Monday, November 30, 2009

DNA testing backlog...Sex offender monitoring..Beacon Hill Roll Call

Some obscene numbers about DNA testing at our State Police Crime lab, were released in the Globe a few days ago. All but 500 samples, in a collection of 16,000 samples in cold storage have been tested. The back log of over 15,000 samples will not be a priority to get tested, unless specifically asked for by prosecutors. Now keep in mind.. these are old samples from years ago. And also note, that some of these very same samples would, could and have, exonerated people, helped close cases of decades ago and was the deciding factor in many horrific crimes.

Now.. the lab which has about 3000 crime scene DNA samples and about 3500 samples from felons that need to be entered into the federal Combined DNA Index System, (CODIS)The lab in Maynard can complete 80 to 110 such analysis each month.

We got from Obama, 1.2 million from the 151 million earmarked DNA Backlog Reduction Act and most of that went to the Crime Lab in Maynard.

This is just plain foolishness. We have the technology, technicians, and money to improve our forensic data bases and just think how many cases could be solved, one way or the other, if just half of the 15,000 samples were tested. There needs to be a better plan of action from undersecretary of forensic science and technology John Grossman, other than to say, "we are exercising triage, when requests come in, we analyze, otherwise most of the 16,000 samples will remain in cold storage". This is the very same group, that had three lab employee's, including the administrator and director fired, just two years ago.

And while we are reminded daily of missing women and children, horrific crimes are being committed by released sex offenders. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are 716,000 registered sex offenders in the country and thousands here in Mass. The only effective tool in monitoring their whereabouts, when on parole or probation, comes in the form of a GPS monitoring bracelet. This program alone will cost hundreds of millions in the future and still will not give the assurances we all need to let our children play outside or ride a bike to school. The only way to stop these very sick individuals, is to keep them under close supervision, in Federal facilities, or on an island, either with no internet access. Evoke civil forfeiture on their assets when busted and the only time they are out of the pen, is when they are at work. At some point very soon, no town or city will allow them to live anywhere near society.

So before Beacon Hill approved an extra day off for themselves, Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, they voted on snubbing Deval's vetoes in approving 4.1 million to the probation department, 139 to 14, Senate 29 to 5. 300,000 for community corrections, 145 to 10, senate 30 to 4. And 950,000 for the Trial Court.

What Beacon Hill and Deval could do was sign into law, extending simulcasting of out of state dog racing at dog tracks here, come Jan 1. Retaining affordable housing and allowing mixed martial arts competition. < this one is just unbelievable.

Death at a Sobriety Check

We learn from the Gobe, at a sobriety check in North Andover on Thanksgiving Day, a passenger in a car, died in police custody. The medical examiner will hopefully determine the cause of death in the coming days. According to the paper, police observed a passenger, making furtive movements. This caused the trooper to ask the passenger to exit the vehicle, where Mr. Howe jumped out of the window, hit the trooper and fled. After a short foot chase, Mr. Howe was charged with assault of a police officer. A fellow passenger told police, Mr. Howe had just lit a joint and was trying to extinguish it. No one else was ticketed.

Having been stopped more times than I can remember in my life, for no more than just having long hair or my license plate (NORML) on my MGB, I had to look up the word "furtive" as the reason the trooper asked a passenger to exit the vehicle, in a check point where impaired drivers behind the wheel are the main focus. Webster defines the word furtive as –adjective
1.taken, done, used, etc., surreptitiously or by stealth; secret: a furtive glance.
2. sly; shifty: a furtive manner.

Now that we know this, if ever in one of these situations, as a passenger, just play dead or asleep, as just looking like you are sly or shifty, could be a death sentence. Let's hope the family of Mr. Howe gets the truth behind his untimely death and if law enforcement went to far, they are held accountable. I also hope that an investigation is launched into who exactly are the cops after in sobriety checks, impaired passengers or impaired drivers.

2010 Ballot Questions..almost

Next year, thanks to the efforts of Carla Howell, a proposal for cutting the sales tax from 6.25% to 3% may be challenged by the Mass Teachers Union. Another will lift the ban on charter schools, also apposed by the Teachers Union. One question will ask if we should end the states primary affordable housing law, 40b, while another would set limits on the amount of carbon dioxide that could be generated by renewable energy and alternative energy sources.

Secretary Galvin turns over the signatures to the Legislature, which can adopt the measures without going on the ballot. If they don't approve, the petitioners must go back and collect another 10,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot, by May.

With the State in seriuos financial trouble and the one party ruling eleite who refuses to deal with it's own careless spending, the anti tax folks will at least provide an outlet for angry voters to weigh in on. My fear is that, like many other ballot initiatives that have been overwhelmingly supported by the masses, only to see Beacon Hill ignore the will of the voter, will not force Beacon Hill to do the right thing.

