Month: July 2008

Troppe informazioni Martedì – il gas intestinali edizione (TMI #144)

1. Are your farts;
a. Silent but deadly
b. All sound, no fury
c. Loud and stinky

All depends on what I eat. Load me up with beer and broccoli and you get loud and strong gas. Apparently the bacteria in my gut have an affinity for those items.

Certain other foods are good for SBD’s though.

2. Have you ever farted in front of a lover? Who was the 1st one to do it? How did they or you handle it.

Yes I have.

Look, it’s a natural biological thing. Once foods make their way through the main absorption pathway they end up in the cecum (bowl) which is the interface between the small and large bowel and that’s where the bacterial fun begins. The large intestine has two functions, to absorb liquid and to compact waste. What we can’t digest gets processed by bacteria that live in our gut, specifically in the large intestine. And when those bacteria are having a feast they emit those gases like methane and the aromatic stuff.

And I’m not the only one. Keyron is a champion too, he’s just more nonchalant about it.

3. Have you ever farted and tried to blame someone else? Who and did you get away with it?

Nah, may as well own up to a masterpiece.

4. What food triggers you?

Vegetables in general which is natural since the fiber and cellulose content can’t be broken down by the normal digestion process. That’s when the aforementioned bacteria get involved. Those bacteria are in fact a species of E-Coli and when you die, it’s those bacteria that start eating YOU from the inside out.

Beer and soda are also good but they’re generally odorless because it’s just the CO2 and I much prefer beer to soda. I’ve pretty much cut out all the soda in my life.

Certain whole grain baked goods also trigger some gas formation since the larger carbohydrate molecules can’t necessarily be broken up by our upper gut, so the bacteria in the lower guy love a good complex sugar.

5. Varts (Vaginal Farts) Scary, or an indication of a good time being had by all?

I don’t have a hell of a lot of experience with this but I know how it happens so I’ll have to say a good time for all.

Bonus (as in optional): When you do fart with someone in your bed, do you cover their head with the sheet and hold them under?

That would be cruel. If the blanket is heavy enough though you can have a time delayed bomb. Lift the covers and watch out.

Letters to the Editor: Today’s anti-socialist

You know, I get a kick out of those who bitch and moan about the subsidies for school choice, for the poor, the unemployed, etc. They constantly complain that it’ll lead the U.S. into socialism as if that’s such a bad thing to begin with.

I wonder what Lawson’s take on Social Security and Medicare happen to be? In his views I fear that just because you reach a certain magical age you shouldn’t be entitled to any programs.

My biggest problems with our legislators aren’t the fact that they provide subsidies, not at all. Instead they consistently grant tax breaks to those who least deserve them. And the same is true on the national level, something changed from where we said lets give everyone the safety net they deserve to screw everyone and they’re on their own.

This change started back in the Nixon administration but then went full steam ahead under Reagan. Does anyone remember the Reagan plan to fix the food stamp program? He’d distribute bulk items like cheese, powdered milk, and get this, ketchup which was classified as a vegetable.

Under Clinton we saw the drawback of welfare benefits with so called welfare-to-work programs. Good idea and it does tend to work well in good economic times but let the economy slide and all bets are off.

Now under the Shrub (GWB) we see the dismantling of the state institutions and money being shuffled to faith based institutions to provide the services. My problem with that is the fact that there are always strings attached when religious organizations provided ‘help’.

Maybe it’s a bible quotation with your meal, or some other way to proselytize. Maybe it’s a refusal to help. Look at the interference put up by the religious over RU486, or their opposition to contraception. Look at the current battle to force insurance carriers that cover Viagra to cover contraceptives for women.

You know what, I get taxed out the wazoo but my biggest complaint about it is that it doesn’t fund the programs I think are valuable and necessary. I’d like to see energy independence, infrastructure rebuilding, tracked public transit, and last but certainly not least every citizen cared for by the rest of us.

The notion that the U.S is an individualistic society is in a word, bullshit. We’re not. When I think about it if I played the lottery and won say just $20 million or so there are several people I know who wouldn’t have to pay a mortgage anymore. The other thing is that I wouldn’t say a thing about it, just find out who holds the mortgage and pay it off. Probably pre-pay taxes for 20 or so years too.

I’m a big believer in the method of you help me, I’ll help you. And sometimes it’s very one way where I might help help you and expect nothing in return.

I have what one would consider fairly Christian attitudes for an atheist. Can’t help it, I spent 12 years in Catholic schools so some of it rubbed off on me. I do wish the actual Christians would get it though and I see that some of them do, even the fundamentalists. They’ve realized the folly of their ways in persecuting gay people, and opposing abortion and now are becoming more environmentally and socially conscious.

Apparently they’ve realized that you attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

So Mr. Lawson, when is the last time you benefited from subsidization? You make no mention of the SUV subsidy handed out a couple years ago, or the big subsidies used to maintain the interstate highway system.

