Common Core

So, You Want to Work at the Casino


The Sales Tax

What Would Wind Power Mean to Springfield

Unions and Stop and Shop

The Murder of Tracy Bennet

The Obama Health Plan

The Hot Dog Guy

The Marijuana Law

Criticism of Representatives Swan and Rivera

Jack those Taxes

The Machine Gun Shoot

Common Core (8/19/2014)

We now have another expensive educational gimmick, Common Core. As “Mother Jones” says, it is backed by corporate American, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates laments that states do not have standardized curriculum. Of course the companies who write the tests will determine the standards.

In Massachusetts is rated by many as the best state for education, I was educated in Connecticut. Not only are the standards different from state to state, but in different sections of my high school. There is a good reason for this. Some fellow students were going to inherit and run the family farm. They wee taking an agriculture program. Others were taking woodshop, metal shop, business, and college preparatory classes. Is it useful for Bill Gates to label a vocational agriculture student low performing because he cannot do well on a physics exam while Gates fattens up on the products raised by the vocational agriculture student?

We have had some expensive boondoggles:

The “See and Say” method of reading

MCAS to measure how students were failing now that they were prisoners of “See and Say”

In Springfield any method effects about 66% of the student population because the rest are truant. After 3PM on a school day we can see a large number of school aged people in the streets instead of studying. We know which students are underperforming, and in many cases we know why. For those who would blame the schools I say it is impossible for a brick wall to pass or fail in education.

Another group has failed. When I spoke about the curriculum one on member of the School Committee replied,”Who cares about the curriculum”? An astounding answer from a member of the School Committee, but he may be right.

As the article points out, Common Core does not designate a curriculum. It is impossible to do a study of curriculums to address the needs of many localities. So, why do I want to pay for Common Core? Because the curriculum is what matters.

 So, You Want to Work at the Casino(9/6/2012)

The Republicrats ( Democrats and Republicans ) have wrecked the economy so much with their free trade and outsourcing that people are desperate for jobs. Contrary to the propaganda Many want to work and cannot find a job. That is why politicians, unlike the industrialists who build Springfield, offer gambling which produces nothing as a source of employment. But is it.

Let us look at Foxwoods. To many the first thing that is evident is the large numbers of Koreans in one place. In this part of the country we do not really have a “Korean” neighborhood. Someone had to import them into one place. Which raises the question as to how many local people really work at Foxwoods. Connecticuts tribal casinos also had pay cuts and layoffs. Indeed gambling seems to be a poor investment during a depression.

Locally Six Flags imports cheap labor from Eastern Europe. They get the see the USA. They work cheap at Six Flags, and live in a communist style dormitory in the middle of a tobacco field. Americans are not competitive. If you want to compete with them you too will have to live in a dormitory in a tobacco field and work cheap.

I am sure that within the year many people from City, County, and State government will be working lucrative jobs in the casino. What will the rest of us get?

First we may have a school diploma requirement. If you go to a public school you must pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Test (MCAS). It has been portrayed a simple test. The reality is there are questions in advanced highschool math in Algebra and Trigonometry. Should a clerk have to know that?

Then we have the CORI check (criminal records check). Those who know nothing about it think it is barrier toward criminals getting access to money and children. The reality is that the public defender, anxious to make friends at the court house for his own advancement, urges his semi-literate “client” to plead guilty to a reduces charge, whether or not he is guilty. He is told that if he does not he will spend a long time in jail awaiting trial. Many times the witnesses are people have done far worse things than he has, but may even be friends with some cops. Well the cost of plea bargaining just increased. If you do not pass your CORI check you will not work at the casino, which will have more stringent requirements. So for instance, that dumb teenager who entered the girls room at the invitation of his girlfriend and got arrested will not be working at the Casino.

Now we have Talbert Swan concerned about hiring “residents of color.” Many will not pass the requirements. And then they can be flow in from the West Indies or Africa, live here a week, and be residents of color. Under our civil rights laws they become downtrodden minorities when their plane lands. And where will they live? What better place than the apartment buildings the MGM has promised to build in the South End. It will be convenient seeing that they will not be able to afford a bus pass with the lousy pay they will get. There again, Americans could demand to compete with them and live in a small apartment across the street from the Casino also.

