November 03, 2010
The End of Silly Season - For Now
Went and voted last night and had the momentary thought of "WooHoo, no more political adds, debates or profiles on the news." Then I realized that there would be at least 3 weeks of "analyzing" why the elections went the way they did (for local, state and national), so my euphoria was short lived. Hopefully after all the analyzing, we will get at least a month's worth of relatively political free airwaves (TV, radio, phone surveys and web content) before the next campaign season starts.
October 09, 2010
Short Reading Assignment
Double Trouble features an essay .
That's the offer America gives its entrepreneurs. And the idiots in Washington wonder why there are no new jobs...
Seriously good read (and fairly short - will take you all of 2 minutes to read).
September 19, 2010
Just minutes ago, I was contacted by someone conducting a political "poll" with questions about someone named Tremblay running for a NH office.
The first question was about affordable health care and her position on making some sort of law in NH that guarantees affordable health care for everyone. Did that make me more much more likely to vote for her, a little more likely to vote for her, or it made no difference / I had no opinion.
I gave a response, not one I was happy with, but the best I could do under the circumstances. Then there was another question, about tax incentives to small businesses for hiring new employees. I was given the same three options for acceptable answers.
I decided I wasn't playing this game and responded. "I can't believe there is no option for a negative response." The gal on the other end said that only the 3 described answers were permissible. To which I responded, "This is a bogus poll since it is designed to elicit only favorable or benign results. there is no way that the candidate can be seen in a bad light in this poll. Since it is a bogus poll, I will not to participate."
I did not wait for a response, I just hung up. Normally, I will take the time to answer pollsters questions, but this time there was no way that I was taking this one. It is pretty bad when the system is set up so the worst result that can come out of the "poll" is that her positions either had no affect on my decision to vote for her - or I didn't know enough about the issue to give a response.
I may go by the moniker of "Bogie", but bogusness is not rewarded by me on election day.
August 15, 2010
Bridge to Nowhere Redux
Just call me the source to breaking news. In this case, I broke the news in June about Hillsboro's Bridge to Nowhere being refurbished as part of the Stimulus spending by our government.. The newsies and political beings just started getting around to it week.
I did learn thru the news that $150,000 was spent (the town did put in the rest of the money) and 190 jobs were created. Really? 190 jobs were created? I never saw more than 8-10 people at the site. And ooh boy, those jobs lasted a whole long time anyway.
Then there is the explanation of the intention of the job on the ARRA website which is to "better accommodate pedestrians and bycicles." (from The Union Leader)
As I noted on my June 20 blog post, "The old bridge was left partially standing (the far side doesn't attach to anything) . . ."
Please note, the bridge still doesn't attach to anything, in fact, a fence at the end of the bridge keeps anyone from falling (or jumping) off, so I'm guessing that pedestrians and bicyclists still won't be finding it real useful.
WMUR quotes Hillsborough's Planning Director:
"It's an historic transportation structure," O'Keefe said. "It fits soundly within the guidelines for transportation enhancement at the federal and state level, and had we lost this bridge, just imagine what we'd be talking about now." (bolding mine - bogie)
Yes, let's imagine for a moment that one of the many, many structurally deficient bridges in NH had been renovated instead. Maybe the Shaker bridge in Enfield, NH wouldn't have been closed. Maybe the money could have gone toward renovation of the heavily travelled Memorial Bridge, between NH and Maine (which recently had a chunk fall into the river). Maybe it could have gone to one of the other, functional stone arch bridges in the state that needs repair.
If that had happened, we would be talking about how at least a useful project was completed instead of what a waste of taxpayer's dollars it is!
June 12, 2010
The Weekend Pundit posts about government looking at killing the mortgage interest deduction on personal taxes. Personally, I don't have a problem with this per se.
