Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shocking Allegation with Brayton Point Power

Stay with me and I'll try to explain my thoughts about a new shocking allegation with respect to Brayton Point Power.

I came across a Boston Globe article that indicated a group called Public Citizen has asked federal regulators to investigate Energy Capital Partners, the alleged new owners of Brayton Point Power.  In documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on 4/14/2014, Public Citizen alleged Energy Capital Partners knew that closing Brayton Point would push up the price of electricity and increase revenue for their other power stations. The Boston Globe story states:
With Brayton Point scheduled to close in 2017, ISO New England recently paid energy generators $2 billion more for making commitments to provide energy to the region that year, according to the FERC filing.  As a result, Public Citizen claimed, five other plants owned by Energy Capital Partners reaped an extra $100 million.  “We see this as an intentional move to withhold capacity so that their other operating units can make money,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program.
Before I discuss this, lets recap what has happened over the last several years.  There has been a war waged on coal, fossil fuels, and coal powered plants by the Obama administration and his lawless EPA.  Barack Hussein Obama has unleashed the federal government onto power plants like Brayton Point by way of a myriad and maze of EPA rules and regulations aimed at shuttering these power plants forever.  The federal government has stymied coal fired electricity production with the end-goal of closing down most, if not all, coal fired electrical power plants in New England and throughout the United States.  That is a fact! The Commonwealth has also done its part with Cap and Trade legislation, also with the end-goal of closing coal fired plants here in New England.  In addition, environmental pressure groups have brought enormous pressure upon Brayton Point with their pseudo-science of climate change and global warming falsehoods.  Most, if not all, of these aforementioned pressures have emanated from lawless bureaucratic government intervention and manipulation of private companies that own these power plants.  These power plants have never, ever, operated in a free market system.  And, let us not forget, these power plants were created in the very first place to fulfill the electricity consumption needs and demands of consumers, like you and I.  The only reason Brayton Point exists in the first place is due to incredibly high consumer demand of electricity and the profit motive.  Period.

Those are the reasons why Brayton Point has closed down and there are no other reality based reasons whatsoever.

That being said, Energy Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in America’s energy infrastructure and, of course, making a profit. Yes, they exist to make a profit (OMG) by way of disciplined investments in the energy sector. That is what they do, day in and day out! That is their motive, so don't kid yourselves! They allegedly purchased Brayton Point as an investment to earn a substantial profit. There are no other reality based reasons whatsoever.

Legally, I very much doubt Public Citizen or federal regulators will be able to prove that Energy Capital Partners "intentionally" closed Brayton Point to "withhold capacity" so their other operations can make money.  That seems nearly impossible.  In all likelihood, Energy Capital Partners will deny the allegations and handle this under their own lowest ultimate cost principles of risk management.  But, even if they did prove it, what is wrong with what they are accused of doing?  Answer:  nothing....

As I said, Energy Capital Partners allegedly invested in Brayton Point to make a profit. Perhaps Brayton Point won't make a profit ever again, but the fault of that lies solely with Obama, the EPA, Cap and Trade, the Commonwealth of MA politicians, and the crazy environmentalists. 

I see nothing wrong with withholding supply to boost demand and prices to benefit other operations and using Brayton Point as the vehicle to accomplish the goal. Energy Capital Partners is simply using the government's corrupt bureaucracy and the government's overreaching manipulations and the government's hideous interventions to their own profitable advantage to maximize profits with other power generation facilities they own. This is what happens when the government inserts itself into the free market economy versus allowing Adam Smith's so called "invisible hand" to work its magic.  It is the government, and only the government, that has caused the calamity we are in now.

The illegal and ridiculous road blocks were erected by the government, so don't blame Energy Capital Partners for jumping over them, going around them, or ignoring them.

~Zarathustra

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Somerset Teachers' Association

I'm struggling to understand what, if any, negative consequences resulted from the regional committee chair saying (paraphrased) “the budget reflects a 0 percent increase for teachers and other staff.”  Isn't that a true statement?  The budget really does reflect a zero percent increase for teachers and other staff.  At this point in time, the budget must reflect a zero percent increase for teachers and staff because of the dire financial condition of Somerset, MA.  Isn't that what every town voter expects right now?  This does not seem surprising to me given the harsh realities in Somerset and the significant imbalance of expense to revenue.

This is akin to when my company states "there will be no raises in 2014 because of the poor financial condition of the company".  Other times, my company has stated to every employee "the average raise will be 1.8%, some will be lower, and some will be higher".  In my company of 20,000+ employees, the budget for raises (or no raises) is well-known prior to the performance evaluation process.  In fact, the budget is known in December a full month before performance evaluations are completed and delivered.  An employee may have been an exceeds performer, yet due to budgetary constraints, may get an average raise or may get no raise at all.  Certainly, that is the reality for most people in the private sector, whether it be a large, medium, or small enterprise.

Negotiations haven't been undermined.  Not many voters expected teachers or other staff to get a raise.  The Somerset Teachers' Association also should not expect a raise now or for the next 10 years.  This is not a statement of teacher performance and should not be taken as a negative.  It simply reflects the substantial budgetary constraints due to free-falling revenues in Somerset.