Taxes will most likely increase. That will raise the operating costs of existing businesses. I would rather see the people that work in them get a raise. The only benefits would be the temporary construction jobs. And that is why some members of organized labor want it, just like they like prison construction. Had they got the jobs building a concentration camp they would favor that also.

My critics would tell me to read the website of MGM. A website is not a contract.

Springfield would get more low paid workers. They will be on section 8 housing, food stamps, and welfare when the are laid off. Their kids will go to our schools. The good jobs will go to people outside the city, except for a few politicians.

Lawyers (5/24/2011)

Working people have been having their jobs shipped to cheap labor countries for years. The high unemployment and the lack of revenues that the unemployed are not paying are partly responsible for the state’s budget problems. Yet we have seen attorneys who thing nothing of charging their clients $50 an hours and up. Various court fees are also a great financial burden on the working poor. Access to the legal system is not for the poor. Law schools continue to charge astronomical fees, which determine what their graduates will charge people.

Attorneys are more represented than any other occupation in Local, County, State, and Federal government than any other occupation. Legislatures pass the war on drugs, victimless laws, Congress passes laws which allow the exportation of jobs, and excessive immigration which depresses wages. But after they helped to create a recession, they still want to be paid.

The Springfield Republican has not said very much in objection to the movement of jobs to China, Mexico, and other cheap labor countries. It has been very quiet on the issue of anything that might depress wages. But now one of the mostly costly of occupations has hurt by the policies that they themselves supported and we are treated to an editorial.

Each year more laws are passed, more people go on trial, and the rates for attorneys keep going up. In the meantime the taxpayers are not getting a raise and may be losing their job. There are limitations on what they can pay.

The Sales Tax

There was a time when Organized Labor and “progressives” supported an income tax as a means of financing government. The idea was that sales taxes, real estate taxes ( on housing ), and other fees charged the poor disproportionately since a higher percentage of their income would by used to pay those fees.

Now the Unions are against lowering the sales tax. They are allied with vested interests on the subject. How did this happen?

Organized Labor backed politicians who supported NAFTA ( North America Free Trade Agreement) and other free trade agreements that allowed jobs to be exported to Mexico, China, and other cheap labor countries. Like their private sector counterparts, public employee unions also backed the “wrecking crew” of free traders. Now they are virtually by themselves.

As the private sector jobs moved to slave labor countries U.S. workers lost their jobs. That made the public employee’s unions a much larger part of organized labor. They are now the main beneficiaries of the sales tax, and they are perfectly willing to tax the poor, the unemployed, and homeless to get money to pay their salaries. Eugene Debbs must be proud.

I hope the unemployed will not be frightened out of voting for a sales tax reduction.

Will teachers be laid off? We could abolish victimless crime laws, the CORI check ( most of it ) and the Sex offender list ( it has gotten too big to be useful ), without hurting the public.           But that would pit the teachers against the cops, prison guards, lawyers, etc. Their leaders feel their alliance must be preserved at all costs. We need to replace the legislature. It is the poor and unemployed who will pay more of their income to the sales tax.

What Would Wind Power Mean to Springfield

It is simply incredible. Whenever someone finds a way to get us off Arabian Oil dependency opposition movements spring up out of the wood work. There are many problems with the finances of the Cape Wind Farm Project, like every other project in this state. How much does nuclear power cost? We do not know because we cannot project the cost of handling atomic waste over the next several centuries. We also cannot know the cost of constant breathing of hydrocarbons in the future. We do not know what the cost of protecting the oil supplies would be, if they were to not run out.

Now Brimfield is objecting to windmills. They want to use electricity and have the source of the power in someone else’s back yard. I suppose if we ever end up with rolling brownouts, as happened in California, they will be complaining about not having enough electricity

First the aristocrats complained about their view being spoiled. That did not get much sympathy. Then the Wampanoags decided it interfered with their sacred land. How much sacred land per person are they demanding? Even supposed reform organizations have spoken against the project. Most of them are dependent on donations from the well to do. Even some people who are against the proposed wood burning plant are against the windmill project. The money is talking from many different directions. They will keep the cities breathing in the fumes of fossil generated power while they themselves continue to use electricity generated by petroleum and nuclear power.