James Lawson: Stop all subsidies

01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, July 20, 2008

In response to Robert Davis’s July 8 letter, “Subsidize the poor, not private schools”:

Stop subsidizing altogether. Subsidizing only creates more of the same problem that leads to subsidizing to begin with. Stop subsidizing private schools. Let the people who send their kids to private schools pay for it. Stop subsidizing the poor. It only leads to more poor and is not helping them. It’s a vicious and cruel circle, but it’s the way life is.

We are all becoming a little “more poor” every day. Our elected officials can’t stop their unrestrained spending and government expansion.

At this rate, we will all eventually need to be subsidized. We will have a complete socialist society one day. No real safety, no private ownership, a step closer to authoritarianism — or worse, no liberty, no more Constitution, and no more United States of America. Our lives will be planned, by officials who produce nothing, who spend their time trying to figure out how to leach off the last remaining remnants of capitalism, until there is nothing left. Then, my friends, you and I, your children and my children are going to be in big trouble, and the last thing anyone will get is subsidization.

JAMES LAWSON

North Kingstown_

Today’s “Not based in Reality” Letter to the Editor

I have to thank the editors at the Providence Journal for publishing such thinly veiled screed against marriage equality in their Letters to the Editor.

The following appeared today:

Joanne Ciocys: Divorce and family planning

01:00 AM EDT on Friday, July 18, 2008

Rita Watson, in her July 6 commentary, “New rules for an open marriage,” presents variations of polyamory as nonchalantly as an ice-cream vendor might suggest toppings and mix-ins. Too bad she paid more attention to the perversion-of-the-month than to the sweet news that accompanies conformance to God’s marriage and family design, the one that works best if it is followed.

Polyamory which Firefoxes dictionary doesn’t seem to be able to find, translates roughly to many loves. I didn’t see Watson’s original piece but I can tell you that every divorce I’ve seen around me had its root in marital infidelity. Why? I’d say about half the population of this country has the attention span of a flea. Boredom sets in, sex gets to be routine and it’s time to find someone new. A lot of that is people settling too early.

In about 95% of the cases of divorce that I know of, the divorcing couple met as teenagers or in their early 20’s. That’s got something to do with it too since the age of maturity actually appears to be heading upward, to around 26 or so these days. I’m nominally to connected to a few early 20-somethings and I can tell you their maturity has a long way to go.

Ms. Watson expresses concern over the divorce rate, laments the absence of role models for youth, and suggests family-focused education devoid of abstinence programs, but including “sexual responsibility.” If, however, education were to restore the true definition of marriage, teach natural family planning (the most responsible, effective and safe method of reproductive cooperation) and, rebuild self-respect, an essential ingredient in healthy personal relationships, what might the societal rewards be?

What Ms. Ciocys fails to understand is that abstinence won’t stop the raging hormones in the young. It is my opinion that insistence on abstinence only drives kids to do exactly what their hormones are telling them to do.

Good example, I recall a story that said these girls who had promised to be chaste thought a little blow job wasn’t out of the question. So they’d do hand jobs, blow jobs, etc. I hate to tell them that they’re delusional, there’s a dick inside an opening in your body, it’s sex.

And boys, forget about it. I remember my teenage years well, young, dumb and absolutely full of cum.
Anyone remember “Every Sperm is Sacred”?

And before I forget, natural family planning is also known as the rhythm method. Know what the teachers in my Catholic high school used to call people who practiced the rhythm method? They called them parents.

Consider the following survey results from Physicians for Life: The divorce rate for NFP users is 0.2 percent; abstinence is STD-free and doesn’t cause unintended pregnancies; abstinence before marriage costs nothing and has no harmful side-effects; intact marriages produce happier, healthier, children; intact families are more likely to boost the economy than drain it.

The Physicians for Life are an interesting group. They’re a rather misguided lot. They are against for abstinence, against abortion, birth control, and euthanasia. In essence, they’re Catholics. And they’re not Physicians for Life, they’re actually Alabama Physicians for Life. Just thought I’d bring that little dose of reality into the picture. Deep ass Bible belt and they’ve got wacketry in their beliefs.

It is reasonable to conclude that happily married mothers and fathers are the best role models for their children’s future relationships. Marriage has not failed us, but many of us have failed marriage. Therefore, instead of adding false “flavors” to the mix, let’s invest time and effort in fixing the problems where they lie — in our self-indulgent behavior.

JOANNE CIOCYS

Best role models huh? Herein lay the anti-marriage equality part. The self-indulgent behavior, that’s another one use against gay people all the time.

That said, we’re a very individualistic society and self-indulgence is a very big part of that.

Why National Grid has a monopoly in Rhode Island

The following letter appeared in the Providence Journal today. There’s a wide misconception about what deregulation actually did in RI as opposed to what people thought it would do.

Rick Giannni: Why the National Grid monopoly?

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dismayed at the rate increase imposed by both National Grid and the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission, I have a question to ask.

Why are Rhode Islanders tolerating this company that has a monopoly on electric and gas service? In the past, if you had a home telephone, you were forced to use the local provider. Now you can get home telephone service through various phone companies, your cable company and other companies.

