Sunday, February 7, 2016

Politics: Local, State and National

Before the politics comes the recent storm that left me without power. While I was concerned about temperatures getting below sixty down the street the G & E linemen and workers were attempting to restore power in conditions that any normal human or animal would avoid. A job well done under trying conditions.
The Bumpkin (how I hate to agree with him) blasted away at Dan Murray regarding the snail’s pace to reaffirm a decision Murray made regarding just what the scope of recreation is at The Weston Town Forest? Just what does it take to motivate the town counsel? This is not a few weeks, but is now into many months. I will need a calculator to figure out just how long.
Who is Murray answerable to? My assumption is the BOS and if that is accurate, then they need to light a fire under Mr. Murray’s law books to get a move on. Fact is in the real world Murray would have been long gone. Senior management would not tolerate intellectual lethargy for anywhere close to this.
A recent poster made a comment regarding some of my negativity towards our wonderful community. To a townie criticism is certainly a red flag and the typical response was a veiled “Just move to Lakeville (Or anywhere else).” That is an inherent mentality that is quite consistent with the fateful “Cheap Seats” comment of a few years ago. When one takes on the responsibility of a town office or any other board or committee expect blowback, but don’t deflect with the “Love it or leave it” stupidly that was so prevalent in the 1960s.
Is being appointed to a town committee more difficult that undoing The Gordian Knot? Apparently so. The flap over a Tourism Committee has brought a new or eventually a new procedure. I am sure DNA testing and urine samples will be required. Maybe recite the alphabet backwards in thirty seconds? Something that should be simple has now become complex. Is the BOS taking Murray’s “advice” on this?
Has the Planning Board been on snooze control? According to articles in the local papers, the residents of Brookside are in a bind and left out to hang. Forget the developer who has picked up his fiscal marbles and moved on. They need a road rebuilt – forget repair – and it appears the best option is to use a $430,000 surety bond they are holding and have the town do the work. The may not have all the bells and whistles the PB would like, but that can be waived. The real issue is why has the PB let this drift for almost ten years?
Martha Coakley was supposed to be anointed the next president of Suffolk University, but, alas, the pressure by the student body ended that venture. What is that for Coakley? Three losses in a row?
The Tax time is upon us and once again the convoluted mess that passes for our tax system demonstrates just what a mired in mud mess it is. I sift through forms that have little or no relationship to English or any other known language. Is there some type of Rosetta Stone that is used to get a linguistic hold on the methodology?
Through the years, various government appointees and elected officials have dabbled with the code to “enhance revenue” with the no desire as to reform but to confuse. Within confusion there is opportunity – and that opportunity is to feed the machine. I am 100% convinced that no legislator would even remotely attempt significant reform. If by some minor miracle one did he or she would have my vote and a generous campaign contribution.
What ever happened to a downtown police station? Apparently that was a vibe fostered by “Radical Preservationist” as a veiled attempt at saving what is a dump. And most of that committee became the new committee and so, naturally, we are to believe them? Just my suspicious nature on due diligence.
The Brockton Enterprise is virtually a worthless paper and has consistently deteriorated since the Fuller family sold it. The latest joke was an editorial that is currently targeting the next area of the looney left now that “Big Oil” is off the table at $30 a barrel - “Big Pharm.”
The specific target was Gilead Sciences and their Hepatitis C drug regimen that costs $84,000. The Enterprise picked up this nugget of a target thanks to our AG. Of course, if you pay the full tab you also pay the MSRP for a vehicle purchase. But the other option is a cheaper version by Abbvie (Disclosure – I hold stock in both companies). Gilead’s success rate is 99%. The cost of a liver transplant in $250,000. Ongoing treatment for liver ailments related to Hep C is staggering. You want cheap? If you want a lower cure rate? Go to Merck or Abbie for around $54,000
I will take our AG seriously when she leaves the State House and wanders across the street to Mass PRIT and demands that they sell all of Gilead, Pfizer, Abbott, Merck and dozens of others. In the meantime, expect Bernie and Hillary to pound away at “Big Pham” and “Big Banks.” Oh…and that AG? The one that defends sex offenders? What a load! At least, a judge had the decency to call out her pathetic office on the Bridgewater University (AKA – College) daycare scandal.
The editorial board at the Enterprise failed to read their own paper – probably a good choice – there was an article that showed “Big Pharm” - a huge player in the BioTech index – certainly was an integral part of the 30% that index has suffered in six months. And Gilead? Down from $117 to $83 in six months. They must have “forgot” about that?
The real grasp at straws was thanks to Martin Shkreli – a hedge fund investor – who raised a drug fiftyfold when he took over KaloBios. Shkreli can share a cell with Bernie Madoff.
On the national scene the Hillary Clinton acolytes continue to blame everyone but Hillary for the latest mess. Hillary usually states it is “others” who are attempting to damage her and that translates to Republicans and select Democratic opposition. With a laundry list of Whitewater, Mount Everest, Travelgate, Vince Foster, and many, many more the pattern is easily discernible – a compulsive liar.
The latest Clinton game plan was directed at Bernie Sanders and it was the SOS (Same Old Story) where Sanders is running a “Smear campaign.” Doesn’t this get old with the fawning masses that support Clinton? The Clinton’s have used this tactic for 30 years.
Eventually, Governor Christie will rise to the top and be the Republican nominee. I guarantee that just as I guaranteed a Red Sox World Series in 2015. What the Democrats eventually do will be a mystery as Bernie Sanders will be McGovern all over again. Hillary may be busy taking the fifth and the rest of the crowd will be nowhere to be found. Jim Webb coming across in the debates like Jackie Gleason’s Lost Soul character cut him loose early and he was my pick.
In Massachusetts, Charlie Baker is attempting to sweep up eight years of dismal leadership and is making some progress. The DCF issue is being addressed, the MBTA battle is taking place, taxes are on hold, and the tip toe through an 85% Democrat legislature is an adventure in nimbleness. But one year does not an administration make. Look for four and out.
Even John, “I’d walk a mile for a camera” Kerry mentioned the fact that some of the 150 Billion dumped into the laps of the mullah’s will end up being funneled to a terrorist. Brilliant, John! How wonderfully insightful. So far the nuclear deal is taking on all the aspects that its critics said would happen. Another Obama legacy.
The Republican front-runner – The Donald – is a belligerent, narcissistic, misogynist blowhard who just may grab the nomination. I cannot imagine a more deceitful male candidate since the female candidate for the Democrats fairly matches up with him. That, folks, may be the best both parties can offer. Even a crypto Communist is starting to look good.


