Posts belonging to Category Bloodsuckers

Political Quickie

It was amusing for the first couple of days trying to puzzle out how to say Blagojevich along with the news anchors until the correct pronunciation filtered its way down from the Chicago and national media to the rest of the country.

Still, I find myself saying Blagojevich! at odd times, and it seems almost fitting as a term for something nasty and unpleasant.  Excuse me, but my dog just Blagojevich’d all over the carpet!  -or- What did that Blagojevich want now!

No, I never claimed to be a really deep thinker… just easily amused…

Enjoy The View!

As much as I detest Mayor Mommy over in Dallas, her antics usually don’t directly affect me.  But now I see that she’s managed to pass on $12 million in costs from her pet Trinity River project on to the rest of us.

Electric ratepayers in Fort Worth and elsewhere will get stuck with part of the bill for a tourism and economic development project in Dallas under a regulatory decision Thursday that could open the door for similarly expensive charges from other cities.

On a 2-1 vote, the Texas Public Utility Commission agreed to take more than $12 million in construction costs for the burial of a new power line near downtown Dallas and pass those costs on to ratepayers statewide.

Dallas requested the burial so the power line wouldn’t detract from the look of the $1.4 billion Trinity River Corridor Project. The 0.7-mile line is to run parallel to Canada Drive on the south shore of the Trinity River.

How lovely.  I guess I’ll have to go down and have a look at this Trinity River project when it’s done, since it’s now going to be included in my electric bill.

Transmission service is the only part of the state’s electric system that remains strictly under PUC control. The agency authorizes utilities to charge ratepayers for the cost of new transmission lines, but typically only for projects that help make the power grid safe and reliable.

In this case, however, Dallas has argued that the new transmission line would be too ugly. The extra cost for burying it is estimated at about $17 million, although the Dallas City Council voted this week to pick up 25 percent of the eventual cost.

Too ugly!  Typical wasteful spendthrift nonsense. 

But check this “logic:”

PUC Chairman Paul Hudson, who along with Commissioner Barry Smitherman voted to support the request from Dallas, noted Thursday that Dallas residents had already agreed to take on more than $400 million in debt for the project.

That’s nice of them.  But that was strictly within the purview of the voters in the City of Dallas.  We could debate whether it was a good idea or not, but it only affected Dallas.  Now they’re passing their costs on to the rest of us. 

I understand that there’s lots of pork out there, and that this sort of thing goes on all the time, but I’m going to be cursing about this crap every time I pay my huge electric bills this coming summer. 

I hope the people in Dallas, and Mayor Mommy in particular, enjoy the view.  Meanwhile, we sweating suburban shmucks will be paying the bill.

Itemized Annoyance

Have you looked at your phone bill lately?  I have to confess to mostly ignoring it, because I have an “unlimited” plan with Verizon (no per-minute long distance charges) and it’s bundled in with my Internet and TV.  But I recently did my taxes and the tax credit for phone taxes prompted me to take another look this time around.

There’s a ridiculous list of charges, surcharges, fees, taxes, and recovery fees (17 in all) that combined, make for an effective tax rate of 35.6%.  I’m trying to think of anything (aside from “sin taxes”) that’s so horribly taxed and I’m not coming up with anything.  Maybe it’s time to give up the land line in favor of the cell phone.  While there are taxes on the cellular bill, they’re nowhere near as bad as this.

Beware The Wrath Of The Patient Man

I was sorely tempted to launch into an intemperate rant about the Kelo decision, but given everything that’s been happening lately, it seems pointless.  Besides, if push came to shove, I wouldn’t want to give away the store with regards to how I might deal with the minions of the local government if they tried to steal my home.  Regardless of my silence on the issue, I’m still stewing about it.

However, I will say that there are ways of dealing with politicians and their minions that don’t necessarily involve direct violence.  Everyone has secrets.  And with the proliferation of laws, regulations, and ordinances everyone is vulnerable to the state in one form or another. 

So I will issue this warning to both the corrupt politicians and their supporters:

Once you try to steal my home, all bets are off and I will no longer be Mr. Nice Guy.  You may get my home.  But don’t think you’ve escaped with impunity.  Eventually you will pay for your crime.  One way or another, as long as it takes, you will be brought down.

Nyet!  Nein!  Non!

The citizens of Keller spoke loudly this past Saturday, telling the Keller ISD that the ride on the gravy train is over.  All three bond proposals (worth a total of $152.3 million) were soundly defeated. 

The failure of all three bond proposals in a record turnout surprised even the package’s most vocal critics. Many had expected a close or failing vote on the third proposal, which would have authorized spending $23.1 million to add onto or refurbish existing schools and install athletic turf at Fossil Ridge and Central high schools.

A $129.2 million proposal to build six schools also failed, as did a measure that would have allowed the district to issue bonds without decreasing the portion of the tax rate used to operate schools.

Trustee David Farmer said the results were a clear message that residents feel overtaxed.

“If they were only against proposition three, only proposition three would have failed. They all three failed,” Farmer said. “That’s a much greater statement. It takes a lot for people to vote against things that would have been good for their kids.”

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing how the influx of new students means we have to pony up more money each year.  If schools were funded fairly (that is if we have to fund schools, which I would dispute, but I don’t want to get off on a tangent here), the people using the service would be paying for it.  If our taxes go up every time someone moves into the district, it would seem that the schools aren’t being funded in a fair way.  Someone, somewhere, is getting a free ride.  Yes, I’m a heartless bastard, but if someone can’t afford the costs their children generate they shouldn’t have had them.