Millions have been spent on both sides to bring forward or defeat ballot initiatives and while we are lucky to live in a state that allows us to participate in the decision making process, it lacks the teeth it once had. We all will witness the tons of money thrown at defeating such measures from unions, who are so entrenched in their own protectionism, educating our children takes a back seat to their own financial success.

Choices in Framingham next April

I trust our readers got through another Thanksgiving Holiday with as much enthusiasm as one can muster in these hard times. We spent time with our grandchildren and watched our kids deal with extended families, out-laws and in-laws which gives me hope that traditional values will live past my years.

Next April here in Town, we will again be voting in local elections. Up for grabs next year are two selectman seats, Sisitsky and Esty, three school committee seats, Blummer, Finlay, Phelan. Two seats on the planning board, Bernstein and Carr-Evans, along with three seats at the Keefe Tech school committee, Kahn, Cooper and Fobes. Town moderator is also up for election, Noonan.

One needs to see Val Mulvey at the Clerks office to get nomination papers and get at least 50 signatures of voters in Town before Jan 26th to be on the ballot. I'm more than willing to help anyone interested in running for selectman.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tonight at the Board of Health Meeting

Eastleigh Farm, Doug Stephan wants to sell raw milk at his farm. More than 20 states outlaw the sale of raw milk. While Massachusetts allows raw milk to be sold at farms under regulations that are tougher than pasteurized milk standards, some communities, like Acton, choose to ban the product outright.

While raw milk advocates say it can help everything from asthma to arthritis to tuberculosis, "the other school says raw milk has the potential to spread some very nasty diseases, and that it would be very difficult to screen those diseases," said Framingham Board of Health Chairman Mike Hugo.

Hugo says he is going into Tuesday's meeting, "with a completely open mind."

The Board of Health could do nothing and let the state regulations apply, implement town specific regulations or ban the sale of raw milk outright.

As a child, the only milk we had was that of the dairy up the street from us and I drank raw milk till I was 10 or 11. My farther of coarse opened the bottles first, for his coffee creamer and as far as I rember, none of us kids, were ever sickened by the milk.

Lets see if Mr Huge O and company rely on scientific fact and not personal mis informed biases to determine the outcome for Mr. Stephan.

Food for thought and as a cure

I just dropped off a carriage load of food supplies Steph and I bought at BJ's over the weekend to the Salvation Army. I've not seen the shelves so bare in the 17 years I've donated food there. The line for requests was out the door. It pisses me off to no end to see this.. year after year. If I were the President of this great land, I would declare war on hunger and go to any lengths to see it was eradicated. The Salvation Army would be equipped with all the necessary troops, supplies and support they would need to win that war, as it is still the only world wide organization the spends almost all of it's donated funds to solving this problem of hunger.

And while for some, any food is better than none at all, in the WSJ today, a full length article explains what many have said for years about our diets and the ability of ones body to fight off disease. The Flue Fighters in our diet are, whole foods rich in vitamin A, spinach, carrots, pumpkin and other yellow fruits and veggies. Zinc found in oysters, king crab, nuts and whole grains.Vitamin C, found in red peppers, broccoli, oranges and other citrus fruits. Vitamin B-6 found in potatoes, bananas and garbanzo beans. Diets with high saturated fats appear the actually depress the bodies immune system. The article goes on the say that supplements do little if anything as the body cannot absorb the nutrients as well as in whole foods. The scientific debate continues and has had it's own contradictory advise and has been changing from year to year which leads to more confusion. The bottom line cure to many of our health problems is more about common sense eating and family dinners, much like we did as kids, before McDonalds, Burger King and Papa Ginos were on every corner. It's all about what we put into our bodies.

Baker picks Sen Tisei, Mihos and Cahill still looking

So for all our R's who read this, as you know, GOP C Baker has picked Senator Tisei as his running mate for next year. One of the 5 R's at the State house now in the senate who has consistently tried to rein in the fiscal irresponsibility of the ruling D's. Another insider, the now openly gay senator voted against same sex marriage years ago and will not likely be supported by the gay and lesbian community... they're stuck on Deval.

One might have thought a women would have been selected, as I think Rep Polito or Rep Callahan has it over most male R's and if Miho's and Cahill have any sense at all, they will look to find a well respected outsider to fill the post of Lt Governor. It's a foregone conclusion that the R's will loose in numbers next year and what we need most is more neutrality, independence and non party partisanship to create a balanced legislature.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Roll Calls and parking in Framingham

So before the ruling elected elite went home for 6 weeks as the Sate languishes in more than the usual turmoil, the folks who are entrusted to represent us have done the following: vetoed Devals veto of 18.8 million from the Legislatures slush fund, which already has 53 million in it, by 125 to 31 in the House and 31 to 6 in the Senate. They rejected an attempt to charge prisoners who can afford it, 5 dollars a day to help pay for their incarceration, 41 to 111. (I wonder if that money would just line someone's pockets)

The D's, through their usual delay tactics, essentially killed three attempts by the R's to, reduce the sales tax form 6.5% to 5%, eliminate the 6.25 alcohol tax and implement a 1% across the board pay cut for State workers. The D's make many bills just go away by asking to have them "studied" which can take forever and makes it easier for the legislature to avoid voting up or down for tax cuts.

