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Women’s Fund Gubernatorial Debate in RI May 8, 2014

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So this evening I attended the Women’s Fund Gubernatorial Debate along with candidate Todd Giroux.

All the candidates were there both Democrat and Republican. Now for my observations:

Todd Giroux (D) – He does need to smooth the act out a little bit. It’s why I recorded all his answers so we can post mortem again. But he is still in my opinion the only gubernatorial candidate with a plan.

Ken Block (R) – if he wasn’t a Republican I’d likely be in his camp. We’re both I.T. guys and he is a pretty good story teller.

Gina Raimondo (D) – he staff must be telling her to stop using the emphatic hands bit. Almost though I saw her sitting on her hands for a moment there.

Allan Fung (R)- current mayor of Cranston, RI. And I thought his name rang a bell. He and I both served at the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General at the same time. Didn’t strike me as a remarkable prosecutor.

Angel Taveras (D) – current mayor of Providence, RI. He and Fung attended the same high school which I suspect was Classical. I almost made a comment vis a vis that oh you Classical people, can’t hold a candle to we LaSalle boys.

Herbert ‘Clay’ Pell – He gave the most bizarre parting remarks about he LGBT community, etc. It was the WTF moment of the evening.

Did get to meet Ernie Almonte who is running for treasurer too.

Come to think of it the only one whose hand I didn’t get to shake was Gina Raimondo. She arrived late – that’s probably why. But I am a firm believer in the idea that politics should in fact be a contact sport. Wherever I go – one of the first things I do is get to know the politicians. Hell, might as well know the lay of the land so to speak.

Let’s Play Rate the Democratic Candidates for Governor in Rhode Island April 5, 2014

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We’ll start with the Democrats. Ratings shall be five points from 1 to 5. This is in no special order just as they come to mind:

1) Todd Giroux – I like his platform idea to steer a billion dollars away from Wall Street and back into the economy in Rhode Island. He also has a plan to keep the state prosperous going forward. That is what I like to see. And ObDisclaimer – I am the Data Analyst for his campaign. Rated 4.5

2) Clay Pell – he’s definitely got the money but I think the brain power is slightly lacking in his case. First there’s the debacle with the missing Prius – who leaves a car unlocked in the city of Providence or environs thereof, and more doesn’t have a second set of keys to the car, and third hasn’t the white matter in their head to think to just lock the car and call a locksmith. This doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence in his ability to use the bully pulpit to better Rhode Island. Rated 2

3) Gina Raimondo – she is a Wall Street demon spawn. With her at the helm as treasurer I’m pretty upset about the way she’s handled benefits for retirees etc. And it would only get worse once she’s in the bully pulpit. Rated 2.5

4) Angel Taveras – currently Mayor of Providence his most deft move was closing city pools last summer. Plus he’s really stuck it to union retirees and he gets on my shit list for having the tenacity to say that the tax breaks given to the big property concerns created jobs. Really? Of course he wouldn’t answer when I asked “What jobs?” I’m sorry there are no negative numbers allowed because this candidate would be in the dumps. 

Want to get Rhode Island on the Right Track? Read it here. March 6, 2014

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So I’ve been sort of taking pot shots at the Rhode Island legislature for essentially giving away the candy store. For years they have granted tax incentives and breaks for the likes of Bank of America, Fidelity, American Power Conversion, Gtech et al.

But all of them have to some degree or another have flown the coop of Rhode Island for greener pastures out there.

Meanwhile we have a burgeoning infosec, I.T. and film and video sector in the state that gets short shrift.

So I propose we flip the script so to speak. Fuck Bank of America, Fidelity and those who betrayed us.

Give some serious tax breaks and help to the sectors I mentioned. And I’m tagging a few people in the legislature here including the Speaker and President. Might the hell as well do it.

Shitty roads in Providence, RI March 5, 2014

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So today I did something I haven’t done in a long time, buzzed around the city of Providence proper from Federal Hill over to Cranston, and then from Cranston back to Charles St. in Providence and then North Main St. 

I notice something. The roads throughout this part of Providence are rutted and cratered. They need desperately to be repaved. 

But then I noted something, Charles St. is smooth as glass, so too North Main. What the bloody hell? Did it not snow there or has Federal Hill been mostly neglected for many years? I’d go with the latter. Oh sure, Broadway from Olneyville to the intercept with I-95 is all repaved. But all the secondary and side streets – it’s like a fucking lunar landscape. 

Now the street I live on, it was scheduled for repaving. Over a year ago. They went so far as to spray mark all the utilities underground and to put 2×4 protective rings around the trees that border the street. And then winter got here, all sorts of snow, no repave. 

I did see where someplace in Pennsylvania they leased a half dozen pot hole filling trucks for about $300K. Thing is the trucks are highly automated – they can patch a pothole in 30 seconds versus 30 minutes for the manual method. Well worth the $300K per year if you ask me. Find the money! 

And let’s do some math – say it takes 30 seconds to fill a pothole then a minute to drive to the next. So 1.5 minutes per pothole. 8 hour day has 480 minutes, divided by 1.5 is 320 potholes filled per day. This versus 30 minutes + a minute to get to next pothole, comes out to only 15.5 potholes filled. You see where I’m going here. With the automated rig you’d fill approximately 20 times more potholes per truck. A half dozen trucks would fill 1,920 potholes in a day. Even if you only use them for a month and it’s $300K it’s worth it. 

Why I advocate for the legalization of recreational use of marijuana January 25, 2014

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First of all I’m not a pothead. My choice of intoxicants is of the C2H6O variety aka ethanol.