If the teachers of Somerset want a raise this year, I'd suggest disbanding the teachers' union and allowing teachers to keep their $84.36/month in union dues.  That would be an annual increase of $759.24 for the teachers and other staff!!!  This union disbanding would allow teachers to negotiate their own pay individually based on their own individual merits and not be constricted by the mass negotiations that happen now.  It would also allow an extra $759.24 to be put in their pocket at no cost to taxpayers.  The problem with the teachers' union is the poor teachers get the same raise as the outstanding teachers, thereby creating a monetary disincentive to be a great teacher.  I'm dreaming, of course....

So, the Somerset Teachers' Association should come to the bargaining table with the school committees and negotiate, but there is no money to give now or for the foreseeable future. You can either get used to it, go on a new job search, or disband the union and go it alone (there is a "no strike" clause in the contract).  There are no other alternatives for you in Somerset...Sorry.

~Zarathustra

Monday, April 14, 2014

Environmentalists Lying In Somerset

I was reading the Herald News this morning and nearly fell off my chair and threw up my Cheerios.  It was this Holtzman article: Somerset Economic Development Committee turns to citizens panel for power plant reuse ideas.  Here is the part that did it to me (near the end of the article, my links were added):
She [Pauline Rodrigues] said it’s been as a result of that advocacy, and lawsuits from the Conservation Law Foundation, that considerable funds became available to benefit Somerset. 
That prompted a contrasting response from selectmen Chairman Donald Setters.
“On the other hand, that’s why the power plants are closing down,” Setters said.
“That had nothing to do with the power plants closing down. The power plants are closing down because of economic conditions,” Rodrigues said.
          “I disagree with that,” Setters answered.

Chairman Setters is absolutely, 100% correct and Pauline Rodrigues is absolutely, 100% wrong.

The "considerable funds" Pauline Rodrigues is talking about is from the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative).  It was the $3,000,000 Somerset received from that trust fund recently (of which we have already spent over $500,000 at the last town meeting) that Pauline Rodrigues is saying was the result of "advocacy and lawsuits".  That statement is completely false, and she knows it.  

The RGGI funds emanated from the Cap and Trade legislation whereby the State steals money from power plants and places it into the RGGI trust fund.  As I have indicated in many prior blog posts, the Commonwealth sought to control carbon emissions by setting an overall cap of carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants.  The Commonwealth then sells (via auction) the authorization to emit carbon emissions (as long as the carbon emissions allowances do not exceed the cap).  The proceeds from the sale of these “allowances of carbon emissions” are then placed in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Trust Fund for specific distribution set forth in the same statute.  Then, by way of Chapter 64, a municipality can apply for a one-time $3,000,000 reimbursement from the RGGI trust fund set-up under Chapter 21A; Section 22 due to the negative and crippling (i.e. lower tax revenue) impacts of Chapter 21A; Section 22.  That is where the $3,000,000 check came from, Pauline Rodrigues, so stop lying to Somerset residents...


Contrary to Pauline Rodrigues statement, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts confiscated, seized, and stole large sums of money from these privately owned electric power companies like Montaup and Brayton Point which then negatively impacted their business operations, lowered production, lowered revenue, lowered profits, and lowered the business value.  The value of the business was reduced significantly due to decreased production, decreased revenue, and decreased profits.  The tax revenue collected by the local municipality is thereby reduced significantly since the Cap and Trade law reduced the value of the business, thus reducing its tax revenue assessment (hence our recent PILOT tax treaty with Brayton Point).  

After the business value is reduced significantly due to the Cap and Trade law and after the municipality is negatively impacted due to much lower tax revenue from the business, the municipality must then apply to get a one-time $3,000,000 "reimbursement" from the RGGI trust fund which only exists due to the Commonwealth’s confiscation of the private business money in the first place.  All this is happening at the same time the federal government (via the EPA) is over-regulating the same business with extremely expensive and oppressive rules and regulations for the sole and exclusive purpose to snuff out the private business (i.e. shut it down completely).  It is a double whammy of the state and federal government working together with the end goal of closing Montaup and Brayton Point Power Station forever!  

And guess what?  By June 2017, they are both out of business!  Chairman Setters is absolutely 100% correct.  These plants are closing down due to the MA Cap and Trade law, Obama's over-reaching EPA, Obama's war on coal, and environmentalists like Pauline Rodrigues and 350MA.org and Jay O'Hara.  

The "economic conditions" were caused by these Statists so the plants could not operate profitably and would go out of business.  There is no other reason, Pauline, so stop lying to Somerset residents...

~Zarathustra

Friday, April 11, 2014

Somerset Residents Please Take Note

As Somerset, MA approaches the May 12th general election and the May 19th Annual Town Meeting, let us not forget the dire financial straits we are in as a small, suburban community known as "Musictown".