It may be up to a ballot question being won, to get the Beacon Hillers to do something about cutting the tax rate.

There will be a public meeting about the new proposed parking rules in Town on
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 7:00PM, Ablondi Room, Town Hall. I got my first two parking tickets in 15 years last year in front of our home.... you can imagine how irate I was after parking in the same spot for all those years and only then did I find out about the parking ban.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What if in Afghanistan..

From the New York Times, one troop, posted for one year, costs the tax payer 1 MILLION. There are 68,000 troops there now, brass is looking for an additional 40,000, doing the math, that's 108 BILLION dollars. There are an estimated fewer than 100 Al Qaeda, (those responsible for 9.11) fighters in Afghanistan, with others being in Samolia, Pakasatn, Yeman and dozens of other countries. And it was the mission to find those responsible for the attacks, bring them to justice and go home.

We are propping up another war lord type dictator, posing as someone who embraces democracy, in an entirely corrupt government. The natives hate us and think we should go home, farmers hate us, because we are destroying some poppy fields and over 5 thousand Americans have died so far.

What if... paid all the poppy farmers and pot growers the same price per pound they get now... which is short money. We bring home the raw product, provide enough medicine for every opiate addict in the country, put drug dealers out of business, almost immediately, which would reduce gang violence, murder rate and incarceration rates. The farmers would love us, Al Qaeda would have to get their drugs from another country, the working people could take control of the corruption and we could go about completing our mission... if it is indeed, to get Binladen and go home. Their President Brazeer, said today, his country would be corruption free and able to stand on their own in 4 years. How many more Americans will be lost in our attempt at country rebuilding? Just one more is way to many.

Call me crazy, but it would be cheaper to pay the farmers, rather than to occupy their country.

How many more Americans will be lost in our attempt at country rebuilding? Just one more is way to many.

Lots of money for campaigns here in Mass, encouraging news on unemployment

I wonder how many of the unemployed gave to these candidates?

Capuano raised 343,000, AG Coakley raised another 800,000, Pagliuca 350,000, Khazei did not have the figures, Brown 169,000, Brown did not respond to the Globe request.

The tiny little Mass company who got 6 million in funding from the latest appropriations bill hired a former chief of staff to Marty Meehan as their lobbyist. This tiny comapny who employees 25 people, with no product and no orders from the Navy, is "creating or saving jobs" according to Congresswomen Niki Tsongas's.

The top ten defense contarctors in 2008 gave an average of 2.7 Million each to federal canidates. In return for their invetsmanet, contractors received 88 million in tax payer funded ear marks. The largest single earmark in 2008 was for 588 million dollars for production of naval submarines which was rejected by the Navy itself.

120 House and Senate members have co signed a bill, The Fair Elections Now Act, which would replace wealth dodnors with small broad based donations and matching funds. Candidates would be required to collect 1,500 checks of 100.00 or less.

I'd love to see this happen in my lifetime.

I hear we are down to 8.7 percent, from 9.8.... unemployed here in Mass. Good to know we are crawling back, but still is bad news for to many.

Done for the year, Deval is left holding the bag... once again

Deval could not convince the House to stay open long enough to get something going on with education and criminal justice. They left, under their rules, which COULD have been changed as they have been in the past, not giving Deval what he's asked for in budget cuts. He wanted emergency power to cut wherever he had to, to make the budget balanced. On the table are cuts in probation, eliminating the Quinn Bill all together, and the BIG ONE, a nice chunk (18 MILLION)out of the Legislature slush fund.

Now I get it... it's their money now... not ours

At a local level, this will impact us, but for the highly paid elected eleite, by not dealing with the budget shortfall, it means Deval will have to shave off 225 million where he is allowed to, which may biol down to health and human service. Other things left up in the air, charter school grant money, 250 million up for grabs, camera's at major intersections, etc. DeLeo and Murray said in a letter to Deval, they would cut the COMBINED salary of House, by 5.5 MILLION.

I can see the marches on the State House now.... and the kicker will be that some of the reps and senators will be there to, claiming how Deval should not cut the funding.