European expansion here is riddled with cases of native chiefs selling tribal land as though it was their own. Once again the nations aristocracy has shown that in general, the health and well being of the average American is not one of their priorities.  

Other windmill projects have also run into opposition. A windmill project on a mountain top, which is reversible, comes under greater scrutiny that lopping to top of the mountain off for a gravel pit.

I am all for conservation , but the same lobby that wants us to use less electricity is also for unlimited immigration. Are those immigrants going to use electricity? Of course, that is one reason why they came here. We also have other things that have a place in the mix, solar power and hydro-electric power. Although no study had been done as to what would happen if extensive sun light were to be used for electricity. None of them may work all of the time, but every unit of electricity the produce is less oil burned. It is not kind of dumb to pollute the air with oil when you can use something like the wind and water which is already running?

No one is attempting to straighten out the financing of the project. There is something missing, a scientific comparison of the pollution an energy use of a nuclear power plant, a fossil plant, and a windmill. We have a few good cases. Great Britain, Denmark, Greece, and the Netherlands have successfully used windmills. In short, some of the losers of World War II can make a windmill work and we cannot?

Quite clearly very few people would work to get us off Arabian oil. We need to carefully scrutinize which reform movements we support, and change the legislature. In the case of the legislature it would be hard to make it worse.

Unions and Stop and Shop

Without Unions the American worker would have almost nothing to show for a hard weeks work. And the work week would be at least 80 hours a week. In the past poll taxes ensured that only the wealthy would vote. Today the American worker is being accused of being “non-competitive.” Many of the accusers are themselves ignorant members of working class background, some of whose families have contributed for generations to the military effort to prop up foreign governments which prevented their people from forming unions.

The Union Leadership itself never discouraged the average American from risking his life for peanuts to prop up anti-labor third world dictators. The leadership of organized labor then subserviently backed politicians who supported “Free Trade” such as the North America Free Trade Agreement. Kennedy, the darling of the organized labor voted for it, and continued to enjoy the support of organized labor. The result is that now only about 12% of American labor is unionized because of massive layoffs due to the exportation of jobs from the United States.

Organized Labor, like government, suffers from a simple lack of intellect among its leadership, sometimes corruption. It was less than intelligent to not appose NAFTA from the begging. It was less than intelligent to not try to organize the workers in other countries. It was less than intelligent to not oppose anti-labor dictators in other countries. Now the lack of intelligence among the leadership is costing us.

Now locally the Union at Stop and Shop might strike. I would like to see those people get a raise. I find it repugnant to cross a picket line. We also have no small number of ignorant people who are engaged in a life long obsession with a crusade against working America. But what will happen if the only store facing a strike for wages is Stop and Shop while its competitors remain unmolested?

What will people who do not wish to cross the picket line do? Many will shop at Walmart, where the conditions are even worse. To my knowledge there is no effort to unionized Walmart. They pay their workers a pittance. They hire illegal aliens to drive down wages. And they force their suppliers to move their production to cheap labor countries. They can do that thanks to laws passed by politicians who continue to enjoy the support of organized labor.

The Murder of Tracy Bennet

Two people have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of

Tracy Bennet. I will believe that when they die in prison. Wiggins was actually wearing an ankle bracelet for other crimes when Tracy Bennet was shot. The people who we pay for watching over criminals have done a much better job of watching over their own paychecks.

But now we get to another issue. The mother of one of the defendants should have known that he was involved in illegal activities. She is a Haitian and her lawyer is crying that she does not understand English. When you are in a foreign country, and you cannot speak the language, there is all the more reason for squeaky clean behavior. The undesirables who were born here we are stuck with, but the ones who were not should be deported quickly.

Our local legislators are silent on the issue as to who was in charge of Wiggins while he had that bracelet. Had a patronage job in the probation or parol departments been touched they would have been howling like wounded hounds. Neither is there a clamor to get rid of the undesirables involved who are not US Citizens.

