The Last Post of 2016

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To say that this year was not a tough year, would be an understatement.  

At least, for me, it probably was the worst year I ever had or close to it.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the first half of the year, then it seemed everything went wrong.

First, my computer became the victim of a bad Windows 10 update, which made me having to start from scratch.

After I got that pretty much solved, I became technically blind in my left eye and not much better in my right.

The healing process has been long and hard, but hopefully in January, it will be pretty much over.

Beyond those issues, 2016 also saw a number of longtime friends decide to become former friends for reasons unknown to me.  However, with one of those friends, I know it was them just being a jerk for not accepting my opinion on a political topic.

It seems that anger dominated the political process this year as it was less about who you voted for rather who you voted against.  I found myself a couple of times showing anger against some of the candidates even going as far as writing emails to my own party criticizing their choice of candidate.  Ironically, the more times that I responded to their email donation unsubscribe list, the more of them I received.  Eventually, it appeared that they blocked my email address as I noticed that my later emails bounced back to me despite that I was still receiving contribution emails from them.

In the end neither candidate deserved to win as we now see that the swamp that should be drained is now being loaded with billionaire alligators.  So much for supporting the little guy.

I suspect that the next 4 years will be great for the rich while the dwindling middle class continues to suffer.  I don’t expect to see my own situation to improve over the next year as my health still seems to waining somewhat.

This brings me to the ongoing continuation of this blog.  I plan on alternating writing for this blog and my newly renamed “Retail Land” on alternating weeks.

At least that is my plan for now, however there may be times when one blog may go for a couple of weeks without a post.  The reason for that is that sometimes I just don’t have a good topic for that blog for that week.  Hopefully, that does not happen often and that I remain healthy enough to write for both blogs.

For now, I am using the WordPress mobile app to write my blogs and it seems to get better all the time.  I recommend this app for those who want to do mobile blogging.

Finally, I want to briefly discuss this holiday season.  As some of you may know, I don’t really celebrate this time of year nor do I say any holiday greetings to anyone.  I started doing that many years ago as I felt that it was inappropriate to do so.  

This year it seems that people are more ignorant and rude more than ever in public.  Add to this that many sales associates are uncooperative and it leads to a very unhappy holiday season and many angry people.  Combine this with the ongoing political anger and nobody seems happy anymore.

Overall, I feel that 2017 will become another so-so year as much of the anger will last for several months.

Now what is ahead for the new year.

First up is my annual crystal ball look back and forward.  I will then go into highlighting my Florida trip from last year.  Along the way, I also expect to see a major upgrade to the Spectrum (former Time Warner Cable) system.  I will report on that when it becomes available in my area.  Some areas may already have it so maybe it might be more refined by the time I get it.  As far as any other topic goes, that will be a surprise.  As always, things can change as events warrant.

For now, this is all I have.  It you wish to contact me, you can do so through Facebook, Twitter, or email.  I will usually respond within a few hours.

Until then, I will return in January.

Why I Didn’t Caucus in Maine

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Writer’s warning:  The following post may contain material that may be offensive to some people.  Reader is advised.

 

Spoiler alert:  This post contains information that it is a major part of my other blog about Staples.  If you don’t want to know things ahead of time just skip that segment when it comes up.  It will be indicated as such.

 

It was 32 years ago this year that while in college I took a course called “Introduction to Political Science”.  This 3 time a week, 50 minute course was probably one of the most interesting courses that I took during my time in college.

 

It was during this time that the primaries of the 1984 election were happening and much of the conversations in class were the discussion of that.  Since I sat in the front of the class, I always had to turn around to see who was talking and to listen intently to what they were saying.  Of course, it was also a good excuse to look at the pretty redheaded girl Rebecca, who sat right behind me and seemed attracted to me (that is a story for another post).

 

Since this was a core class, the room was filled of people with various majors and the love or hate in the political system.  We did have a textbook but it was rarely used except for the occasional test we took.  The professor was retiring after this semester and seemed to let the class run loose with their various comments of the current political environment.

 

While the conversations were always cordial, one thing was obvious:  the people were not deciding this or any other Presidential election.  It are the delegates who make all the decisions no matter what the will of the people is.

 

Sound familiar?