What absolute slugs they are, in this time of uncertainty. The two elected ruling elitists controlling our House only seem to be concerned with making Deval, irrelevant. How does it feel? asked Dylan, like a complete unknown, the crowd hollers back.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mass Illegal Imigrants, Sex Offenders and Senator Galluccio

So now we learn that a state sponsored report calls for illegal immigrants to apply for college financial aid, in state tuition and drivers licenses. The report dubbed, The New American Agenda, is brought to you by an immigrant advocacy group, an executive branch advisory council and a state agency. Among the 131 recommendations, take care of the backlog of English classes for 16K students, public funding and tax breaks for those here illegally to gain legal status, using stimulus money for immigrant entrepreneurs, discouraging police department from joining immigration agreement. Some of the proposals can be enacted by Deval while others must pass the legislature. Rep Fernandes from Milford has come out against the license proposals by saying it would validate a failed immigration policy and attract more arrivals whose communities won't be able to assimilate, adding the burden on schools, cops and the courts.

I couldn't agree more and wonder how Deval and reps like Richardson and Sannicandro will win voter support for such a plan that pisses off most residents in Massachusetts.

The Mass Housing and Shelter Alliance has the legislature to ban sex offenders from homeless shelters. The Globe did a review of the 162 level 3 sex offenders, who list their address in Boston on the states on line registry, found that 74% were listed as living at a homeless shelter. While I do agree that the states shelters are over burdened and maxed out, it won't be to long before we hear of an attack from one who has already been convicted in any one of the various churches or places that take in kids, women and families. I do also agree with those who say, taking away the shelters from those sex offenders most likely will lead to more trouble, for they will become even more desperate to find some shelter.

The legislature has taken to long to deal with this menace in society and has put the commonwealth in more danger by not dealing with the bigger picture of how to effectively deal with convicted level 3 sex offenders who prey on our kids, mothers, women and the elderly.

We learn that the senator from Cambridge who was involved with the hit and run accident in Cambridge last month, was given a ride home by the Cambridge police 13 hours before the hit and run accident, for which he has not admitted to drunk driving, only to say, he was panicked when he left the scene. The Globe's lead editorial ask the repeat offender to either check into treatment or resign.

I couldn't agree more and while the elections are next year, the continual, non stop flagrant violations of trust and illegal activity, by the ruling eleite, will make the case to replace most of them with law abiding, honest people who don't need a ride from the local police department to get home.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

President Carter, breast cancer and the hungry

In an interview yesterday former President Jimmy Carter admitted that his advisers pressed him to attack Iran to free the Amercian hostages, some 30 years ago now. Carter has said, he didn't want to kill 20,000 Iranians. He also admits that if he had successfully rescued the hostages, he would have been re elected. I couldn't agree more.

While the health care debate rages in the Senate and lines in the sand drawn out over ideological differences, (from the WSJ) a government sponsored review from the new US Preventive Services Task Force state that routine mammograms aren't necessary fro women in their 40's and that women between 50 and 74 years old don't need to undergo mammograms more often than every other year. The new guidelines were formed by weighing the benefits of screening compared with the harm of false positives, such as anxiety and unnecessary additional tests and biopsies. The recommendations are only for women who have no family history of breast cancer and who don't have genetic mutations know to be associated with breast cancer, BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Many groups have come out against the new recommendations and Medicare and Medicaid will continue to screen as usual, but this report MAY have some influence on private and public insurance companies on how they pay for the routine test. 3.3 Billion dollars was spent on Mammograms in the past 12 months.

The cupboards are bare at various food panties around our area. The US Department of Agriculture who tracks food security levels states that 14.6%, or about 49 million people, including 17 million kids, don't have enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. The need is greater than last year here in Mass and I know first hand how hard it's been for our neighbors to keep food on the table. If you can share any donation to a food bank around your area, please do so. And if you have the need to put food on the table, please contact: The Salvation Army, 35 Concord Street, downtown Framingham or St Bridget's Church at 15 Wheeler Street, 875 5959.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Taking Zetia, Vytorin, Aranesp and others?

While recognizing that the pharmaceutical industry in this State and country employ thousands and around the world hundreds of thousands of people, more and more we read about the effectiveness, cost and benefits of drugs made to offer relief to a basically lazy and unhealthy society. We all want instant relief for our illnesses that have emerged primarily because of our eating and drinking habits. The risk assessed in using drugs that are alleged to help us are determined by clinical trials. These trials are often not long enough and as we now know, fraught with doctors who write fictitious outcomes about the risk, are influenced by huge unethical kick backs from drug makers and even lie about the effectivness.

From the Globe we read today about three very popular drugs that many are taking, on advise from their physicians. And while they (Senate) continue to fight over health care reform and how to pay for it, the big question of the day is why are we paying for drugs that are not doing anything more than the placebo effect and even causing more health problems in patients who are told to take them.

Aranesp and drugs like it, prescribed for type 2 diabetes, for decades, has just gone through a 4,000 patient clinical trial in 24 countries and the result published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the drug is no better than a placebo. Amgen the manufacture of Aranesp, took in 5 billion from Medicare between 2003 and 2008 for this drug.

And while many readers may not know all the details about clinical studies done on the drugs they take now, it's painfully clear that many companies have not tested thoroughly their drugs over the long haul. Zeita and Vytorin, very popular cholesterol lowering drugs have been shown to in Zetia's case, not shrink buildups in artery walls and even increases heart attacks.

