Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turkey Time!

The Middleboro School Committee is the latest local poster child for lack of transparency. The SC decided to deep six the current superintendent, Roseli Weiss, for the transgression of being honest on MCAS expectations and have the audacity of asking for a raise.
Middleboro has an illustrious history of less than splendid MCAS results so when Weiss appears to lower the bar the SC demands some degree of retribution. Top it off by her requested for a contract extension and a raise and the door was open for the bum’s rush for Weiss.
The raise issue was of particular interest as I was reading a recent article of equal pay. One of the reasons why women sometimes lag behind is a lack of aggressiveness. Seems men are more vocal in seeking out a few pennies more. So Ms. Weiss decides to ask and the SC is stunned. Hey, boys and girls, just say no!
The SC was in full turtle mode and there is certainly no profiles in courage as the information had to be gleaned by the Middleboro Gazette forcing the issue with the club being the Freedom of Information Act. So Weiss gets the gate and we’ll get a new administration who – if they are smart – will certainly say “Middleboro will be Level One in MCAS!” And I will start in left field for the Red Sox in 2015.
I watched the parade of parents on the telly who thanked Weiss and expressed disappointment with the SC. That added some degree of excitement to what is normally one of the most mundane evenings on said telly.
Why does the Middleboro schools do a half-day professional development each month? That counts as a full fay. Would seem to me it would be more productive to have three full day professional days and then have that extra seat time.
In Middleboro if you are a retired teacher from the Middleboro system and substitute you are compensated at $100 per day. Retired from another system and you get $80 a day. Considering our MCAS results maybe it should be flipped.
Maybe the proposed alignment of February – April vacations will help?
Olga Roche, the deposed commish of the DCF, was handed a nice fiscal kiss after being “fired.” Roche was allowed to hang around to fatten her pension and collect some vacation and sick time. This was outed by The Boston Herald and when confronted the latest DCF hack in charge said essentially “No comment as we respect her right to a private retirement.” Translated: If we wait long enough this will go away.
Rising rapidly up my food chain in my “Pantheon of Idiots” is the latest group of those in need of a feeling of moral superiority – the divesture crowd. So if a public pension fund sells off fossil fuel positions that is supposed to hurt the fossil fuel industry?
Here it is in a nutshell. We are a technological society and scientific evidence clearly supports the excessive use of fossil fuels as being a negative. I am sure some wingnuts can find a blog or two that provide contrary evidence. Now for point two. The fossil fuel companies are heavily invested in alternative energy just as tobacco companies started to migrate into other areas. Smart business
Just a drive down picturesque Route 44 will show a small solar farm and in the background wind turbines. On my roof is a solar unit that has been there since 1982 – long before it became “sexy” to use alternative energy. The transition is taking place.
Is there anything more foolish than day trading in stocks? I would consider going to Village Market and buying one each of every scratch ticket a better option. I get on message boards and read their endless whining about the hour by hour fluctuations of a stock. They respond like petulant four year-olds as the daily numbers are posted.
Who says you don’t win at gambling? Turns out our newly formed Gaming Commission lead by Steven Crosby has run up some impressive expense tabs. They far exceeded certain suggested limits imposed by the administration of expense accounts for public employees. Maybe a former member of the G & E Board could land a job there?
Selectman John Knowlton had an excellent opinion piece in the Gazette regarding the recent failure of the police station renovation. It is over! No second try.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ocean Spray - Home of ageism

Ocean Spray is supposed to be a fairly intelligent company. Or are they? They have a testing lab and you can sign up to be a tester providing you meet certainly qualifications. I can fully comprehend that except for one – age. You have to be between 18-69. I can understand under 18 but over 69? I’m 70! I guess that means that anyone over 70 should not purchase any ocean spray product? That is exactly what I intend to do. I will also go to their corporate headquarters and attempt to find the genius behind this exclusion. Guess when you are over age 69 your taste buds become invalid.
QE is essentially gone and the stock markets have not missed a beat. I follow the Standard & Poor index rather than the outdated Dow Jones or the Apple inflated NASDAQ. Even with QE – essentially an 85B a month welfare handout – the markets have been steady. Like a relationship that you can see as crumbling and eventually ending is an analogy I care to use. You know it will soon be over.
One of the huge failures of Bush part deux was his failure to allow some level of private investment with social security – the ultimate Ponzi scheme. Bush backed off that to the usual militant and 100% unfounded babble from the Democrats.
Allow some level off the grid. Reduce any eventual SS payout by what you choose as an alternate investment. Place it under strict guidelines and watch it grow and grow. I have run the numbers on what my contributions – both mine and employers – would be with what we both contributed over the thirty years I was locked in. Just a simple split among the three major indexes I would have had $800,000 at age 62. And the money would be there for heirs – inherited wealth.
Allin Frawley had a recent series of posts on FB regarding hunting. As a trail runner that means disaster time as one cannot take the risk of entering the kill zone. However there are plenty of places where hunting is restricted and that is even here in Middleboro. Pratt Farm and Weston Town Forrest to name two.
I also posted on ATV’s. This is an area I have real mixed emotions about since there is a huge yahoo factor with the four and two wheel mechanical noise machines. There is an upside. I am a trail runner and the monsters can really cut a trail or restore one. Seen it done and been involved in it. Invite a club in for a few days and flag the area and let them go.
Hunting has now progressed to where virtually all respect nature. Back in the day at Freetown State Forest I would watch them wander into restricted areas with beet or plastic solo cup firmly in hand. Far too many with some serious drug and alcohol issues along with a distinct inability to read and comprehend the simple word – POSTED. That has slowly changed over the years
Seems the Superintendent of Schools has become the latest victim of the long and illustrious history of underperforming Middleboro students. The one consistent through all the decades I have lived in Middleboro is the people themselves. What is more important? An Honor Society induction or a football game? Take a look at the demographics of Middleboro. The income level. Poverty rate. Unemployment. College educated parents. Compare it with other communities in the county.
The open store fronts seem to proliferate in downtown.
Pot luck suppers have been rescued from the clutches of the nanny state. H.1997 allows that time honored tradition without the local board of health tossing in any roadblocks.
Speaking is phony stuff. Sandra Fluke (rhymes with flake) lost by 21% in CA.
I can’t wait to hammer away at Charlie Baker.
The beauty of the national swerve to the right is the fabled what goes around. The Democrats were laying into “Blame Bush” for years and the Republicans won by “Blaming Obama.” Then if things are still screwed up in two years they can milk it again.
To me the real big loser was the one pol I simple cannot stand – Elizabeth Warren. She was 4-8 with one undecided (it will be 4-9 after a runoff) in the senate races she campaigned for.
Locally Middleboro supported Baker. The whole county did except for the cities.