial yet a Herald article in the summer had the director pulling in over 500K a year. This is actually not that unusual as many charitable organizations will list 100% of their money raised going “to the cause” but that also includes costs and a big portion of those costs can be some rather inflated salaries. Little research can point out just what percentage actually goes to the charity.