Some 20% of our economy goes to medical treatments and one has to wonder, would we be better off at 5%. Take time to investigate what the experts say will help you live a better life, it may surprise you what you find out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Medicare Fraud, Immigration reform, Pelosi and Coakley

Readers of this blog have noticed recent piece on Medicare fraud and how much Obama is counting on curbing these abuses to pay for health care reform. And as luck would have it, in the globe, signs of this problem being ignored as far back as 2006 is coming to light. In essence the piece is summed up by, " the crooks are always one step ahead of the bureaucrats trying to keep up after them". Entire criminal syndicates, thieves and scammers have contributed to our failing health care system.

Deavl wants to cut 117 Million from Medicaid. The area's in which are being floated are: adults would no longer get dentures or other oral care, but would get cleanings, x rays and emergency services. Would stop the payment for patients requiring home care workers who need in home care under 15 hours a week. Co payments will double, 1 dollar more for generic medications, co payments for brands named drugs would be 3 to 5 dollars for people making over 15k a year. They also want mental patients to get prior approval for bran named psychiatric drugs from Mass Health. Lastly, the cuts would also stop funding nursing home pre screening.

I wonder how much fraud there is in Mass and wonder even more, why that is not identified as a cost saving measure instead of just cutting into these well needed programs. Look for plenty of heated hearings on this proposal next week on the Hill.

I would like to see a reward system for anyone who drops a dime on medical fraud. Say, 1% of the total amount of fraud found, meaning if someone turned in a person who collected funds from Medicare who was not entitled, get's 1% of that total amount. If someone turned in a company who gamed the system for hundreds of thousands or even millions, the reward would be substantial, and the savings to the government would be 99%. Increase the fines and evoke civil forfeiture for those companies who scam the government.

Obama wants immigration overhaul, as we all do. This will be like health care with many lining up on the side lines, big business will fight against it with their money, unions will be all for it and once again, it will boil down to two parties who have no sense of working together for the common good. While his plan will most certainly make those who wish to not allow anyone here that's not white, blond and blue eyed, it does make significant changes. Under his plan, illegal immigrants who want legs status would have to register, pay fines and all taxes owed, pass criminal back round checks and learn English. Seems like a good place to start and I would hope it would help stop the hatred that some have towards those who would like to come here and be productive members of our society. Let's see if the twins pick up on this and perhaps, tone down the rhetoric.

In a stunner, Pelosi backs Capuano. I would have never guessed that and must wonder what Coakley has to think about such a move. This is going to further the split between the Dems. Capuano is the ultimate in what makes the senate so bad... and can be count on to vote lock step with it's leaders. Coakley has already admitted to leaving off of her financials 1/2 a million in assets and is now challenging Capuano's stand on the question of whether fed money will go towards abortion in the public option. Flip flopping is the charge.... no way. Like Pagluia and Kazei are not flip flopping over the same issue. If it's an insider dems want, Capuano is the man, if it's the ultra rich who have made millions in outsourcing Amercian jobs, than Pagluia is the man, if it's gender, then Coakley if the women for the job and if it's the lone ranger, battling the evils of lobbyists and special interests, than Kazei is the man. Those of you who vote in that party, do some soul searching before voting in the primary, as I can't see any of the Republicans do much in the way to make positive changes in the future and whom ever comes out of the dem primary will most likely be sent to Washington. Sad but true.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home Heating Help

Anyone who is in tough shape now should look to see if they qualify for a federally funded program called LIHEAP. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Their number is 1 800 632 8175 or go to or

This Veterans Day.

Is unlike any other that I can think of. The Ft Hood massacre will go down in history as one of the most horrific crimes committed on a military base in this country.After watching the gut wrenching "final roll call" and the Presidents eulogy for those who lost their lives, I was reminded of what many feel is their duty to serve this country in a all volunteer army. Is it the bad economy or patriotism?

And while the President decides whether to ship off as many as 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Beacon Hill has passed and awaits Deval's signature, a bill that expands benefits to veterans. Expanded Welcome Home Bonus, substituting relevant experience for state certification requirements, preferences for disabled veterans who own businesses. The bill also makes it easier for vets to cast absentee ballots and the building of group homes for vets. Soldiers will also go through neuropsychological testing before and after tours of duty. The bill also establishes a "Massachusetts medal of Liberty" to be awarded to those families who have lost a soldier killed in action.

All well and good and about time. But there are seriuos deficits on how we treat our vets and while one in three homeless people are vets, so many others have never gotten the respect or help they were once promised by both State and Federal governments. I wonder how many young people realize that before going off to war. Last month, the recruiters announced that they have, for the first time in 37 years, met their recruitment objectives with volunteers, most of which graduated from high school.