But here’s the thing – we in the U.S. have spent billions of dollars per year on drug interdiction, imprisonment and rehab over the past 30 odd years. Plus the fact that marijuana incarceration is pretty high.  The total is somewhere in the trillions of dollars. That is all money that could be put to better use.

I see marijuana, in it’s pure state, as no worse and actually better than alcohol and in some ways better. I’ve never met a belligerent pot user, but have met more than a few alcohol intoxicated individuals who really shouldn’t be drinking.

Now, the benefits of completely legalizing it for adults:

1) The cost of interdiction, prosecution and incarceration are reduced dramatically.

2) The tax revenue – you can slap a 20% tax on the stuff and people will still buy it. Just look at Colorado for the proof of a potential windfall revenue model.

3) The combined benefit of the 20% tax on product plus the reduced cost of all those listed in my first point make it so legalization of recreational marijuana is all positives with no negatives.

4) The purity of the product can be REGULATED by the states. No mixing fillers in, no additional psycho-active compounds added, etc.

I have written the chair of the Judiciary Committee in Rhode Island, Rep. Edith Ajello as well as my state Rep. John J. Lombardi and Senator Paul V. Jabour with pretty much the arguments above.

God Damn it’s colder than a witches tit in a brass bra! January 4, 2014

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So last night we got something I’ve not seen in a few years – a below zero night.

The place is uninsulated so of course the heating system struggles to keep it at 62F in the house when it’s set for 68F. The bed heater is set for 100F though. So nice and warm.

Right now it’s only 20F. So twelve degrees below freezing. However all this changes as of tomorrow. We get a mix of 40′s and 50′s along with rain. So a lot of the snow will get washed away and melted. Good.

Surprisingly the White Death from the Sky they predicted for the days preceding didn’t come to pass. We got maybe a max of 6 inches of snow. Here’s a little secret, I know how to drive in snow that deep. It’s easy. You do have to slow down though.

And then I remember, in about five weeks we start getting temp spikes in the 50′s, 60′s and up to the 80′s in the middle of February. Then March does it’s usual in like a Lion, out like a Lamb trick. April and through early July is gorgeous.

Governor Chafee is not running for re-election September 4, 2013

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A little bit disappointed that he’s not running. But then I realized something – Governor Chafee has been a progressive Governor. From my perspective he signed marriage equality into law in Rhode Island. To me that’s a biggie.

They’re talking up Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Riamondo now.

I will say this – both have serious electoral liabilities. The Mayor with unions as he recently had to ask current union member and retired members to swallow drastic cuts in benefits. And Raimondo has played sort of fast and loose with finance in the state. Both of those are enough to dash their hopes.

Plus we’re still over a year out on the campaign. The campaign really doesn’t get into gear until about six months prior in Rhode Island. Next summer would be the time to really start counting the chickens.

Meanwhile in Rhode Island – Marriage Equalty two weeks now August 16, 2013

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And we’ve heard from Father Brian Sistare, he’s a pastor at a church in Woonsocket who wrote a letter to the legislators who voted for marriage equality that in essence says he’s going to try to unseat them come next election cycle. Good luck with all that.

And then we have Tea Bagger Nut Rep. Doreen Costa who allegedly met with RI Bishop Thomas Tobin and is said to have told him she’s going to lean on everyone who voted for marriage equality too. Again, good luck with that.

So there are some real bigots in the state. I’ve known that for some time. But they lost, their tired arguments just couldn’t be sustained and they knew it too.

The nuptials are planned for late September of next year in Casa Truthspew. Want to slam some money together for a shindig!

 

A USPS Gripe June 20, 2013

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So every time we ship a package to Keyron’s mom in North Carolina it’s always hit or miss. For example – the most recent package was shipped on the 17th with an expected date of the 19th. Ok, two days on Priority Mail is not a problem.

And the package flowed just fine through the local post offices. We dropped it at Weybosset Hill Station (02903) at 3:56PM, it processed out through the main Turnkey Station (02904) on the 17th and transited toward Raleigh, NC. But it took 2 days to get to Raleigh? Really?

I don’t think the delay was here in Providence, but I think Raleigh must have delayed processing it. So what should have taken two days took FOUR days. I know the postal service in the south is slow ass anyhow. I recall participating in mail studies. They’d share the results with participants and the southern U.S. always came in DEAD LAST!

But one oddity – it took TWO whole days to get from Providence, RI to Raleigh, NC. Now I know you can drive it in 12 hours. And if it flies there is an airport near Raleigh, RDU. That’s only a couple hours flight time.

So the only theory that springs to mind is that there wasn’t enough mail volume to go from Providence, RI to Columbia, NC (via Raleigh, NC).

And then I pondered more and realized – when we’d shipped before and it got there in 2 or 3 days it was always around major holidays like Christmas, or Mothers Day, etc. So the mail volume to points far had to be up there. But ship in a seasonal lull and be prepared to wait.

 

Congratulations Minnesota! May 13, 2013

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Now the Senate has approved equality and it’s on to the Governor’s desk for signing into law. Marriage equality that is. The State of Minnesota becomes the 12th state in the nation, behind Rhode Island and Delaware in granting full equality to all it’s citizens in matters concerning marriage.

It’s a fascinating time. For example, I never thought we’d see equality come to Rhode Island but it did. And then Delaware and now Minnesota! Three states in ten days. How’s that for something that will leave the bigots smarting. And as well they should all have a major case of the sadz! I want to see Brian Brown with tears in his eyes because his bigoted view of the world is rapidly become archaic.

 

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