 

This is exactly the same sort of thing that we are seeing this Presidential election cycle.  We have states that have primaries, caucuses like Maine, and others like Colorado, where the residents don’t even get a vote.

 

Really, does all this seem fair?

 

Of course not, while people in Maine spent hours in line for a chance to caucus in their town or a nearby one, I figured that this time would be better spent elsewhere and not wasted on expressing my political choice.

 

Now the question is what political choice?

 

This year it seems that people are picking the person who they hate the least rather than those that they really support.  This is exactly the way that I feel this time around.

 

Sorry people, I am not really attached to any candidate this time around nor do I think that some should even be elected at all.  However, now that the field has whittled down to 5 major candidates, I think it is fairly safe to give my opinion of each of them.

 

First we have the three Republican candidates:

 

By far the furthest ahead for now is Donald Trump.  He is the most outspoken person on either side and enjoys putting people down and calling people liars or stealers.  Overall, he does have a good point as many states award their delegates at disproportional level.  You can have the most votes, but still lose in the delegate count.  I call it math gone wrong and Donald may have hit on something that has always been part of the establishment.

 

In second place, we have Teddy Cruz.  I call him Teddy because he likes to use the name Ted as part of the word “Trusted”.  To me, he cannot be trusted as he seems to have connection to SuperPACs and has his people send out false emails saying to vote for him as his competition were going to be dropping out.  While he seems to talk like someone who should be more of a preacher, his actions are less than religious.

 

Lastly we have John Kasich.  Ironically, this guy sits in fourth place in a three-man race.  Marco Rubio, who dropped out a few weeks ago, still has more delegates than Kasich does.  Unfortunately, Kasich seems like he is the most qualified and part of the establishment that everyone is avoiding in this election cycle.  Every interview that he is in, he seems to get angry that people have already cast him off as a no-chance candidate.  Do we really want an angry guy to be our next President?  Why do I keep thinking that this guy is going to change into some big green creature when he gets angry?  (To those who remember the old “Incredible Hulk” TV show of the 1970’s, you will understand the reference.)

 

 

Now the Democratic candidates:

 

The most well know Democratic candidate is Hilary Clinton.  Given her email scandal, she may be more qualified for the real life “Orange is the New Black” or maybe she is trying to be just like us by saying that she always tells the truth.  If you believe that, then you have not been reading my other blog as liars seem to be running rampant.  How many of us really want a 3rd Obama term?  Do we really want to continue to fail?

 

The other Democratic candidate is Bernie Sanders.  This socialist wants to change the country in ways that would destroy our economy.  He wants to ignore the ISIS problem.  He wants to break up big banks, but has no clue on how to do that.  He wants to have free college and healthcare for all, at the expense of big corporations and raising taxes even more on the general public.

 

I have a couple of Facebook friends, who seem to be very supportive of Sanders’ social destruction of our economy.  It is unfortunately that they don’t understand that such radical behavior would cause huge job losses and many companies to leave the United States.

 

 

****Spoiler Alert****

 

During my time at Staples, I wound up in the hospital because of a leg problem caused by them.  It cost thousands of dollars for the treatment that I needed during my weeklong stay in the hospital.  Because I had used my insurance, I received a letter threatening me that I would be terminated if I did not follow the procedures that Staples had in place regarding using vacation time to offset my time in the hospital.  While I did not follow that directive, I was constantly harassed on a weekly basis by the management because I required the use of a stool because my legs were still infected and I was still being treated by a doctor.  They kept asking when I would no longer need the stool because they felt that I was abusing the “privilege”, despite the fact that I had my leg constantly wrapped in bandages to help it heal.  Seven years later, I am no longer under a doctor, but walking is difficult and standing in one spot still hurts significantly.  Sadly, Staples was always in denial of the harassment and just considered me a “bad employee” after my termination.  This is why I have not been able to get a job since as their lies have continued to follow me all these years later.

 

Do we really want people like Sanders to have businesses dictate the healthcare of employees?  Given my own case, let me say that NO employee should have be subjected to the type of harassment by the management just because they needed to use their insurance.  Under a Sanders administration, employees would be fired for similar reasons as I did.

 

Sort of puts forth the following quandary:  Does Sanders support big business to destroy its employees?  My answer is yes.

 

***End of Spoiler Alert***

 

So overall, I expect that the delegates this year will pick someone to alienate most people in both parties.  There is no reason to think otherwise given that how fractured the parties are this year.