Anyhow, I think the thing that pissed me off the most about this bond proposal is summed up in point four from this article by Dave Lieber.

4. Don’t let academic dreams get hijacked by the sports crowd. Never again make the mistake of mixing athletic needs and academic needs in bond questions. Don’t let your pro-bond community spokesmen be the same people who persuaded the board to give backdoor approval to install artificial turf for the district’s stadium this summer—even though bond voters previously rejected this.

Academics first! Some Realtors brag to prospective home buyers that the district is “exemplary,” when it is rated as “recognized.” As school board President Richard Walker candidly admits: “I want the Keller school district to be what the real estate agents are advertising.”

At a time when we’re hearing horror stories about teachers having to buy their own copy paper because the schools don’t have any, the school district spent over $400,000 on artificial turf.  Then, they have the nerve to shove even more money for artificial turf in this bond proposal (bond item #3), along with a bunch of vague (and seemingly high) costs for new schools.  The whole thing had the feel of a free-money scam about it.  That inspired me to make sure I got out to vote against the bond proposal.  If I’m going to be taxed at such a high rate, I’m going to demand that they at least have the decency to spend the money on academics.

Money Wasting Fools

I’ve been hearing people clamoring for artificial turf for the Keller high school fields since I’ve moved here.  I’ve also been hearing how the Keller schools are hurting for money and how they might raise the (already outrageously high) tax rates to cover the budget problems.  It looks like the turf(obnoxious registration required) has won out over common sense.

Synthetic turf will be installed at the Keller Athletic Complex before the football season begins this fall, trustees decided Monday night.

The Keller stadium is closest to Keller High School. Synthetic turf for Central and Fossil Ridge high schools will be included in a planned September bond election, trustees decided. Until the other schools get synthetic turf, the three will share the athletic complex.

The synthetic turf will cost $432,000 and will be purchased with funds from the district’s exclusive beverage contract with Coca-Cola.

The contract, which guarantees that only Coca-Cola products are sold on district property, has generated a discretionary fund of $919,777, said Kent Morrison, assistant superintendent of finance. The fund will generate more than $1.3 million over the 15-year term of the contract.

The remainder of the fund will be used for a districtwide curriculum audit expected to cost $75,000 and applied toward the purchase of textbooks. The district predicts that nearly 2,000 new students will attend Keller schools in the fall.

If they’ve got money to spend on freakin’ artificial turf I’d better not hear any crap about raising the tax rates due to budget problems.  They should have applied this money to real educational spending before artificial turf. 

But, then what do I know?  I don’t worship at the altar of the sport of football (for those of you who might not be from Texas, high school football is more of a religion than a sport around here, with many of the larger schools having stadiums that would be more suited to semi-pro clubs).  I just seems like I end up paying for it…

Kill -9 ‘em all and let init sort ‘em out

Some scumsucking piece of shit at [email protected] ( just tried to spam my comments hawking “Levitra” and other “enhancement” crap.  I deleted the comment and reported them to SpamCop.  Let’s hope their host kicks their spamvertised websites offline.

It would appear that is the address of a DSL user connected to “Bezeq International” in Israel.

Tax Time

Just did my taxes.  I have to pay an extra $250 (it would have been worse except for some stock losses) in addition to the extortionately large sum that had already been stolen from my paychecks (I won’t reveal the exact amount, but it’s a five-digit number), so I’m going to be in a poor mood for a while.  I don’t want to hear any crap from Democrats about tax cuts right now.  I’ll be inclined to ram my fist down their throats.

Become A Snitch For Fun And Profit

I’ve been listening to Fox News on my XM Radio on the way to and from work for the past few days in order to get the latest war coverage.  It’s simply an audio feed directly off their cable TV network, except for the commercials.  They run special content during the commercial breaks on XM, most of which appear to be filler (entertainment updates, consumer watch segments, etc).  One of these I heard yesterday purported to be a “financial news update.”  The whole segment was spent explaining how you could get a reward for turning in a tax cheat to the IRS. 

The whole thing rubbed me the wrong way.  It was advocating turning in people you know to the government for a non-violent crime.  I don’t have a problem with rewards programs for real crimes, but for tax cheats?  It sounds like a recipe for disaster.  All it would take would be one disgruntled former spouse, lover, or even employee to turn someone’s life upside down.  There’s a reason that the IRS is the most feared and hated agency in the US government.

Oh, and they reminded you to report your reward on your next tax return.  Wouldn’t want to cheat Uncle Sam, would you?

AARP Stupidity

I just had the misfortune of watching an AARP commercial for getting a “prescription drug benefit” as part of Medicare.  Some woman was having a “summit” in her house and made it seem as if everyone agrees that this is a good idea. 

My immediate thought, which I yelled back at the TV (TV is really bad for my blood pressure), was “Who the hell do you think you are that I have to pay for your drugs?”  It really pisses me off that some people feel that they are entitled to get the rest of us to pay for their drugs.  It’s irresponsible and it smacks of socialism.  If the program were self-supporting through premiums, I wouldn’t care.  But they’re asking for billions of dollars from the rest of us, which is simply unacceptable.