Specifically, let us not forget the following fiscal calamities occurring right now

  1. Somerset has a $49,119,223 annual expenditure, two-thirds of which are education costs.
  2. Somerset spends at a rate of $5,607.22 per hour.  For every hour that passes, more than one average residential tax bill is spent by town government.
  3. According to town officials, Somerset has $11,000,000 in unfunded retirement liabilities (as of FY 2012), which continues to grow at a rate of $1,000,000 per year because no official in town government has addressed the issue since it was publicized on November 7, 2013.  Unfunded liabilities means there has been no funding or appropriations made to fund the retirement promises made in the past.
  4. Somerset has a brand new high school slated to open September 2014 costing $83,000,000. You voted for it, the bill is now due.
  5. Somerset's tax revenue from Brayton Point Power and Montaup are significantly reduced and will be close to zero by 2017.  After 2017, Somerset will realize a $15,000,000 per year loss in revenue due to the power plant shuttering.  In the course of 10 years, we'll lose about $150,000,000 in tax revenue due to the shuttering of the power plants.
  6. Somerset has borrowed over $9,000,000 to fund town government and has expended hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants and treasury assistance.
  7. Somerset spent over $500,000 of the confiscated $3,000,000 RGGI funds in the last special town meeting, leaving only $2,500,000 to offset tax increases.
  8. Somerset residents have not paid any taxes in 2014 since tax bills have not been mailed out to residents.  It is now mid-April and the MA DOR has not certified Somerset's finances nor has the tax rate been set by the town.  Musictown is in tax revenue limbo and operating on borrowed money, which is depleting rapidly.
  9. Somerset's elected town officials (nearly all of them) and administration have done an atrocious job governing and managing this town's $49,119,223 in expenditures.  This includes the Selectmen (past and present), School Boards (past and present), Administrators (past and present), Superintendents, Treasurers, voters (past and present), and nearly all department heads, elected or not.  Blame is everywhere.
  10. Somerset's dysfunctional elected and appointed Boards, Committees, Commissions, Administrators, and individual leaders have done an atrocious job at governing and managing this town's government in general.  The finger pointing, miscues, miscommunication, excuses, backstabbing, betrayal, double crossing, and underhandedness of this town's leadership (most of them) is a collective embarrassment and a black eye on Somerset's once-great reputation.
During the election process and the town meeting process, there will be citizens rising up to tell us not to cut education, not to cut police, not to cut fire, not to cut public works, and not to cut culture and enrichment services.  They will rise up to say we should not cut anything because "education is for the kids and they are our future" or "public safety is paramount to all other town services" or "the police and fire departments are second to none and they should not be touched" or "a public library is so important to a small community". These are the normal sayings and quotes from our left-leaning residents that see things through rose colored glasses.  Their message is to keep on spending and appropriating no matter what.

I am here to tell you to take off those rose colored glasses and see things in Somerset for what they truly are.

~Zarathustra

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Race Baiting

This constant race baiting and race peddling by liberal Democrats is reprehensible and sick.

Baseball legend, Hank Aaron, likened any person that disagrees with Barack Hussein Obama to be "like" KKK members (Ku Klux Klan) or akin to modern day bigots and racists.  Might I remind  Mr. Aaron (and all the other liberal Democrats out there) that the KKK was born out of the losers of the civil war by your Democratic party and former slave owners.  Yes, the KKK, with all its hatred and murder of black humans, was born out of the Democratic party. Your great Socialist leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt, picked a bigot for the Supreme Court (Hugo Black) and your former Democratic Senate leader (Robert Byrd) was a long time KKK member, leader, and recruiter.  It is the Democrat party that is synonymous with hatred, bigotry, and the Ku Klux Klan, Mr. Hank Aaron....the blood of racism and bigotry is on the hands of the Democratic party, Mr. Aaron.  Get your facts straight....

I am sick of the Obama administration's race war.  It is sick and demented beyond the pale. At every turn, if one disagrees with the ideology, philosophy, or policy of this administration, one is immediately deemed a racist and a bigot by the administration and the mainstream media. Even the Attorney General is in the trenches of this despicable war claiming racism at even the whiff of disagreement with his policies, practices, and procedures.

No one can call them to task or hold them accountable for their Marxist policies for fear of being deemed a racist and a bigot.  If you disagree with their policies, you are a racist, a bigot, a misogynist, an anti-Semite, an anti-Christian, an anti-Muslim, etc.  This is the very definition of tyranny and despotism!  Obama has placed this country in the state of perpetual race war where only he and his liberal crackpots can win.

You must agree with everything we say and do or you will be demonized, defamed, slandered, and crucified on the alter of the all-mighty Democratic party and their praetorian media guards.  While you are agreeing with Obama 100%, we must also adopt the below slogans as undeniably true, lest you are, indeed, a racist:


WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
2+2=5


~Zarathustra

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Democrats War On Women

The war on women by the Statists continues...I was struck again by the hypocrisy of the Statists on this issue, especially the fact Obama's White House pays women less than men and Senate Democrats also pay their female staffers less than men (much less).