 

My personal choice this year right now is NONE of the ABOVE.  I could only imagine what that same “Introduction to Political Science” course would be like this year.  I know it would not be as civil nor would it have Rebecca and I together in it.

 

Sometimes if I could turn back that clock…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Didn’t Vote This Year

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Yesterday was Election Day in the United States.

 

I did not perform my civic duty as I usually do for one very simple reason: there was just nothing I cared enough about that would sway the general vote.

 

This year no Congressional seats up for grabs/

 

No governor position to fight for.

 

And last, no Presidential election this year to vote on.

 

That didn’t mean that I wasn’t interested in some of the elections going on around the state of Maine.  I just wish I lived in some of the other communities to vote on some of the important things that were happening in other towns than my own.

 

I will now give comments on some of those other elections.

 

First up is the Lewiston mayoral race.  For anyone who has read this blog will realize that I have written about current mayor Robert Macdonald a couple different times in recent years.  He is most popularly known for his comments against the growing Somalian community in his city.  This has now caused him to have several opponents for his job as mayor.

 

However, under Lewiston rules, if nobody gets at least 50% of the vote (which they didn’t), a runoff election must be held with the top two candidates to determine a winner of the mayor position.  His opponent, Benjamin Chin, is of Chinese descent and may play a factor toward supporting the immigrant population.  So this runoff may be more an election of the immigrants vs. those who don’t want the immigrants.  Personally, I see Macdonald recapturing his position and will continue his dislike toward the immigrants flooding his town.

 

Portland had 2 interesting referendum questions on its election ballot.  The lesser of the 2 questions, as confusing as it was, now will allow developers to build properties no matter how much it destroys any scenic view within the city.  This basically means that people who pay big money for those wonderful ocean views may lose them to some greedy developer.  Maybe people didn’t understand the question or maybe it was twisted in such a way that nobody could understand the ultimate result of the question.

 

The second referendum question of greater importance was to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour for all employees within the city limits by 2019.  While on the surface this would sound wonderful, most small businesses fought this one hard as it would create massive layoffs and possibly have many businesses leave the city.  Thankfully, this was defeated by a 58% to 42% margin.  However, and this is a big however, the city will be raising the wage to $10.10 starting in January.  This means that Portland, Maine will be the 7th highest minimum wage in the country.  I expect to see many businesses to start leaving or scaling back very soon.  Let me point out as a side note that in the near 13 years I worked at Staples, I barely got above the $10.10 rate at the time of my termination.  I think Staples is probably glad they don’t have a store within the Portland city limits as they would probably close it just to save money.

 

Speaking of Staples, my own city of South Portland had one of its city council seats up for grabs by a former Staples sales manager.  I would never vote for the guy because I felt the type of antics that he did to get himself fired from Staples was unprofessional and uncalled for.  What makes it worse for him was that he had a strong ethic to wanting to make the city more business friendly.  While this sounds like a great idea, it throws all the regular taxpayers under the bus and not being supported.  Thankfully, the taxpayers agreed and he was soundly defeated.  Ironically, 7 of my Facebook friends are mutual friends of his, but I am not.  Maybe he is still bitter over being fired from Staples?

 

Overall, this election year was a ho-hum year for the most part with some key issues being decided locally and around the country.  However, next year I will definitely be voting in November as I want to make sure that I cast my ballot for the proper person to be our next President.

 

Until next year…. No I will have posts before next November (I hope).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taxes (What else on this day?)

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There is not a better topic on this day to talk about other than taxes.

 

Yes, taxes.

 

However, this is not about those taxes due today.

 

This is about taxes that could happen here in Maine in the coming months.  Even though these are happening in Maine, some of them may apply to other parts of the country as well.

 

Some of these taxes are disguised as fees.  One such fee (tax) applies to a new one that just started today in Portland, which makes me glad that I don’t shop in Portland.  A 5 cent charge has now been implemented on every plastic and paper bag that a shopper uses also the Styrofoam cups have been banned as well.  While I don’t have a problem with the latter, I do have a problem with the bags.