The Obama Health Plan

Some people are waging a crusade, not against the exportation of jobs from the USA, not against crime, not against unconstitutional wars, but against any plan that would get health insurance for those who do not have it. People who have been goose stepping the Bush family, unconstitutional wars, and every limitation on personal freedom imaginable are telling us that universal health insurance ( and also the pittance of a minimum wage ) is Communism. They would bring us back to the society portrayed by the author Charles Dickens.

They talk about our wonderful free choice over our health care. Did they just come out of a mental asylum? You do not choose your doctor, you insurance company chooses you doctor. You get whatever treatment they will pay for.

Death panels? Have they been in a drunken stupor for 30 years? Those of us who have not have read of stories of people dying because their for profit insurance company refused to pay for the treatment. The death panels have been convened by the insurance companies decades ago.

The harsh reality is that those fanatics who are against any health plan that would cover all Americans have been against just about anything else that would help the average worker. While they profess freedom ( for the rich of course ) they are bought people. While they wail over the cost of a health plan, the sit by silently at other forms of wasteful spending.

It is time we called them what they are, ignorant bought people who will go down in history with those who said the economy would collapse with the abolition of slavery, the end of child labor, and the 40 hour work week.

The Hot Dog Guy

After 15 years Mayor Sarno has decided to try to close a hot dog street vendor. The list of complainers according to the media was a restaurant owner who is a cousin of Mayor Sarno, and the police.

One point is that a restaurant pays thousands of dollars to operate. How much money should a restaurant have to pay to operate?

Why should the vendor be the only guy in Springfield who cannot park in that spot?

Why are the police complaining? Their job is to protect people’s rights, not to decide what rights we shall have. Personally I think it is a good idea for people who have been drinking to eat some food before they drive. I am not a detective, but I think no crime was ever committed in that area with a hot dog.

Now the City Council is offering to help. The place ran find for 15 years without their help. I am sure the solution will be to make everyone pay more for eating a hot dog.

The Marijuana Law

Police Commissioner Fitchet was correct in having ordinances enforced. But we do not need a marijuana ordinance the state law passed by the voters is enough. Noise which his department has been unable to control bothers people more than marijuana smoking does.

For those who are in law enforcement and do not know how to write a citation after years on the job and have been promoted to higher rank, you should get another job, one hopefully that does not “confuse” you.

Criticism of Representatives Swan and Rivera

Whine as you may, they are in there for 2 more years. Some of the very people who were telling us to vote form them on November 4, have been (1/12/2009) lambasting them several weeks later for looking after the patronage interests.

Of course those who did an about face will continue to feel qualified to advise the rest of us.

Jack those Taxes

The City Council, which keeps getting re-elected voted to raise our taxes. They could demand more from the state. For instance, they could demand more state police. While our legislative delegation runs off statutes like sausage, the city must pay to enforce these laws. They city council and the legislative delegation also supported laws which have caused the exportation of jobs outside of the United States.

So, besides getting laid off and no raise, many got a tax increase. We will get it again also. The valuations went down. When they go back up, we will pay more taxes even though the tax rate remains the same.

The Machine Gun Shoot

A 7 year old boy accidentally shot himself at an Uzi machine gun shoot at the Westfield gun club.

Knee-Jerk Representative Costello is lamenting that gun clubs are not regulated as much as he thinks they should be. As a member of the legislature he is responsible for ensuring the safety of us all. Since Costello has taken the stage over the incident we have had several murders in Springfield alone One would think that if Costello is so concerned about human life he would be examining murders which happen several times a week, rather than the only Uzi accident to happen in 390 years.

John Stossel explains in his book that the leading cause of death is poverty. Costellos response, along with his Republicrat colleagues, is to support laws that export jobs from the United States, thus increasing the poverty.

Not to be outdone District Attorney Bennet has indicted everyone but the father of the boy who wanted a clear video of his son shooting the machine gun, really more like a machine pistol.

It is somewhat of an empbarassment for the anti-gun crowed, which says that only the police should have guns, because the company that runs the shoot is run by a chief of police. That, added to the statistics that most hunting accidents occurred among hunting parties which consisted of law enforcement people adds to the unmentioned embarrassment.