Statists do not desire diversity, they demand conformity.  Statists do not desire inclusion, they demand assimilation.  Statists do not desire equality, they demand integration.  Statists demand Utopia.

Now the Statists are demanding "equal pay for women."  Barack Hussein Obama is going to sign an Executive Order for this egalitarian Utopian principle (despite the fact there are already numerous laws to this very issue).  

The "equal pay for women" principle is based on an unproven premise that there is, indeed, unequal pay for women when the same job is completed with the same level of competence and with the same level of experience.  This principle is based on the unproven premise that there is unequal pay for women (and women only) when the same job responsibilities, same contributions, same job knowledge, same job expertise, and same job performance exist amongst women and men.

Is there ever a chance that a group of women or men would ever have the exact same competence, experience, responsibilities, contributions, knowledge, expertise, and performance as their gender counterpart?  Probably not.  Does having a penis or vagina matter that much?  In fact, no two people are alike and the chances of just two people (one man and one women) sharing the exact same expertise and competence is zero.  They are all individuals and must be treated individually despite their genitalia, right? Wrong, according to the Statists.  

You are not an individual, says the Statists, you are a member of a collective group or class or gender or race or religion or income and we Statists will pit one class against the other class in our never ending quest for Utopia, Statism, and all-powerful leviathan government. In this case, the gender class of man versus woman will be pitted against one another to further our cause of Utopia and all-controlling government.  Tomorrow we'll pit the black man against the white man, then the Christian against the Jew, then the rich against the poor, then we are back on the genitalia thing (i.e. penis versus vagina).  While we do this, we keep increasing the size and scope of the government under the guise of protecting one class against another class. We Statists simply create the conflict by mentioning the obvious differences between us and planting the seed that we can achieve conformity and equal outcomes if you just allow us to control everybody (including you).  We Statists can save you from inequality, just give us the power and control and we'll fix everything by hatchet, ax, and saw.

It is funny you keep falling for this "class warfare" thing....we've been doing it for over a 100 years now.  So gullible are you....

~Zarathustra

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Unimpressed For The Most Part

I attended the candidates night last night at SBRHS.  I do appreciate the Somerset Democratic Town Committee hosting the event and Patricia Haddad moderating the event. It was a good opportunity to see the candidates on their toes and answering questions.  I thought more voters would attend, but I guess that is asking too much of people nowadays.

I wasn't very impressed overall with the pool of candidates.  

One of the Selectmen candidates really came off as unqualified, not very intelligent, and looked unprofessional.  The other two seemed more polished and refined, but I didn't get a feel for what they actually stood for or against.  They seem to be running for the opportunity to bang heads with our current Selectmen (i.e. the wrong reason).

One of the moderator candidates admitted to not attending many town meetings.  I found that odd.

Two candidates didn't bother to show up due to some "prior commitments."  I found that odd.  Actually, I found that to be a deal-breaker for my vote.

One challenger for the 2 year K-8 seat came off excellent and impressive.  Very sharp, professional, even-keeled, new to Somerset politics, and qualified.  That was refreshing.

For the 3 year K-8 seat, I think now we are better-off with what we have given the choices.

For the region seat, it is the difference between throwing a hand-grenade into a crowd or 99 balloons into a crowd.  I don't know what to think of this one.

For the most part, I'm unimpressed.  Somerset is burning everywhere, near fiscal collapse, and completely dysfunctional.  Yet, I'm not getting the feeling any of these candidates will be able to fix our problems or lead our town out of the grave.

~Zarathustra

Monday, April 7, 2014

We Are Against Cronyism. Period.

True constitutional conservatives believe in freedom and liberty and private property rights above all else.  We are vehemently against cronyism in all of its ugly forms, whether it be by Democrats or Republicans touting the privilege.  

We oppose all forms of crony capitalism including, but not limited to: stimulus programs, TARP, quantitative easing, welfare, medicaid, medicare, social security, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, AIG bailout, GM bailout, Wall Street bailout, redistribution of wealth, cash-for-clunkers, Solyndra, and cap-and-trade.  We are against "insiders" and "crony lobbyists".  We loath corporate welfare, personal welfare, socialism, Marxism, and communism.  We hate "venture socialism" and "government intrusion" of any kind.  We cannot stand for government "picking" the winners and losers, granting policy privileges, favoring special interests, favoritism, corruption, nepotism, tax loopholes, regulatory advantages, and subsidies to individuals or corporations. We are not Statists, we are capitalists!

What we want (no demand) and what the United States Constitution protects is individual freedom, individual liberty, and individual private property rights.  We will only stand for pure, unadulterated, laizzez-faire capitalism as advocated by Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand.  Anything less, is not freedom.  Anything less is Statism, which we stand against...

A fabulous article appeared in the National Review Online by Senator Mike Lee.  I encourage everyone to read it...  

~Zarathustra

RINOs: Tinkering Morons

We saw this coming from a mile away.  Republicans, or so-called RINOs, do not want to repeal ObamaCare.  These RINOs are also for big, leviathan federal government just like the Democrats.  They like the Marxist ObamaCare law.  They stand by the monstrous law and will never attempt to repeal the law.....ever!   In fact, they stabbed Senator Ted Cruz in the back when he attempted to de-fund ObamaCare back in September.  