 

When I go shopping, I always try to use the self-serve checkouts whenever possible.  The reason for this is that I like to have things bagged my way, which can’t be done if some rude cashier rings you up.  I always at least double bag all my purchases as the bags never seem to be strong enough to hold much of anything before they start giving way.  So on average, I would be using about 6 bags or at a cost of 30 cents per purchase.  Do this a couple of times a week every week and it adds up quickly.

 

Of course, I hear those of you say “why not just bring your own reusable bag?”.

 

As someone who worked in retail for about 25 years, I have seen that many of these reusable bags are nasty looking.  Many look like they have been rolled in a mud puddle for hours.  Do people even ever think about washing their bags?  I don’t think so which is why I use a clean new plastic bag.  It is certainly more sanitary even though it may not be environmentally friendly.

 

This is what it all boils down to.

 

That point of being environmentally friendly.

 

Don’t these people realize that much of the garbage around town may come from those people who don’t even live in town?

 

While it may make them have that “feel good feeling”, in reality the real polluters are countries like China and India, which dump thousands of pounds of garbage into the water every day.  Portland, Maine is just a small dot in the big problem.  It may be a right step, but I feel it is a step in the wrong direction and hurt more people than it helps.  I certainly would not want to be behind someone in line who is using a dirty bag, germs are spread to easily nowadays.

 

Now while this fee (tax) has been implemented, the governor of our state has decided to create his own nightmare legacy by wanting to implement some sweeping changes to the tax bases.

 

Here are just a few of them and my comments about them:

 

  • Eliminate the state income tax. While this is a great idea in concept, how he plans on making up for it will hurt more than help.
  • Putting a tax on services like plumbers, haircuts and repairmen. Consider that some of these people rely on tips; many will see their tips reduced or disappear completely because taxes will be added to their services.  End result will be less money to those who perform services and more money to the unneeded state system.
  • Expanding and raising the sales tax to between 6 and 6.5%. This would be great if it would not hurt the ordinary state resident unlike what governor thinks that tourists would pick up the bulk of this increase.  Also doesn’t he know that tax-free New Hampshire is right next door?
  • Remove the homestead exemption tax on everyone over 65 years old. This would be great except most homeowners are younger than 65 and will get no benefit from this change.
  • Eliminating sales tax exemption for non-profits. This has been abused for years by those so-called non-profits, mostly churches and charities.
  • Lowering the corporate tax rate. This only gives company’s a fatter bottom line and unfortunately the money is not passed along to employees as a pay increase.

 

Overall, the governor’s plan is to shift the tax burden from business to its residents.  Is this a good idea?

 

Not if you want to live in Maine.

 

So if I was governor what would I do?

 

In the order listed above, my solutions would be:

 

  • Keep the state income tax. While it may seem like an outdated burden, it still raises revenue where it needs to.
  • No tax on services. I think that those who provide a service should get a tip and most who pay for those services take the tip from what they give the person at time of service.  Just a bad idea period.
  • I would lower the sales tax back to 5% or better yet lower it to 3%. Lowering the tax rate will allow more money in people’s pockets and will allow people to purchase more therefore.  The state needs to be more competitive in its rate.
  • Keep the homestead exemption for everyone. Since many homeowners have mortgages, giving them a break would be more than desired.
  • I support the taxing of non-profits. In my 25 years in retail, I saw this abused by those who were buying personal items and calling it a non-taxable business expense.  But since the information is submitted to the state regarding every tax exempt transaction and those rejected by the state are subject to the business to pay not only the applicable sales tax, but a fine as well.
  • Raising the corporate tax. While many may say this would be counterproductive to business, the truth is that many businesses have been given reductions in everything from real estate to employee benefits.  It is time that businesses really pay their real fair share.

 

 

While some may disagree with some of my plan, I think that it creates a much fairer playing field as I don’t cater to the special interests of businesses or any group.  Even if you live in another state, I think you will find that my suggestions would make for a more fair system.  If you agree with what I have written, let your representatives know or better yet run for political office yourself and influence the change of our tax system.

 

After all, shouldn’t taxes be fairer even though death isn’t?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aftermath and the Angry Pig

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First let me open by saying that nationally only 60% of the voting population actually took the time to vote during the last election.

 

This meant that the other 40% was either fed up with the whole process, didn’t care at all, or just didn’t have the time.  Of course the latter excuse doesn’t fly at all because of absentee voting.  The first 2 may be because of social ignorance.

