Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jeer: Gina Giovangelo - Latest Evidence of Our Shrinking Standards

 Unfortunately, we see these kinds of tragic stories all of the time. A poor victim is killed by an irresponsible and reckless driver. Driver leaves the scene. The poor family of the victim cries out for justice. Eventually, the driver turns himself in or is captured.

The story of Gina Giovangelo's hit and run accident on the Cape is no different.

Except for the part where Ms. Giovangelo arrives at court for her arraignment wearing a sweat suit!

As a civilized society, have we really declined so far that 1. this poor girl feels it appropriate to appear in court to answer for her allegedly killing a woman in a wheel chair and leaving the scene, wearing her very best black tights and pink hoodie?! Really?

Or have we declined so far that 2. her friends and/or family sanctioned this decision as appropriate?

If I had to go to court to dispute a speeding ticket, you better believe that I'd be well dressed and groomed in order to make as positive impression on the court and the players involved as possible.

It's called a "standard". It's called "dressing appropriately" for the situation. And what more important situation is there warranting looking and appearing as respectable as possible if not an arraignment for vehicular homicide? 

To be fair, Ms. Giovangelo did appear the second time wearing a button down shirt.

A big improvement from the "whatever" image of sweats and a hoodie.

There are indeed times where casual dress is desired and even appropriate. Nothing wrong with that. But when we as a collective, less and less make the correct distinction between what is appropriate and what is not, something IS wrong.

Jeer: Gina Giovangelo - Latest Evidence of Our Shrinking Standards

Friday, April 30, 2010

Jeer: Beacon Hill chooses illegal immigrants over taxpaying citizens

State Rep. Jeff Perry introduced a bill to require proof of legal residency to receive tax-funded benefits. He has done so every year for the past few. But once again, House democrats killed the bill in its' tracks, again thumbing their collective noses at taxpaying citizens.

Blogger Benjamin Hackett wrote: "...when other European immigrants arrived and were processed, there was a sense of connection with their purpose. That purpose: Make their lives better and prepare for their children’s futures. There was no Social Security. There was no welfare. There was no Medicare or Medicaid. There was only the individual and the fruits of his or her labor. Personally providing for one’s family was essential to daily life. If you failed to provide, and your neighbors proved less than charitable, you paid the consequences."

Oh how things have changed. When Ellis Island was the beacon of entry into America, immigrants (legal) came here seeking religious freedom and the opportunity to make a productive and sustained life for themselves and their children.

Parents made their children speak only English when in public as mastery of the language was correctly viewed as the key to future success and assimilation. Translation: Immigrants came to America TO BE AMERICAN.

In modern America 2010? The vast bulk of immigration is illegal and originates from the countries of South America.  And they know where to go for section 8 housing, food stamps and welfare and have no problem doing so.

A blatant case in point is President Obama's own aunt Onyango living in taxpayer funded public housing in South Boston.

Who among us could enter France illegally and end up in a taxpayer funded apartment for several years?

It's estimated that between 70% and 80% of illegal immigration originates from Mexico.

Ever wonder what Mexico's own immigration parameters are?

From a Newsweek article: "As tough as the United States can be for workers who slip in from south of the border, Mexico is in a poor position to criticize. The problem goes far beyond the predatory gantlet of thugs and crooked cops facing defenseless transients like Moisés. There’s ample precedent in Mexico for just about everything the United States is—or isn’t—doing. Calling out the military? Mexicans may hate the new U.S. plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops on the border, but five years ago they cheered President Vicente Fox for sending thousands of Mexican soldiers to crack down on their southern frontier. Tougher laws? Hispanic-rights groups are enraged over U.S. efforts to criminalize undocumented aliens—yet since 1974, sneaking into Mexico has been punishable by up to two years in prison. Foot-dragging on amnesty? Fox has spent the past five years urging the United States to upgrade the status of millions of illegals from Mexico. Meanwhile, his own government has given legal status to only 15,000 foreigners without papers."

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said that "....Arizona's tough new immigration law is discriminatory and warned that relations with the U.S. border state will suffer."


It's not an "immigration law" it's an "illegal immigration law".

And because we believe that existing immigration laws should be enforced, that does not mean we're racists and bigots. Can there be any more intellectually dishonest argument?

Those legal immigrants who have green cards must carry that card with them at ALL TIMES. Is that racist?
If I go to the bank for a loan, I have to show valid ID and proof of residency. Is that racist?

Back to the local manifestation of Boston's growing dependency/welfare state. The introduced bill to require proof of legal residence before taxpayer funded handouts are given is common sense, practical, fair and appropriate. But once again, Beacon Hill democrats show us how little they think of us and how much they favor those in this city illegally with their hands out.

Did I mention that we're still in the midst of an economic "situation" here? Every State run program is under funded already. Even with the confiscatory taxation on everything that isn't nailed down.

Yet, we have plenty of money to support those here illegally.

Give me the days of Ellis Island immigration where there were no entitlement programs, no section 8, no food stamps, no hand-outs. Just people who wanted to be American and do so on their own.

Jeer: Beacon Hill chooses illegals over it's own citizens.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheer: Bostonians offer shelter for stranded volcano travellers

We all know that Bostonians have a deserved reputation around the country for not being the friendliest drivers or the most open and welcoming of people. Maybe it's the long, cold winters. Maybe it's the excessively high taxation  - sales tax, beer and wine tax, income tax, excise tax, cigarette tax, property tax (which Deval Patrick promised he'd reduce if elected) etc.