Now, the same establishment Republicans are "tinkering" with the law to make it "improved" and more "business friendly" and also to expand the monstrous law.  In effect, they are tinkering and allowing Democrats an "out" so Democrats don't have to run from the law during the mid-term elections.  As is always the case, Democrats will use this tinkering to their favor and make the Republicans look like idiots (which is true and not hard to do) and the media will turn the tables on them again.  This Republican party leadership is comprised of mental morons that stand for the same out-of-control federal government as the Democrats!  The Republicans shoot themselves in the foot at every chance.  There is no difference between all Democrats and most Republicans...

As usual, these feckless Republicans tucked the changes in some other legislation (hidden) then passed it by an uncommon voice vote without any debate!  

Sneaky bastards, aren't they?

~Zarathustra

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Senator Harry Reid, Decrepit and Senile

I am sitting here listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony and I'm happy, sad, and enraged all at the same time.  Beethoven does that to me, especially the 5th.  I'm a little drunk too.

You know that old, senile, lunatic in the Senate, Harry Reid?  He is the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.  He is a decrepit old man.  He needs to retire from public life.  I think he has dementia or Alzheimer's (or both).  Usually when he speaks, they have to put his teeth in and wipe the drool off his chin.  His teeth often come loose and you cannot understand him.  What an old senile bag of rocks.  Here is one of his numerous nonsensical attacks on the "Koch brothers" as he put it....


What an old senile fool you are Harry Reid.  Attacking great Americans that are the producers of society.  Going after private Americans from the Senate floor; lying, deceiving, creating propaganda, and defiling.  Attacking capitalists and conservatives from your powerful position.  Harry Reid is a socialist and Marxist and is against capitalism, freedom, liberty, and America.  Harry Reid is the antithesis of freedom!  Due to Harry's attacks, Mr. Koch recently defended himself in the below Wall Street Journal Op Ed piece:

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. "The natural progress of things," Jefferson wrote, "is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." He knew that no government could possibly run citizens' lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.

Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we're "un-American" and trying to "rig the system," that we're against "environmental protection" or eager to "end workplace safety standards." These falsehoods remind me of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company:

Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our "commitment to a cleaner environment" and called us "a model for other companies."

Our refineries have consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions. In 2012, our Total Case Incident Rate (an important safety measure) was 67% better than a Bureau of Labor Statistics average for peer industries. Even so, we have never rested on our laurels. We believe there is always room for innovation and improvement.

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. Now the mandate needs to go, so that consumers and the marketplace are the ones who decide the future of ethanol.

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I'm dedicated to fighting for that vision. I'm convinced most Americans believe it's worth fighting for, too.

Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries.


Amen to that response, Mr. Koch....

~Zarathustra

Friday, April 4, 2014

Somerset's Expenditures Down to the Second

As many of us know, Somerset's expenditures in fiscal year 2014 were $49,119,223.  This is based on the mailing I received prior to the Special Town Meeting.  I took the figures and completed some rudimentary analysis....


The expenditure for Somerset is at the following rates: 
  • $4,093,268.58/month
  • $134,573.21/day
  • $5,607.22/hour
  • $93.45/minute
  • $1.56/second
For a relatively small town with average housing and average incomes, I think spending at a rate of $5,607 per hour is both astronomical and ridiculous all at the same time.  Put another way, in just one hours time, Somerset spent my annual property tax of $5,373 plus another $234.  In just one hour it was spent!  My hard earned property taxes are gone in just one hour of the year.  I'm stupefied...I'm speechless...I'm pissed off....

Can you believe Somerset spends $4,093,268 every month?  Can you believe Somerset spends $134,573 every day (including weekends and holidays)?  Can you believe Somerset spends $5,607 every hour (even when you are sleeping)?  Can you believe Somerset spends $93.45 every minute and $1.56 every second?

Somerset must gain control over this spending now.  Not next year, not next month, but now.  Somerset cannot sustain this spending rate given the significantly declining revenues. Yet, we just keeping spending...

~Zarathustra


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Effectuating Change

In our fragile democracy, the citizens' petition process is of utmost importance.  It is in this process where citizens can take an active role in effectuating change and we all must support the right of free petition by citizens and voters.  I do support the rights of those that went to the trouble of getting the requisite signatures and filing the petitions at the Somerset town clerks office on time.

I'll say it again even louder, I support the rights of those two citizens that took the initiative to see their petitions appear on the annual town meeting warrant article list!

Your dedication to Somerset is commendable and I thank you for your initiative and activism.

That being said, I disagree with each and every warrant suggested and I cannot advocate for any of the proposed warrant articles.  More on that at some other time...

~Zarathustra

Because Obama Said So....

Barack Obama spoke about Affordable Care Act enrollment totals at the White House but took no questions, as Vice President Joe Biden stood by wordlessly and applaudedBarack Hussein Obama has declared in another campaign style speech that the debate over the efficacy of ObamaCare is over. Why?  Because he said so....