 

Then there is the other major factor in this entire nightmare this year.  I heard stories of duplicate names, people who could not be found, and overall problems with the voting system in general.  To add to this is the list of people who are either incapable of voting or who are in jail or deployed overseas in the military.  These numbers add to those who can’t or unable to vote.  Overall, the system needs to be fixed to make sure those that are able to vote can and those that no longer can vote won’t have somebody use their identity and vote for them.

 

To add to this mess is the Maine State Voter Program.  The first email I received a couple of days before the election listed our family and if we “voted” over the last few elections.  It also listed our “neighbors” and if they voted over the last few elections.  The first red flag in all of this is that this email showed up in my Spam inbox in Outlook.  This right here should be an indication that even Microsoft thought something suspicious of this email.

 

There were several errors in this email.  The first is that it said that I did not vote in 2010. This is WRONG!!  I did vote that year and I am offended that it said that I didn’t in all capital letters.  This is certainly a calling out as if I did something completely wrong when in fact they are wrong.  Secondly and even more inaccurate is the listing of my so-called neighbors.  Every one of the “neighbors” listed has moved away in the last couple of years.  Honestly why should I care whether these people voted or not in the last few elections especially since they no longer even live in my neighborhood.  The biggest offense of all in this is how this group got my email address in the first place.

 

Later, the next day I received a second email from this same group.  This time the email was similar with the listing of my family and again if they voted (again with the wrong info on me), but this email contained a listing of some of my local Facebook friends and where they live and if they voted in the last few elections.  This email, like the first one, sets off many red flags.  However the flags in this one are significantly worse than the first.

 

The biggest gripe that I have is like the first email is that the email listed my Facebook friends’ names but also their addresses as well.  The worst thing about this is that listing where somebody lives could create a dangerous situation especially if some of these people were not so-called friends of mine.  I have always felt that somebody’s address should remain private if they want it to be.  It should never be considered public information.  The fact that some of these people were former work associates and a couple were people I knew back in high school makes it that much worse especially given that I left my previous employer in a less than glorious manner.  Add to this that the people from high school I haven’t had a conversation with them in years just adds to the aggravation and paranoia with anybody knowing your private information.

 

The Saturday before the election I received in the mail a letter that was exactly like the first email I received.  Why this group would waste postage on sending this false information out in a letter is beyond me?  All I can say is that I am thankful that they never sent out the information of the second email through the postal service.

 

In last week’s local Sunday paper, a reader wrote that they were angry receiving a letter from this group after it falsely reported that a relative of theirs could not vote in the last few elections because they were in a home for Alzheimer’s patients.  What I can’t figure out is why anybody in the family didn’t have this person removed from voting roll call when they knew they no longer were going to be able to vote.  This reader called for an investigation as to why this information was even sent out in the first place.

 

Honestly, I totally agree that this group should be investigated.  While much of the information is freely available information it is the fact that it was distributed without the consent of others listed is where my biggest criticism is.  Add to that the incorrect info about me and it just adds to the problem.  The second email sort of clued me in that much of this information for both emails were in fact gathered from Facebook and the friends that I have on there that live locally.  I believe that such gathering of information from Facebook is both unethical and illegal and Facebook should be investigated to see if they gave out people personal information along with its user’s friends list for their own gain.  This should be considered a complete violation of Facebook policy especially since I keep my address private on Facebook.  Hopefully, this group is investigated and I would join any class action lawsuit that comes about for violating the privacy of myself and the privacy of others.  I would be glad if this information is never released ever again in any format especially being so wrong.

 

Now onto the elections results.

 

As expected it was a nightmare as nationally the Republicans took a majority of the U.S. Senate to now control both houses of Congress.  I see gridlock for the next 2 years at the national level as Obama will take his pen and do executive orders no matter what the Congress thinks.

 

Now that the ads are gone this year was one of the dirtiest political seasons ever with more money than ever coming in from out-of-state sources.  More mud was slung this year than ever before and more egos were severely damaged.  Some of the damage is probably socially, politically and personally permanent.

 

First up is the Maine governor race.  Once again, Paul LePage won over his Democratic opponent Mike Michaud.  Was this any surprise that this race was once again given to the person who made this state the biggest joke in the country.  How much further can this state slide and how many more people can end up being uninsured after LePage’s next 4 years?  I bet the number will go up significantly

To make matters worse is that LePage refused to accept the concession call from Michaud after the election saying that he doesn’t want to see Michaud ever again.  What a wonderful way to start a new term.  The only winner in this race are the political cartoonists who have 4 more years of great material coming.