Hal Brown said...

I have no comments on any of this, but do want to share a mea culpa about what I said during the contentious debate about where to zone a medical marijuana dispensary. When the idea was suggested, with considerable support, that the only area where it could be zoned was the out in the boondocks adult entertainment parcel, I bristled at the notion. I noted that if there ever was an adult venue there it would hardly be appropriate for patients to have to mingle in the parking lot with denizens of a porn store or strip club. Well, Oregon has had medical marijuana for a few years, and now has legal recreational marijuana. There are over 100 glitzy well-appointed pot stores in and around Portland. Guess what? Two of them are next door to strip clubs. I hear that strip club customers like having a pot store steps away from the lap dance heavens. Portland also has more strip clubs per capita than any city in the United States.

Weed news in Portland

Portland strip clubs

Richard McNair said...

Hal: A few years ago my daughter and I went to Houston for a Red Sox series. We stayed at a "hotel" near Bush International and our first morning I went for a run. Around the corner was a strip mall that was pure Texas: A gun shop, strip club, pawn shop, liquor store and a storefront ministry.

My position on drugs is rather clear - no restrictions and dispensed as needed under government auspices - either via government and strongly regulated private ownership dispensaries. You do something stupid while under the influence I would have you shipped to a Turkish prison.

The dispensaries are still an unknown in this area, but my concern is the greasy paws of politicians. The licences are money makers for sure and how those are distributed will be amusing.

On a note that will tickle your liberal heart: Bernie is on my radar thanks to his comments on Wall Street. I would love to see some of his ideas on reform implemented especially high-speed electronic trading, short selling, and day trading.

Portland apparently agrees with you and I can understand why. A funny story from my visit was taking the light rail from the airport to downtown. I bought our ticket at a kiosk and got aboard. After several station stops, it was just me and the lovely Cynthia perplexed by this ticket. I asked someone and they say that Portland uses an honor system. Huh? What happens if you don't buy a ticket? My source said: "They ask you to but one." They occasionally check.Amazing! MBTA did that and they'd get $3 a day in revenues. I also found out that 300 blocks downtown were a fare free zone.

Great Portland treat - across the river to the Science Museum. There are many wild Blackberry bushes growing along the pathway to the museum. They actually traverse down towards the river. Quite a treat when they are in season and we enjoyed them.

Hal Brown said...

Good to hear from you... I have yet to use the TriMet system preferring to explore by car. However, lots of people who live here at Willamette View use it frequently. The fares are surprisingly modest.

One of my friends, a daily recreational pot smoker, persuaded me to try it. I did some a little bit for two months because she was always smoking when we were together, but decided it did nothing for me. I stopped cold turkey with no effects. I should have known, being that I rarely even drink, that marijuana wasn't going to be a recreational drug for me. This was after I spent $300 for a vape, the best way to inhale it without the harsh effects of smoking from a joint or pipe. Going to four or five pot stores was fascinating. The employees and customers from ages 21 - 80's are SOOOO friendly, and range from the tattooed and pierced to Portland casual (no buttoned down sorts here). Gone are the days of harvesting marijuana leaves for sale, now only the chemical rich buds are sold. Stores display up to a hundred varieties in large jars. This website describes the characteristics and effects of just about all the varieties of cannibis LEAFLY. Check this out for a map of store around Portland.

There was are interesting articles about how and why marijuana became illegal, and it had nothing to do with any detrimental effects. It is primarily because of one racist agency head, Harry J. Anslinger.

Hal Brown said...

Forgot to add, here's my photo blog: Heckuva.Blogspot, because I've done a Heckuva Job talking pictures.

Hal Brown said...

Correction: I meant marijuana LEAFS (not leaves), the flattened structure of a higher plant, typically green and bladelike, that is attached to a stem directly or via a stalk.

Richard McNair said...

I am highly allergic to smoke. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, virtually everyone was smoking something. I'd go to the men's room at the old Boston Garden and pot was everywhere in the air. To me, it was just more smoke and within ten minutes I'd have a headache and watery eyes. Especially true with parties.

Back in the late 19th and early 20th century an opium den was not unusual even in a small community. I talked to an old-timer who once claimed Middleboro had one.

Drugs have long been associated with minorities. First the Chinese and later Blacks. Similar with gambling, but the reality was it was a universal problem even "back in the day."

I believe you had already posted your photo blog on another thread since I did see the stuff. My camera skills are my cell phone.

Dropped some science fiction books off at the library for their book sale and a thought of Betty always surfaces when I see the library.

Right now the temps are brutal over here and (thankfully) I am off to San Diego area on Monday for a week.

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