We haven't been able to deduct our interest for 20 years. Only the first 2 years did we get deductions, since then we have had absolutely no deductions; nada, zilch, zippo (oh, except that $90 credit we got for installing new doors last year - woohoo, we are on easy street now). We have never, ever, taken into account tax implications when buying something (or at least not positive implications). And if you talk to money experts, I'll bet they tell you that you shouldn't count on the deduction as part of what will pay for your home.
As I recall, way back when, we used to also get to deduct interest on credit cards. When that was taken away, there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing that it would kill the credit card industry. Hmm, seems the credit card industry has done okay (not from us, since we pay off every month).
As far as I am concerned, the tax code should be simplified, streamlined and leaned out - and deductions should be done away with (okay, I can see deductions for the amount of people in the family - but that is it).
However, this does seem to be just a ploy on how to raise taxes without technically raising taxes (after all, they just ended a deduction) - that is what I do have a problem with.
January 17, 2010
Jeff asks if signers of petitions should be kept secret. The argument for secrecy is that anyone who knows the name of those who signed it, would know who voted FOR the the item in question during elections.
Although for the most part, this might be true, there are people that sign petitions becuase they believe that we should have the right to vote on the issue. I have signed a couple of petitions that I didn't agree with, nor did I vote for the warrant article. I don't sign every petition that I don't agree with, but I do sign those that I believe are important enough, and bring up a good point.
How many people have signed petitions that they thought they agreed with, only to find the final ballot question was worded badly (so they couldn't support it) or that they change their minds after digging into the facts (so they no longer support it)?
Just because someone signed a petition, does not mean they absolutely voted for it in the election, so secrecy of ballot has not been negated by revealing petition signers.
January 09, 2010
The Taxman Cometh
Anybody noticed their paycheck is a bit lighter since January 1? While inputting our checks into the checkbook, I noticed that both WS's check and mine were lighter than normal. I pulled out our old check stubs and compared. All the deductions are the same, the Federal Withholding has increased.
I thought the middle class was not supposed to get hit with any tax increases. Sure, it's not much per paycheck but adds up to several hundred dollars for the year (assuming everything stays the same).
Thanks, but we didn't get that much in raises (oh wait, I haven't had a raise in 3 years, but I did have an anti-raise last year - and WS hasn't gotten a raise for a while). I am soon to look forward to a "cost of living" raise. The first one I have ever had in my life. However, it doesn't take effect yet, but when it does, I may bring home what I did in December. But, in the meantime, the taxes must go up. Can't wait for the healthcare taxes to kick in!.
Oh yeah, Happy New Year from the Taxman!
June 20, 2009
An Open Letter to Elected Officials
I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me.
Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:
One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.
Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.
Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.
Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.
Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!
Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.
Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.
Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?
Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.
Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.
Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.
Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some non-politicians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law.
I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.
I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course.
You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance.
Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.
From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us.
We want our voice back.
You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington.
Our president often knows all the right buzzword[s and the latest] is 'unsustainable'. Well, no kidding! How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words.
Stop treating us like we're morons.
We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you—not for long—because we are coming.
We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work, pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you.
You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust.
We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish.
We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.
Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now.
We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back.
We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired.
Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you.
If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are.
If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one.
We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming.
We the people are coming.
Not that I voted for anybody currently in office to begin with (besides the Govenor of NH - look where that got me), but hopefully those that did vote for current office holders are re-thinking some of their choices..
April 23, 2009
I'm a Terror
From Reason Magazine (found thru who remembers where).
April 17, 2009
Motley or Main Stream?
So, the Concord Monitor claims that it was a 'Motley Bunch" at the Concord Tea Party on Wednesday.
By looking at the photos on Amy's site, it seems as if the people were really main stream America.
Alright, so I know that "motley" means a variety of elements, or not homogeneous. However, the common use of motley is more of either the court jester type or raggedy hobo type. Although technically correct wording, it seems to me as if they deliberately used wording that would be misunderstood - especially considering the one picture they decided to publish with it.
Just my two cents worth