 

In the second district Congressional race, the criminal Republican won handily over the extremist Democrat.  I still won’t give out their names as I feel none of them were capable of winning and none should have won.  We should feel sorry for those people in northern Maine as they need support, but not from who they chose.

 

As expected the other races were determined well before election day and not worth mentioning here.

 

However, the bear-baiting issue ended with the NO side winning against the YES side by a small margin.  We continue to be the only state in the country to allow the feeding of bears to kill them.  While the YES side had graphic images in their ads in the last days of the campaign, it was a little too late to get the victory.

 

The other referendum questions passed with ease despite most of them were for funds to places unknown and for uses unknown as well.  I feel that people just thought that if it meant jobs no matter where they are, then the issue should be supported.  Again, voter ignorance dominated these questions.  I guess most people don’t believe that it is the taxpayers’ money used to pay for the bond issues.

 

As far as the South Portland marijuana referendum was concerned, the YES side won by a small margin.  However, the NO side is challenging the vote and the police have already said that they will be stepping up their arrests of people possessing the drug.  If anything, the vote might have been symbolic but may not ever be enforced.

 

Overall, I felt that voting this year was under minded by the wrong information given by the Maine State Voter Program.  No matter what they say I DID  vote this election and I certainly have every right to complain about the results as most of them turned opposite of what the way the voting should have gone.

 

Maybe we should blame the 40% that didn’t vore…

 

Note: This will be the last post before Thanksgiving.  I will return in December with a new post at that time.  So have a happy holiday and a happy Black Friday.

 

 

 

 

Scary Time of Year

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This is the scariest time of year.

 

Yes I know we have Halloween, but that is not the scariest part.

 

Welcome to the Election Day nightmare.

 

It builds up for months then on the first Tuesday of November it explodes.

 

We suffer for months with endless ads from candidates and enemies of candidates on why to vote for or not vote for a certain person.  Add to this any referendum question and you have a full day of endless entertainment.

 

However it is not entertaining at all.  In fact, it is downright annoying.

 

Of course all these ads create great conversation sometimes not for the better as recently I found out by posting information about a candidate that I read somewhere else weeks earlier.  What happened at that point were a couple of vile and offensive remarks directed at me personally.

 

The bad thing about all this is that these people are friends of a friend (not my friends).  These people have never met me and have absolutely no reason to make the obscene comments that were made.  I was so angry that I called these people idiots and that is where the conversation ended.

 

Ironically, a couple of days later I read in a local free paper almost exactly the same things that I had written about a few days earlier.  Sadly I never got an apology from any of the offending people nor did I expect one as these people are completely ignorant in their views.  These are the type of people who go voting blind and cause the rest of us with results we don’t care about.

 

This is the reason why Maine is now the butt of everybody’s joke with our dumb governor Paul LePage.

 

So now I am going to try to enlighten those in the Maine area with what I think people should vote for and some unfortunate real results we will see.

 

Let me start with the governor’s race.  Here we have Republican LePage, running against Democrat Mike Michaud (current House member) and independent Eliot Cutler (running for a second time).  My choice for the second time is Cutler as I voted for him before and I like his brute honesty about himself.  The other 2 are in a dead heat, but both are angry politicians with views that would destroy the state.  Instead of the slogan “Open for Business”, maybe we should have “Closed for Demolition” as our new slogan as we slide into economic oblivion.

 

So now who is going to win?  Unfortunately, it won’t be Cutler unless somebody eliminates the other 2 in some dark alley.  We are in for 4 more years of hell given no matter who wins.

 

Now in the second district seat (not where I live, thankfully), we have the extremist Democrat, the criminal Republican and the NRA card-carrying constitution hugging independent.  While I won’t mention any of these candidates by name, let me say that my choice is none of the above.  I don’t think that any of them should represent this state on any ground whatsoever.

 

The other 2 races for Senate and U.S. House member is so far lopsided, they are not even worth mentioning here.

