AllenN's blog

Who controls your body?

Fiscal Conservatism 109

One of the underpinnings of fiscal conservatism is freedom, versus "state control" of things which is stifling and should be avoided whenever possible. As I have explained elsewhere, the state (aka the government) should be involved as little as possible in the free market. That being said, government is always trying to expand and exert as much control as it can because that is what it does. This means we must be vigilant to stop government excess.

Why not let the government do it?

Fiscal Conservatism 108

I'm sure many people implicitly trust the government. But our founding fathers did not, and neither do I.

Like corporations, the government is made up of people. Most people are not evil. They don't personally seek anyone's harm.

But governments have all sorts of justifications for abuse of power and it is very hard to punish those responsible, which might curb some of the abuses. So we have an IRS which is targeting conservative and religious groups for harassment as just one example.

What would Jesus do?

Fiscal Conservatism 107

In this article, I want to explain why President Obama is wrong to take the law into his own hands, bypassing Congress, and make changes using his "executive orders."

Musings on the Wall Street Journal today

The Wall Street Journal is a great newspaper. I don't read a lot of the business news, but much of their regular news coverage is very informative.

Today's Journal (8/9/14) had several interesting articles that I wanted to highlight and comment on. They are somewhat interrelated.

Rich versus poor

Fiscal conservatism 106

Hundreds of years ago, the rich people were members of royalty and inherited their land and wealth. Ordinary people could be given wealth based on their connection to the King and "working" for a living would rarely make you rich. The King was presumed to own just about everything.

So if you weren't born to royalty, the way you became successful long ago was probably your ability to ingratiate yourself to the royal family.

Mass Lottery Instant Ticket Ripoff

The Massachusetts State Lottery has introduced a new instant ticket called "World Class Millions" and this $30 ticket is a world-class ripoff. Players would probably get more pleasure, do more good, and get the same return on investment if they walked down the street and handed out their money to strangers.

Update on Kelley's Corner Work - August 4 2014

In response to a recent Acton Forum article on work being done to upgrade the Kelley's Corner sidewalks (see http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/kelleys-corner-uncoordinated) State Rep. Jen Benson's District Director, Meagan Greene, sent us the following update:

Acton tax policy based on cheapness theory

Part 2.

In the last article, I tried to show how the desire to help others by using public funds is a form of being cheap. Instead of stepping up to raise money for a cause privately, some believe it is better to have the public pay for it.

On the one hand, this results in a much (much) lower cost-per-donor. But on the other, it forces people to support a charity perhaps against their will.

Cheapness redefined

There are two types of cash donations to charity.

The most well-known is personal charity. This is when individuals give money out of their own pocket to help some charitable cause. There can be some personal benefits to this (donating to a kid's soccer team on which your child is a member, or donating to a church which helps pay the salary of the Reverend), or it can be donations to help the needy or cure cancer.

Kelley's Corner uncoordinated

Many have probably noticed the sidewalk reconstruction at Kelley's Corner, which is the intersection of Routes 111 and 27 in Acton, just off Route 2. This project is being done by the state's Dept. of Transportation to "increase accessibility." Surprisingly, it is being done outside of the Kelley's Corner redevelopment project that the town recently voted to spend $277,000 on. (See Beacon article on the 2013 town meeting at http://www.wickedlocal.com/article/20130407/News/304079825).

What is socialism and why is it so bad?

Fiscal conservatism 105

I like to throw around the phrase that our President is a socialist, and I believe it is true. But there are many people who think this is a slur. I don't intend it as such. I believe it is descriptive of his motives and actions.

So let me take a minute to explain what socialism means to me and why I think it is bad for our country. I'm not an economist, of course, so this is just my personal observation. And I will try to keep it simple with an overview. If anyone wants to comment I'd be happy to go into more detail.

Turn them back

I rarely read the Boston Globe anymore as it is simply a shill for the Democratic party. Today's propoganda had two headline stories about illegal immigrant children who were making incredible sacrifices to get to the U.S.. One was an 18-year-old girl who was sold into prostitution by her Mexican-cartel-member family at age 13. I went through a couple boxes of Kleenex (r) hearing this sad tale.

Jack Kemp, an American hero

Fiscal conservatism 104

One day about six or eight years ago, I was channel surfing and I saw a guy who looked vaguely familiar addressing a group about the economy.

This guy was Jack Kemp, former NFL quarterback and former Congressman from Buffalo, NY. I'm not a sports fan so I won't hold his football-playing against him. A guy's got to make a living. I believe he was also in the Reagan or first Bush administration as the head of HUD.