Barack Hussein Obama has declared 7.1 million people have enrolled in ObamaCare.  How? Because he said so...

Barack Hussein Obama declared ObamaCare is here to stay.  Why?  Because he said so....

Debate is over? Republicans stand to make huge gains in the U.S. Senate in November, and increase their margin in the House, largely on the strength of Americans' weariness with Obamacare -- but the president for the first time Tuesday went out of his way to thank Democrats for making it happenBarack Hussein Obama declared "history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security." [a not so veiled threat to conservatives] Why?  Because he said so....

Prior to ObamaCare being passed, Barack Hussein Obama declared there were 40-50 million uninsured people in America, apparently counting people in America illegally.  He declared the goal of insuring all 40-50 million people under his new ObamaCare law.  Why?  Because he said so....

The truth is, 7.1 million people have not enrolled and paid their ObamaCare premiums.  In fact, numbers from a RAND Corporation study suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans (nowhere near 7.1 million) have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured.  The other 6,242,000 people were already insured, including those that lost their coverage when their existing polices were suddenly cancelled because they didn't meet the ObamaCare minimum requirements.  

By that math, ObamaCare has only managed to insure about 2% of the so-called uninsured in America.  This after hundreds of billions of dollars spent and four years of time.  Just 2%! 

We have ruined the greatest health care system in the history of the world to insure just 2%. We have wasted billions upon billions of dollars to insure just 2%.  We have stolen the health insurance of over 6 million people to insure just 2%.  The main stream media is utterly and criminally silent....

How can this not make you mad as hell?

~Zarathustra

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Child Widgets & Common Core

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."  

          Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn

We public education parents, teachers, and administrators treat our children as little widgets to be coerced, manipulated, frightened, and controlled.  We do not desire innovative thinking or free thinking or deep thinking, we desire our children to think and act and be like everybody else.  Public education is not a source of thought quality, but a source of indoctrination into egalitarian principles, socialist political agendas, and herd mentality. It is the ultimate "like everybody else" of mediocrity and conformity.  And that is how it was when our local School Committees made the decisions about curriculum.

Now we no longer make these decisions about curriculum.  Those decisions come from above us, from top down, thrust upon us by some bureaucracy in Washington DC.  Like The Castle that can never be entered, penetrated, or contemplated by K, so goes the curriculum that is pushed down our throats by 'education' demigods.  A hidden and secret agenda done behind-the-scenes by bureaucrats to cajole an already sloppy curriculum to some commonality and a super-standardization of indoctrination.  The masterminds of coercion and manipulation that are the federal government policymakers have named their handiwork the Common Core Standards.  A big money carrot was dangled before Beacon Hill hypocrites who jumped at the money, thereby surrendering the education of our children to nameless, faceless, demigods in Washington DC.

The pedestrian aim of the Common Core Standards is "success in college and careers".  This statement and goal is an affront to society.  The aim of education should never be so trivial as this statement.  But that is what it is.  It is a curriculum that will coerce, manipulate, and control young minds to think like everybody else (and think how they want you to think), to conform, to settle, to be unable to think, to be unable to innovate...they want you prepared for that liberal college agenda and those liberal professors so you fit right in.....they want you prepared for a job in a company that puts diversity and inclusion over profits so you fit right in.  

Above all, they want to corrupt our children's minds so they all think and act alike and there are no outliers in their master plan.

~Zarathustra




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Somerset's Austerity Wall Has Been Breached

Disclaimer -- The Somerset Fire Chief appears to be a professional and outstanding Fire Chief.  He appears to be a very nice person, dedicated to his job and family, capable, and a true asset to Somerset, MA.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, how can the Selectmen look at themselves in the mirror and not see contradiction and hypocrisy looking back at them?  Over and over again, we hear [mostly] Scott LeBeau and Don Setters telling Somerset voters of the dire financial condition Somerset is in.  They repeat it at Selectmen meetings and during the recent Town Meetings. We all know Somerset is approaching financial doom and no one knows it better than Scott Lebeau, Don Setters, and Patrick O'Neil.  Selectmen have been telling us that major and substantial cuts are needed from every single department in Somerset. Remember Scott LeBeau's January 7, 2014 letter to the editor?

Enter contradiction and hypocrisy.  The Board of Selectmen recently approved a new three-year contract with the Fire Chief, giving him a $2,600 raise to $97,306, upon signing!  That is a 2.3% raise for the Chief during Somerset's aforementioned fiscal Armageddon!  I cannot believe the contradiction in principles or the hypocrisy of the Selectmen!  Somerset cannot afford this raise and no raise should have been offered at taxpayer expense.  In fact, the Selectmen should have reduced the mileage and use of the town-owned vehicle in addition to providing no raise to realize an actual cut...it it not about the Chief, it is about economics!!!

