The Soapbox Archives:
Ballot Question #1:
I don't see any compelling reason to vote "Yes" on Question 1. True, we already pay a godly-sided tax on gas, but have you tried buying gas in states like Connecticut? I always try to time my gas purchases until I get out of Connecticut to save money.
The whole point of the ballot question was to teach the politicians a lesson. That's a stupid reason to change the law. I'm voting "No" on Question 1 so we don't jeopardize funding for our roads and highways.
Has anyone talked about the more important question about what to do about funding for roads with all the electric and hybrid cars around? The road funds come from gas taxes and if people aren't using as much gas because they have more efficient cars, there won't be as much money to fix the road and there will still be the same amount of wear and tear on the roads. I wish these ballot questions would focus on the real problems.
Ballot Question #2:
One of the arguments for voting "No" on Question 2 is that recycling is available in most towns now that there's no need to expand the Bottle Bill. I know that in some towns, like Southboro, require residents to pay for a sticker that allows them to take their recycleables to the dump or transfer station. How much of an incentive is there to recycle there?
"80% of the beer and soda containers get recycled. Only 23% of non-deposit containers do." You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. There are a lot of people who won't recycle even if you provide the containers an and come by to pick it up.
On the other hand, the Bottle Bill offers people to pay for the privilege of not recycling. If people don't redeem containers for their deposit, there's someone else who's willing to pick up your trash for that nickel per container. With an expanded bottle bill, more drink containers will get recycled and there's no downside to that.
Perhaps when most people choose to recycle, they can get rid of the Bottle Bill completely.
Epilogue: If you're going to talk about recycling, how about making businesses recycle? Go by most businesses at night; if they don't have a dumpster in the back, they'll have piles and piles of trash in front to be picked up in ithe morning. Do you ever see trash sorted for recycling there? How about apartment buildings with dumpsters? I see *air conditioners* in there because it's easier than going to the town and arranging for their proper disposal.
Ballot Question #3:
It's hard to decide which way to go. Do we want to be a nanny state and protect people from themselves? Do we want to have to be in a position to have to pick people up after they've gambled all their money away? Do we want to deal with the inevitable crime that will migrate in? Do we want to create a lot of new jobs? Do we want to keep the tax revenue in the state? Should they concentrate on attracting manufacturing jobs to the state instead?
Epilogue: In the end, I voted "No" on this. My reasoning is that even if a specific casino fails, at least there will have been the construction jobs and the local infrastructure will have been improved for future residents and businesses.
Ballot Question #4:
I don't know if I support this one. Large companies can afford to let people take time off because they have enough people to cover. Small companies can't afford to pay people when they're not working. It'd be alright if the companies decided to allow this time off but I don't think we should mandate it. Margins are tight enough as it is and small businesses are struggling enough. Let's not make it even more expensive to run a business in Massachusetts.
Epilogue: In the end, I voted for this. I've always been an "exempt" (non-hourly) employee and my companies have always had a sick days policy. I didn't see why others couldn't enjoy this either, though this policy would force restaurants to pay their waitstaff the full minimum wage during their sick days (waitstaff normally get a low hourly wage because they get most of their wages through tips).
I don't understand what the big deal is:
I will not be offended.
I will be thankful that you took the time to say something nice to me.
As someone who spends a lot of time fixing my friends' computers, I thought you might want to read this article on Support Scams. I keep getting calls from bogus companies like the ones described in the article. It's interesting that the FTC busted some scammers in Florida and New York, but all the ones who called me had Indian accents. I just assumed they were using VOIP to call from India.
Any ways, if you get one of these phone calls, just hang up.
I wanted to let you know that former Bostonian and long-time West Coast Swing dancer (and champion) Maxwell Chun Wing Ho passed away on Wednesday, November 19, in the San Mateo (CA) Medical Center surrounded by his friends.
Maxwell had been suffering from cancer for years, but his letters gave hope that he was going to pull through. The last email I got from him was on November 9 and it said that he was going through treatment after a relapse of the cancer. This was after an exhausting 8 weeks of radiation treatments. He had asked that this information not become public. He went back into the hospital on November 17 and found more cancer in his brain and lungs. He was told that more radiation wasn't going to help and he knew that his time with us was short.
It seemed appropriate that those with him in his last moments on this earth were treated to a double rainbow in the sky after the morning rain, a tribute to Maxwell's enthusiasm for life. I'm going to miss him.
Many thanks to Alice Howard for sharing her picture of Maxwell with us.