You didn't build those cabins!

Fiscal conservatism 103

In the last article (http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/mountain-full-donkeys) I gave an example of two businesses, one run by private enterprise and the other by the government, both operating donkey rides up a mountain.

A mountain full of donkeys

Fiscal conservatism 102

Here is my second article on fiscal conservatism. The goal of this series is to explain why I believe in fiscal conservatism and some of the thinking behind it. For fellow conservatives, this will seem obvious stuff. But our political opponents don't understand it at all. Maybe this can help. Links to the introduction and first article in this series are below.

Funny Pix Three

This Route 2 highway sign is part of a new educational series for Massachusetts drivers. The other signs in the series include "TREE -->", "CAR -->" and "ROAD V" (down arrow).

Send us your funny picture and if we use it, we will send you a free Acton Forum T-Shirt!

NEXT PHOTO: http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/funny-pix-four

FUNNY PIX TWO: http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/acton-funny-pix-two

FUNNY PIX ONE: http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/acton-funny-pix

Bring on the flagmen

In the last few days, I've had the pleasure of driving down High Street in South Acton several times. What is normally a pleasant little drive was a mini-nightmare of "Waiting for Godot" as trucks scooped dirt into a dumptruck while a line of cars idled for five or more minutes. It appears that the Acton Water District is digging up the road to install a new water main line, related to the new water treatment plant that is being built. Evidently this has been going on sporadically for a year.

Lalli Tower hits snag

Lalli Tower, the new 110-story office-building, retail-industrial-commercial-residential complex scheduled to be constructed in Acton, has hit a snag, according to the Commonwealth's Transportation Czar, John X. Macpherson.

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," said Macpherson, quoting the poet Robert Burns.

Lalli Tower to be built in Acton

Governor Deval Patrick announced the newest public-works project to be funded under the little-used federal stimulus program, a large office-tower, retail-shopping-residential-commercial-industrial complex in Acton, Massachusetts.

Modeled after Chicago's "Sears Tower," the new project will be breaking ground within weeks.

Competing against ourselves

A funny thought occured to me which I wanted to share. Funny, strange, not funny, ha-ha.

The last couple of weeks, I've had several articles on the Acton teacher contract renewals. I started off with a description of the new contract. See http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/ab-school-committee-approves-new-....

It's time to end the alliance between politicians and public-sector unions

It's been a busy year for Acton Forum. I am in the middle of finishing up an article on Acton's property taxes, which I hope to publish in the next week or so, otherwise it will have to wait until later this summer. My efforts were distracted by several strange occurances in local town politics which temporarily got in the way.

In this article, I want to talk about this terrible path our town and our state are on, which was highlighted to me by the recent Acton teachers' union contract approval.

Schools underestimate teacher salary increases in AEA contract renewal

The Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (SC), in its haste to approve a new three-year teacher's union agreement (for 2015-17) and despite a promise to allow for meaningful public input prior to its vote, approved a new contract with financial documentation that appears to underestimate the future salary cost of teachers.

Acton Forum has not received an answer as to the extent of this oversight, but we estimate it could be $1,000,000 over the four-year contract period ($100,000 a year, cumulatively).

Boxborough to rename 'Fifer's Day' to 'Acton Day'

BOXBOROUGH, MASS. (May 29, 2014) -- As a show of gratitude by the citizens of Boxborough, their annual Fifer's Day, scheduled this year for June 21, will be renamed "Acton Day," according to Joe Smith, a member of the Boxborough Board of Selectmen (BS).

"We wanted to let the world know how grateful we are because of the actions of a handful of Acton taxpayers last June who voted to expand school regionalization. It's as if every Boxborough taxpayer is going to get a very nice Christmas gift every month, courtesy of Acton, and we are very appreciative," Smith said.

Boxborough a state leader in low property tax increases

Boxborough is second among Eastern Massachusetts cities and towns with the lowest property-tax increase in the last two years, and will move to number one next year, according to an analysis of average-single-family (ASF) property tax bills done by Acton Forum, based on data available on the state's Dept. of Revenue website.

Acton Funny Pix two

Scroll to your right to see the funny pix (seen at the local Acton CVS Store.)

Possible captions:

Don't look up!

Shop at your own risk!

Some warnings are more important than others.

Link to Acton Funny Pix (one): http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/acton-funny-pix

FUNNY PIX THREE: http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/funny-pix-three

Submit your funny photos to Acton Forum and win a tee-shirt if we publish yours! Email to Allen@TheHomesteader.com.