There are 2 million vets here in Mass who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan with many more to become veterans. Over 4,000 have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and the number grows daily. 58,000 lost their lives in the Vietnam conflict with still unanswered questions about the POW MIA's from that era. A young soldier from Plymouth and another unidentified soldier with him trying to recovery supplies dropped in a river, who was MIA and feared to be held hostage by the Taliban was recovered yesterday. This follows the deadlist day since the war started 8 years ago, where two Massachusetts solidiers were killed in helicopter accidents.

All the brave men and women who have volunteered to sacrifice their lives on our behalf should never be forgotten or forsaken. Those who read this blog who went to war, have my heart felt respect and admiration, for it is not all Americans who can face up to dying for their country.

And as our commander and chief mulls over sending more troops to Afghanistan, Senator Kerry has sounded the alarm as he did many years ago, in front of the very same committee he's on now, drawing similarities to the Vietnam conflict. And while some say it's not the same as Vietnam, the fact that our mission is not clear to anyone is wrong. Kerry is quoted as saying" The main lesson that Obama must absorb from Vietnam is the necessity to explain our goals in Afghanistan, and to choose clear and realistic strategies to meet them".

I agree with the Senator.... again.

Straight facts on Stimulus spending here in Mass

The Globe today, after reviewing government documents on exactly how many jobs were saved or created as of the end of October, were wildly exaggerated. Groups that received a total of 4 billion stimulus dollars, miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures or claimed jobs for work that has not started yet. The company from Seattle who's job it is to track the stimulus funds says that some recipients did not report at all and some reported wrong or missing data.

While we are in line to get another 1 BILLION dollars more in stimlus funding for granbts, loans and contracts, I have to wonder, what in the world is happening here. We knew the money was coming, we knew there would be rules to follow and yet, all that money has not produced much of any results in job creation.

In related bad news, the jobs outlook for Mass looks gloomy for 2010, with an estimated 10% unemployment rate. According to the nonprofit think tank, New England Economic Partnership, another 60,000 jobs will be shed the third quarter of 2010... just in time for the elections.

The well touted Plymouth Rock Studios 550 million dollar plan for Plymouth has lost it's finical backer. This project is not dead yet... but may have to scale down to get financing.

Green job growth is still lagging with less than 1% in jobs for Mass and New England. Currently there are 27,000 jobs in Mass related to alternative energy.

On a brighter note, look for growth in big pharma buying up or partnering with smaller bio research companies here in Mass.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The House passes Health Care...... by a thread

So by now all of us have heard the news.. the House narrowly approved a watered down version of the Health Care. Who knows how many versions there really are. While not looking to create debate over what is good or bad for us.. as consuming Americans, I'd like to share some facts about the money being spent.

The current number of lobbyists in Washington stands around 13,000. From CNN we learn about a report from on average, over the past 20 years, members of the house were given 473,000 by those who are for Health Care reform and 502,000 from those against it. Now the Senate where all the different ideas are supposed to boil down to one, before Jan 1, are getting on average even more, no matter the party. Yesterday on public news, it was announced that the lobbying costs are at a million dollars a day.

And consider that Obama, over the next ten years, wants to help pay for Health Care by squeezing out 500 BILLION in Medicare fraud, I wonder how many people is this country are left. Everybody in their brother, including criminals, gangs, cheats, medical suppliers, Health Care companies, drug companies, insurance companies, medical equipment manufactures, etc etc etc are against health care reform. There is so much at stake... and it's all about greed.

It's all to obscene and under our noses. Look for few to be really happy with whatever plan they come up with. And if Health Care is passed, look for other important projects, like jobs and the environment to take center stage.

Deval raised who's salary?, a tax on goods and services

Under open records law, it was revealed in the Globe, that Deval has more than doubled the amount on six-figure jobs, in two of the major transportation agencies, since 2006. Transportation secretaries have been paid 25% more than the prior administration. New appointees have been layered over old ones with the displaced employees given new titles. The new head, Jeffery Mullen has pledged to look at every position in the new DOT. Look for this employee, a retiree, who served on Devals inaugural committee, Albert Shaw was given a job of "Director of intergovernmental affairs" a cool 115,000 a year to be axed very soon, if Mullen is seriuos about stopping the abuse.

Something I didn't know about how the state handles it's payroll for Mass Highway. 80% of the Mass Highway employees are paid out of this states capital budget and funded through bonds. Even Aloisi called this practice wasteful and duplicitous practice designed to hide the real cost the labor force while shortchanging the road and bridge programs.

So the Beacon Hill crowd who are looking for any way to raise revenue have talked about applying the same 6.25% sales tax to goods and services. This has been tried before from 1990 to 91.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Indians, a drug epidemic and Rep Richardson on the war on drugs

So.. the bad news for Cape Wind is that the States preservation officer, Brona Simon, has ruled that Nantucket sound is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. This move, out of no where, will not prevent Cape Wind from building out there as of yet, but will further delay this green energy project for a year or longer. I certainly respect the rights of all Indians, especially sacred grounds, but after all these years of of obstructionists maneuvers, one might think this latest ploy is a last ditch effort to stop Cape Wind.