 

What is however worth mentioning here is referendum question 1 which would ban bear-baiting in the state.  I recommend a yes vote only because the bears are being treated in a cruel manner for the big kill.  Let us not forget that we built on their land, which is why they are entering many of our neighborhoods.  It is time we arm the bears to even the score.  I would definitely support that idea.

 

The rest of the referendums are to spend millions of dollars for various health related projects, most for locations to be determined in the future.  This is the problem with this whole idea:  just setting money aside for some random location with no solid plans is a waste of taxpayer money.  We should not pay for somebody’s random placement of some facility which may or may not ever pay off.  So I recommend a no vote on all these questions except for the sewer issue which corrects ongoing problems and comes up every year.

 

Finally in the city of South Portland where I live, there is a referendum to legalize small amounts of marijuana for those over 21.  I don’t recommend this one either as I have never seen any proof that marijuana is good for anybody, medical or recreational despite some claims made by voodoo doctors.  It should be banned period.  Of course this comes just a few months after the city didn’t want to build smokestacks to support tar sands in the city.  Am i the only one who doesn’t see the irony here?  I expect that this one might pass just because of the ignorance of its citizens despite the city council and police chief stating their desire to defeat this issue.

 

Overall, I expect that I won’t be happy with the results of this election cycle.  I also expect that these same feelings will be shared by thousands of others whose results were not as desired around the country in their own political battlegrounds.   However if you don’t vote you can’t complain.

 

So my recommendation is to vote early and vote often.  Only by voting can change happen everywhere that needs to happen.

 

The 100th Post – State of the Blog

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Hello and welcome to the 100th post.

 

This blog has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

 

Maybe I should say the lack of beginnings.

 

This blog was born out of my desire to talk about everything that my other blog didn’t cover.

 

Certainly politics was a major topic over the last year or so of this blog.  Anger exists of the stupid politicians and how they seem to want to hurt more than help the people who put them in office in the first place.

 

Love it or hate it, Time Warner Cable has been a constant evolving problem.  Things may get better or worse if the proposed takeover by Comcast takes place.  In fact, one person I know expressed his hatred to merger despite the fact that he not only doesn’t watch TV, he doesn’t have cable or as far as I know don’t even own a TV.  How can anyone be angry at a merger without knowing how bad things currently are?  I guess ignorance is bliss.

 

Ignorance also showed its ugly head with customer service as well.  When companies like Newsweek ignore their customer’s subscriptions like I was ignored, then going out of business would be a blessing.  Sad when a company offers no solution to help a customer.

 

As far as television is concerned, we mourned the death of shows like iCarly and Victorious while criticizing the rotating horrors of Saturday night on Nickelodeon.  The movies on the network fared no better overall.

 

On the Disney side, shows like “Liv & Maddie” are promising and “Teen Beach Movie” was a hit, but other newcomers may have some issues.  Unfortunately, “Shake It Up” and “Good Luck Charlie” are two of the better shows that are both history now.

 

Speaking of history, we kiss goodbye to “The X Factor”.  After 3 painful years, it is finally over.  However, the real question will be the survival of a revamped “American Idol”.  Only time will tell over that one, but at least the drama queens are gone.

 

Speaking of drama queens, there was no shortage of displays of nudity of former Disney queens Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus.  Can’t these girls keep their clothes on at all?  What are they trying to prove by doing all that nudity and what influences are they upon their younger fans?  I consider neither a role model anymore and I hope others feel the same way.

 

Finally, the topic of bullying sparked the biggest comments, mostly from those on Facebook, which ironically is the biggest source of the problem.  Facebook also has seen its ups and downs on the number of friends I have.  Some have tried to be friends while others have left with no explanation.  My thought is its their loss not mine.

So what am I looking forward to discussing in the future.  Here are some of the topics I have in mind for the future:

 

  • Why go blue?
  • What the TWC merger means to us?
  • Disney vs. Nick:  why are the wheels falling off both companies?
  • And finally, possibly coming next a multi-part post:  Why I never intend to attend my high school reunion ever?  I expect that this one will offend a lot of people who still are friends with me from high school.

 

Overall, this has been humbling road since the first post which just had one vote as to whether I should have left my original blog to Blogger.  Thankfully I extended to WordPress because the blog has increased significantly since.  Hopefully, this one will see similar growth when I reach post #200.

 

So until next time…happy reading.

 

 

 

 

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