Somerset is supposed to be practicing austerity, yet we are spending uncontrollably at every turn.  The gap between revenue and expenditure is growing in Somerset and I thought we were trying to find that "glide path" of spending cuts, tax increases, or a mixture of both to make the [crash] landing smoother.  Instead, not even our Selectmen are practicing what they are preaching and raises are doled out as if nothing was wrong.  

By this decision, the Selectmen have proven they are not entirely serious about fixing Somerset's fiscal woes.  They do not have the stomach for austerity.  They are not willing to send the message of tough cuts to the voters and other departments.  Why should any town department tighten their belts now?  They were the last line of defense and the austerity wall has been breached...

~Zarathustra

Monday, March 31, 2014

Climaphobia

Here is yet another example of climate change and global warming hysteria propagated by the Marxist media (Associated Press in this case).  The AP reports "If the world doesn't cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral "out of control," the head of a United Nations scientific panel warned Monday."  

What heat-trapping gases?  Water vapor?  High clouds?  I haven't noticed any "harms" of "global warming"...I haven't noticed any global warming at all...have you?

But I'm sure Barack Hussein Obama will use this false report to unleash the EPA onto American businesses like never before.  

Let's look at the United Nations report's headline statements one-by-one.  The 44 page report jumps to the conclusion that if world's governments do not stop CO2 emissions, global catastrophe is imminent.  It is an alarmists report meant to scare the hell out of you and it gives the Statists a reason to "act", sooner rather than later....

1.  Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

In fact, warming of the climate is not "unequivocal" and the premise is false right out of the gate.  There has been very minimal temperature change measured over time of the earth's surface or the vast oceans that cover two-thirds of the earth's surface.  Snow and ice have not diminished and the sea level most certainly has not risen by any discernible amount! Perhaps greenhouse gases have increased by some small amount, but their minor increase are nothing the earth's atmosphere cannot handle and already does handle quite well.

2.  Total radiative forcing is positive, and has led to an uptake of energy by the climate system. The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750.

Even a doubling of  CO2 into the atmosphere would change the incoming and outgoing radiation by only about 2%, which is very minor indeed.  No one has ever said we have doubled CO2 since the advent of the industrial revolution, not even close.  Hardly anything for anyone to be concerned about, unless you suffer from climaphobia.

3. Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.

None of these statements are true.  Human influence on the climate is not clear and is inconclusive at best.  There are only minor increases in CO2, no discernible warming (we are talking about tenths of a degree over hundreds of years), and absolutely no proven link between increased CO2 and warming.  Most real scientists do not truly understand how high clouds and water vapor interact with added CO2.  Climates depend on a plethora and confluence of many factors not fully understood by real scientists.  The science it not yet settled.

4. Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

A scientific leap of faith where the U.N. tries to square the circle and scare the hell out of you all at the same time. The statement is a call to action for Barack Hussein Obama and all his Statist friends to further squash industry that engage in emissions.  By the power of the EPA regulation, Obama will stamp out the evil emitters of CO2 and save the planet from catastrophe.  Two emitters have already been stamped out here in Somerset, MA.  It is only a matter of time before you hear Obama using this false report to justify further EPA rules and regulations and more Executive Orders.

Don't you see what is going on here?

~Zarathustra

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Who Is To Blame For Somerset's Fiscal Armageddon?

I write this so everyone in Somerset, MA knows why Somerset is facing Fiscal Armageddon. Please feel free to share...

The reasons are really quite simple and it can be summed up in one small word:  Statism.

Statism is a concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government.  Those that practice and advocate Statism are called Statists. Statists are synonymous with Liberal Democrats, Marxists, Socialists, and Communists.  In a nutshell, those that advocate for more government, bigger government, more rules, more regulations, more laws, more government controls, etc. are Statists and advocate for Statism.

Back to my main point.

It is the Statists that have caused Somerset's Fiscal Armageddon.  Let's go through the main players, but this is not an exhaustive list by any means.  The rabbit hole is as deep as it is wide.  I've paired it down to three main players:

  1. Barack Hussein Obama & The EPA.  Obama is the Statist in Chief, so to speak.  Since his election, he has presided over the country's move to Statism.  His clever use of his Executive Order Pen and the oppressive rules and regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency have caused a death spiral in the power generation industry and the coal production industry.  Obama has effectively waged war with power plants and coal producers using the fourth branch of government, the regulatory branch.  By the EPA's oppressive rules and regulations and by Obama's Executive Order Pen, the Federal government has been stepping on the neck of the power generation industry, suffocating it to death in the swamp of regulations and rules.  Montaup and Brayton Point are just two of the hundreds of victims in the United States.
  2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts & Beacon Hill.  Governor Deval Patrick is like a microbe of Obama and he is the Mini Statist in Chief of Massachusetts.  He, along with many, many, many representatives and senators on Beacon Hill advocate for Statism.  Somerset's own Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset), Joan Menard (D-Somerset), and Westport's Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) are part of the wolf pack of Statists in the Commonwealth and are our local contingent.  It is hard to keep track of all the Statist policies they have advocated over the many years on Beacon Hill, but one in particular contributed heavily to the death of Montaup and Brayton Point.  All three of them voted for the Massachusetts Cap & Trade Law which was designed to put power plants out of business.  This law has significantly contributed to the closing of both Montaup and Brayton Point and Yes votes came from Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset), Joan Menard (D-Somerset), and Westport's Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) with a final signature by Governor Patrick.
  3. Environmentalists, pseudo scientists, Statist controlled media, and general herd ignorance.  These are the remaining propagandists advocating Statism.  The government funded "scientists" perpetuate the myths of global warming and climate change to the point of hysteria.  The Statist controlled media outlets then propagate the myths and further cause hysteria.  Those real scientists that deny climate change and global warming are demonized and crucified in the media (e.g. MIT Professor Richard Lindzen).  The environmental groups (too many to mention) then collectivize and lobby Beacon Hill and Capital Hill and the EPA while also demonstrating and furthering the cause of mass hysteria.  The propaganda, myths, hysteria, and pseudo-science are then generally accepted by the general herd population due to gross misinformation and ignorance.  The circle closes when the EPA steps in with crushing rules and regulations and the Massachusetts Cap & Trade Law illegally confiscates private money for redistribution.  Environmentalist demands are then made to close down electricity generating plants like Montaup and Brayton Point based upon false premises and pseudo-science and general hysteria.  Montaup and Brayton Point are just two victims of this environmental propaganda machine led by the Statists.
If you as a voter have voted for any of these Statists mentioned or if you have supported their campaigns in any way, shape, or form, you are also an advocate for Statism and are part cause of Somerset's fiscal catastrophe.  If you are one that falsely believes greenhouse gases such as CO2 (versus the more prevalent water vapor and clouds, which are also greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) directly cause global warming and climate change or if you consider yourself an "environmentalist" or "green person" or if you believe there actually is global warming and climate change, then you advocate Statism and are part cause of Somerset's fiscal catastrophe.

You see, ideology matters.  Philosophy matters.  Belief matters.  Science matters.  Evidence matters.  The constant voting for Statists in this town and surrounding towns and cities is what has led Somerset to this economic calamity.  The false assumptions you make that global warming and climate change are real and coal is to blame.  Your acceptance of junk science propagated by a biased media based on questionable evidence.  You joyfully fall into the hands of mass hysteria and believing with no evidence, a common practice in ignorant America. They have you hook, line, and sinker because you are so gullible and stand for nothing...those that stand for nothing will fall for anything.

If you want to know who is to blame, you only need to look in the mirror.

~Zarathustra

Friday, March 28, 2014

I wish! I hope! I pray!

I wish!  I hope!  I pray!


Connie Brodeaur of Somerset, MA is one of those "environmentalists" that have been wishing, hoping, and praying that Brayton Point would close down and Montaup would close down over the past 10-15 years.  

Connie, along with others at 350ma.org, the Save Somerset Coalition for Clean Air crowd, the EPA, Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset), Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), and Barack Hussein Obama, have been working very hard and diligently at closing down these power plants for humanity's sake and "for the sake of the children".  And so, they were successful....Montaup is closed and sold at auction and Brayton Point is shuttering the plant in 2017.  

Somerset is out millions upon millions of dollars in tax revenue forever!  In just 10 years time, Somerset will have lost out on $150,000,000 in tax revenue from these businesses thanks to the environmental wackos spewing the pseudo science of climate change, global warming, and a coal free Massachusetts...

Now what?  

Now that they are all closed down and we can all breath freely again, we should do what all good liberals do....form a committee!!  

We need to form a committee of nine ordinary people and try to tell, no demand, these multi-million/billion dollar corporations what they should be doing with the property they own.  As if they are going to listen to anyone but the profit motive, Connie.  How naive are you, Connie?  William Thibeault doesn't give a hoot what you think, Connie.  Brayton Point Energy, LLC doesn't give a damn what you think, Connie.  They are laughing at you and your bogus coalition, Connie.  You are missing one valuable piece of the demand puzzle....ownership!  

In that infinite wisdom of all environmentalists, Democrats, and Liberals, Connie Brodeaur filed a citizens' petition to be heard 5/19 "asking town officials to formally become involved with the creation of a nine-member economic development advisory committee to focus on reuses of the Brayton Point and former Montaup power plant sites."  She could only find 13 citizens to sign her petition (sadly), but that is beside the point...

Listen closely Somerset:  No matter what you wish, hope, or pray will be done with these properties, the actual owners will only do what makes economic sense based upon profit, loss, and GAAP principles.  William Thibeault and Brayton Point Energy, LLC don't live in the fairy tail and Utopian world of The Lorax like Connie.  They are not going to put in a bed and breakfast or a Holiday Inn or skating park or a tree farm if it makes no financial sense to their investors.  They are not going to make open recreation space for Connie to breath deeply and catch butterflies and frolick.  

They simply own the property to earn a profit for themselves, their corporations, and their stockholders.  Somerset and government in general needs to get out of the way so a profit can be made.  Laissez-Faire!!  Period.

~Zarathustra