So it's nice to see that many Bostonians, in our perpetually grumpy moods, have gone out of their way to offer their homes to those stranded at Logan from abroad after the initial eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.

Check out this link  from Facebook to see what I mean.

Cheer: Cold Bostonians warming up to travellers!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jeer: Boston cops watching potholes at taxpayer expense

From a article: "State officials say they want to use civilian flaggers, allowed under a new state law, to save money; police in Boston and elsewhere, who can earn huge amounts of money working at construction sites, have argued that public safety is better served by having officers, rather than civilians, working the jobs".

And: "When Boston police details are used, officers are paid for a minimum of four hours, even if not needed that entire time."

We all know and appreciate the dangerous work that Boston police perform every day.

There aren't many professions where exists the very real possibility that you can lose your life in performance of your job. Policemen face that possibility every time they put on the uniform. They should be appreciated and absolutley paid well for that risk of life.

But, to strong arm city and civilian construction projects for a 4 hour minimum compensation for a 4 hour or less job, to get paid overtime for it and further increase the siphoning of the taxpayer is predatory.

I don't know how many private sector jobs where you and I can earn literally $111,518.04 in overtime alone on top of $96,679.36 in base salary for a combined income at taxpayers expense of $226,966.70!

Are you kidding me? Mayor Menino makes $150,000 per year.

If I, in my private sector management job, accrued a few extra hours (just hours) of overtime in a single pay period, I'd be expected to make sure it doesn't happen again any time soon. After all, private sector jobs have things like budgets to adhere to. And companies have a strong incentive to make those budgets because, when you don't make budgets, money is lost. If money is lost, business is not successful.

But if I, as a public sector employee in a management position, month after month recorded overtime in my department, it would simply be an interesting statistic to be reported in an annual budgetary excel spreadsheet. What's the big deal? Tax payers aren't going any where.
Take a look at the absurd overtime for Boston cops for yourself.

So let's push for more trained flaggers (thay are indeed trained and sanctioned) and less cops staring pensively into potholes while sipping coffee for a 4 hour minimum tax robbery.

Big Jeer: Boston cops robbing state taxpayers for details

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jeer: Boston drivers (redux)

Follow-up on our first blog lamenting sucky Boston drivers, particularly those who hit pedestrians in crosswalks.

I had my knee surgery a few days ago and am bound to hobble painfully about our small apartment, or sit on my ass for a few weeks.

The wheels of justice are grinding inefficiently somewhere I suppose, but my knee still hurts. The medical bills are rolling in ($600.00 for a pesky M.R.I.) for example. I'm supposed to submit all of my bills to my lawyer. My lawyer, in turn, goes after the car owner's insurance. According to my lawyer (love saying that) the insurance company pushes back on my health insurance provider. Along the way, I sign numerous forms regarding my income, address, social security number etc. I do so in triplicate.

I then get a call from my lawyer (there it is again) and doctor in turn, wanting me to verify my (you guessed it)  income, address, social security number etc. I marvel at the efficiency. I also wonder where my bills are going.

So, still in the midst of the legalese of it all, am healing semi-comfortably at home and trying to enjoy the ride.

Jeer: Boston drivers

Cheer: Street performers play on

I wish I had this guy's commute!

You have to give him and his street performing brethren credit for getting out there and trying to earn a buck amongst us notoriously indifferent Bostonians. And at least he has some skill as a musician. I can clearly identify the songs "Isn't She Lovely" and "Tomorrow". Seems just like music.

Those kids who bang the crap out of their Mom's kitchen pots, pans and old pickle buckets over by Copley during the Summer months make my head hurt after 12 seconds. Maybe if they connected with the sax guy they could really get something going. I'm just saying.

Cheer: Boston street performers

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jeer: It rains hard inside Back Bay station

We've been living in Boston for about 7 years now. Every day, our commute takes us into the bowels of Back Bay station along with thousands of other rat-racers. And every time it rains, all of us have to be extra careful to watch our steps, avoid the variety of orange cones and yellow tape blocking off sections of the station due to the absurd amount of leaks in the roof.

Mayor Tom Menino has said more than once that he considers Boston to be a "world class city".

Maybe he should let the MBTA in on this view.

Funny, but I can't imagine New York's Grand Central Station, or Paris' St. Lazare train station ever subjecting its tax payers to watery obstacle courses.

Granted, Back Bay isn't as large or busy as North Station or South Station, but in a city deemed by the current, long standing Menino administration as "world class", can't someone find the resources to fix the roof?

Talk about making a horrible fist impression upon national and international tourists (who we depend upon to infuse needed revenue into our local economy) and students (thousands of which are enrolled in our colleges and universities) who must wonder how a city like Boston can allow the continued disrepair.

And not just commuters are affected.

as this poor vending business owner has to battle torrential rain INSIDE of the station and all around his equipment.

The following is MBTA fodder for another day and another posting, but methinks this information might be contributing to the cause of the lack of basic station infrrastructure. See what I'm talking about here. In particular the "One day/one year provision" which grants some public employees an entire year of creditable service for as little as one day of work which can boost a pension by thousands of dollars a year. Thank god MBTA workers have the ability to drain the taxpayers in so many ways.

Now, where o where can Boston find money to patch leaky roofs?

If Boston really is a "world class city", then is it too much to ask that basic building maintenance of one of the city's three major stations be addressed?

Maybe we need to reconsider what it means to truly be "world class".

Jeer: Boston's Wet and Slippery Back Bay Station