From the Globe, we find that the commission on OxyContin and Heroin has declared an epidemic. Their summation was that we are losing more men and women in Mass in drug related deaths than we are losing in the Iraq/Afghanistan War. The panel of hypocrites have made 20 recommendations: Strengthen the existing prescription monitoring program. (Who are the kidding here, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, pharmacies and insurance companies are making billions of of this one drug. Limit criminal sanctions against abusers who seek medical help through a "good Samaritan law" that does not punish anyone who helps someone get medical treatment. Increase support of three "recovery high schools", in Boston, Springfield and Beverly. Invest in substance abuse programs that keep people out of jail. What the commission failed to address is responsibility of parents and doctors. The kids get their drugs from home and most doctors have no problem with giving large quantities of pain killers to anyone who has a sniffle.

And who would have guessed, Representative Richardson is hosting a forum on the failure of the drug war, sponsored by New England Association of Drug Court Professionals at the Costin Room at the Framingham Public Library, on Nov 16th, 7 to 9PM. With speakers Sheriff James V. DiPaola Middlesex County Sheriff, Attorney David White Chair, MA Bar Association's Drug PolicyTask Force, Judge Robert Ziemian
founder of Massachusett's first drug court, Moderated by: Roberta Leis
Join Together, A project of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. I have to wonder why this forum is coming to Framingham and what point is being made. Anyone with a brain who has lived in this country for the last 20 years, knows very well, the drug war has never done anything more to reduce drug use or crime and has filled our prisons with tax evaders and has costs tax payers billions. This is a must see meeting for anyone who cares about the future of drug policy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ft Hood ..... is it terrorism?

As the facts unfold, I hope that none of our readers know anyone at Ft Hood at this time. What a freaking terrible tragedy. Perhaps some our our veteran neighbors have gone through there, themselves? Anyone who's anyone, from newbies to Generals go through Ft Hood before deployment and the place is a small peaceful city as it's reported.

A 40 yr old Major with an Arabic last name and two fellow troops. It's all about the motive now... and we may see some changes in this country if it turns out to be politically based or if it's a few over deployed soldiers who just snapped, someone has to figure out how this could happen and quickly.

Massachusetts Hemp Farm Bill

Today, I meet with Representative Richardson at Annie's Book store. I have asked her to submit a Mass Hemp Farm Bill on my behalf. I have asked her to file this under "the right to petition" under my name so it doesn't get squashed right out of the gate. She indicated that she would do a late filing for this and is my hope that we could get something going here for Mass this year.... meaning, next year, farmers and consumers will see more hemp products in their lives at reasonable prices, including my hemp pellets, high ash pellet stoves, bio diesel, clothing, paper, plastics, building materials,paints,refined oils, and hundreds of nutritionally based foods, including hemp milk.

The proposal:

An Act to regulate the Cultivation of Industrial Hemp
(1) Industrial hemp is a suitable crop for Massachusetts and its production will contribute to the future viability of Massachusetts agriculture.
(2) Allowing industrial hemp production will provide farmers an opportunity to sell their products to a marketplace that pays them a reasonable rate of return for their labor and capital investments. Farmers in Canada report an $800.00 per acre return for the crop.
(3) The infrastructure needed to process industrial hemp will result in increased business opportunities and new jobs in our communities.
(4) As a food crop, industrial hemp seeds and oil produced from the seeds have high nutritional value, including healthy fats and protein.
(5) As a fiber crop, industrial hemp can be used in the manufacture of products such as clothing, building supplies, and animal bedding.
(6) As a fuel crop, industrial hemp seeds can be processed into biodiesel, and stalks can be pelletized or flaked for burning or processed for cellulosic ethanol. Industrial hemp also expands opportunities for on-farm renewable energy production.
(7) The production of industrial hemp can play a useful agronomic role in farm land management as part of a crop rotation system.

The intent of this act is to establish policy and procedures for growing industrial hemp in Massachusetts so that farmers and other businesses in the Massachusetts agricultural industry can take advantage of this market opportunity when federal regulations permit.
As used in this chapter:
(1) “Grower” means any person or business entity licensed under this chapter by the secretary of agriculture as an industrial hemp grower.
(2) “Hemp products” means all products made from industrial hemp, including but not limited to cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, paint, paper, particle board, plastics, seed, seed meal, seed oil, and certified seed for cultivation if such seeds originate from industrial hemp varieties.
(3) “Industrial hemp” means varieties of the plant cannabis sativa having no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, whether growing or not, that are cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower in compliance with this chapter.
(4) “Secretary” means the secretary of agriculture, food and markets.
Industrial hemp is an agricultural product which may be grown, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in Massachusetts pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(a) Any person or business entity wishing to engage in the production of industrial hemp must be licensed as an industrial hemp grower by the secretary. A license from the secretary shall authorize industrial hemp production only at a site or sites specified by the license.
(b) A license from the secretary shall be valid for 24 months from the date of issuance and may be renewed but shall not be transferable.

(c) Filing with the secretary documentation certifying that the seeds obtained for planting are of a type and variety compliant with the maximum concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol set forth in subdivision 560(3) of this chapter.
(d) Filing with the secretary the location and acreage of all parcels sown and other field reference information as may be required by the secretary.
(e) To qualify for a license from the secretary, an applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the secretary that the applicant has adopted methods to ensure the legal production of industrial hemp, which at a minimum shall include:
(1) Ensuring that all parts of the industrial hemp plant that do not enter the stream of commerce as hemp products are destroyed, incorporated into the soil, or otherwise properly disposed of.
(2) Maintaining records that reflect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with all other state laws regulating the planting and cultivation of industrial hemp.
(f) Every grower shall maintain all production and sales records for at least three years.
(g) Every grower shall allow industrial hemp crops, throughout sowing, growing season, harvest, storage, and processing, to be inspected by and at the discretion of the secretary or his or her designee.
(a) The secretary may deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the license of any grower who:
(1) Makes a false statement or misrepresentation on an application for a license or renewal of a license.
(2) Fails to comply with or violates any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under it.
The secretary shall adopt rules to provide for the implementation of this chapter, which shall include rules to allow for the industrial hemp to be tested during growth for tetrahydrocannabinol levels and to allow for supervision of the industrial hemp during sowing, growing season, harvest, storage, and processing.
This act shall take effect upon passage, of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How many more?

If anyone is following that incredibly ugly situation unfold in Detroit... they have now found 11 bodies. Along with that sex offender from California who kept that girl for 18 years, society must reconsider how we deal with convicted sex offenders who complete their sentence and get back on the streets.

In the Detroit case, this animal had sought all the help he could and days after getting out he rapes another women. In both cases, police and probation officials were involved with appearances at both locations. The neighbors in Detroit had smelled a horrible odor from the property for a long time and as we know now, a probation officer was just their and did not go inside and left with no concerns.

The two recent cases in Boston at MGH, for me bring that problem to my home. Many people I know go to the General, work their and if it's not safe at MGH, it's not safe anywhere.

G Leone, Middlesex DA, has submitted a bill to allow juries to decide here in Mass, if a person is deemed a high risk sex offender, instead of the Judges, by a majority, they can have that person incarcerated. It's clear, something is wrong with the process and needs to be corrected immediately and I agree with Mr. Leone.

I would furlough first time drug offenders, put them one probation and use that expense for sex offenders. We must protect our kids, wives and mothers from the type of ugliness that seems to be increasing.

Law enforcement must put sex offenders and their whereabouts, at the highest priority and the Legislature should adopt mandatory sentences for level 3 sex offenders. Seeing the shrink and popping pills is not cutting it any more.

Two D's loose to two R's

In the big picture.. perhaps what is in store for us... The R's who are faceless are beating the chest in victory with two Gov's in NJ and Virginia. All the talking heads are lambasting Obama for the defeat.

I think the independents came out for a change at the state level and minorities stayed home, but don't believe this is some reflection of how good or bad Obama is.

At our level, if it came down to change or the same... would we pick to change? I think we better.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

MassDOT, Wind Turbines and a Third Party

A Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll last week announced that trust in Government is at a 12 year low and that half of all Americans now support a third party. That's lots of average people who have seen enough of what the two party system has had to offer.

A Chinese company has a deal to supply turbines to the largest wind farm's in the US. The 36,000 acre spot will house 240, 2.5 mega watt units. Backed by 1.5 billion in financing from Bank of China, if all goes well, by 2011 all these units will be making electricity. Federal stimulus funds in tax credits will help this project along and while only 15% of the jobs created will be for Americans, this project should be a sign of things to come.... I just wish Amercian companies had won the contract.

Long overdue, Deval has made good on his promise to effectively end Mass Turnpike, MassHighway, The MBTA and the registry. And while we all supported this move for decides, as of Nov 1, no revealing plans have shown up. No big costs saving measures and while we may have though, one group could real in the expense side of these crony lead corrupt institutions, the new board is not unlike the old board. Deval has appointed three left overs from the original gang, all with strong ties to past mismanagement. The new chairmen of the board, John Jenkins lives in Natick, a plus for those of us west of the city, but with 4000 union employee's and another 6000 union employees at the MBTA, one has to wonder, if Deval should not have placed the same old, worn out, people who have furthered the cause of secrecy, political patronage and the lack of accountability to run an institution that needs more than an overhaul, it needs a new direction. Their new web site is