So I ask the PUC this question: When will I ever be able to pick my electric and gas provider?

If we as consumers had a choice to pick the energy delivered to our homes by using alternate providers, it would force National Grid to become more competitive in its pricing. Until the legislature and the PUC step in to rectify this, we all have to get our gas and electricity through the National Grid energy cartel.

RICK GIANNINI

Bristol

Unfortunately National Grid in both it’s electric and gas services is what is called a natural monopoly in economics circles. What it basically means is that it would foolish to setup duplicate systems. In the case of telecommunications, we figured out how to stuff more information down the same pipe so all it took were telephone and CATV lines.

This is why my video and phone services come via a net connection from Cox. Why pay Verizon for phone services when I can control my monthly costs via VoIP providers? Or for that matter why pay Cox for video service when there are a plethora of net based video services that don’t cost anything.

Of course now we’re seeing CATV providers like Time Warner and Comcast trying out metered bandwidth. I think the reason that irks me is because the companies mentioned KNOW their service is being used for the things I describe above. Did they not think that eventually the net would kill video and phone providers?

Back when the RI Legislature bent to the pressure of the electric and gas utility lobbies they deregulated the services, in the case of electric separating the distribution charges from the energy charges. The same theory was applied to natural gas distribution.

There are myriad problems with what the RI legislature did but I’ll discuss just a few.

Rhode Island is too damned small for deregulation to work. In essence the state reduced the role of the PUC and transfered regulation to the federal government.

The system was designed so any generating company could provide power to the consumer, while the consumer paid the distribution costs plus energy. It’s just that in the case of National Grid all the alternative energy providers are far more expensive than the incumbent. That’s just economies of scle kicking in there.

But the game is rigged so that National Grid NEVER absorbs a loss. Under regulation they absorbed the loss on a regular basis. I say this because I know that the burial of overhead power lines at India Point in Providence. National Grid fought tooth and nail to make the taxpayers responsible for paying for the burial. It was quite a spectacle.

I will say thought that National Grid did inherit a system in distress with regard to both electric and gas distribution. They’ve been replacing transformers, high tension lines, etc. over the past couple of years as well as replacing iron gas feeders with PVC. That’s what happens when you don’t perform due diligence.

And remember economies of scale? It’s because national grid is so big that they can offer what is the lowest rate per kWh of all the providers. But as there are economies of scale, there are also dis economies of scale. The bigger you get, the more expensive it gets to deliver your services.

When it was little Narragansett Electric it was a local company, and they did a fair job of keeping everything running. National Grid is feeling the pain and I say that’s a good thing. Maybe they’ll sell off the RI operations to an independent investors group who’ll stop the craziness.

AFA: Upset about a gay sex book in a bookstore

It seems our old nemesis the AFA is at it again. This time against Barnes and Noble for the audacity to have on view in public the book “Ultimate Gay Sex”.

Then again, when I searched Amazon.com for that I saw this one, Dick: A Users Guide. I think every guy should have it gay or straight.

Anyhow maybe Mr. Howse could have taken the opportunity to explain to his young son that sexuality wasn’t just man and woman. It included man-on-man and woman-on-woman. Hell, I bet Mr. Howse watches woman-on-woman porn too.

But the point I’d like the make is that not everyone has access to Amazon.com, or a credit card for that matter. A bookstore might be the only place they can go to get more information about their sexuality.

If I’m not mistaken doesn’t B&N keep all its more adult titles in a separate area? This is a big deal over nothing if you ask me. The fact that young master Howse spotted the book “lying open” on the reading table. Maybe Master Howse saw ass and though it was something else, who knows. But I bet he’s now a master-baiter.

And as usual the AFA has it’s underwear in a bunch over it. BTW, my amazon search on “gay sex” returned 7,328 books. I don’t think we’re whispering anymore but being that this took place in Collierville, Tennessee I can’t see many outlets for young or even older men to get more information about gay sex and relationships. Banning the book from the shelves will just serve to get more misinformation out there and I think we’ve seen the error in that over and again.

Placing it behind the counter means you’d have to know the name of the publication instead of being able to browse. That’s not a solution. I’d say have an adults only area but I realize there may be some younger gay people who need that information just as much so that leads me to say leave them where they are and let people like Mr. and Master Howse get the hell over it.

n Collierville, Tennessee, recently, an 11 year-old boy named Landon Howse was walking through the Barnes & Noble bookstore when he noticed a book lying open on one of the reading area tables. His dad, Brannon Howse, was right behind him. What Landon saw were graphic pictures of two men engaged in sex. The book was titled “Ultimate Gay Sex,” and is one of the many sexually explicit books offered in Barnes & Noble stores.

Mr. Howse was obviously stunned and upset at what his young son had just been exposed to just walking through a general bookstore. When Mr. Howse complained to the store management that this kind of material should not be on the bookshelves anywhere in the store, especially a store children frequent, he was met with indifference. When he complained to law enforcement that Barnes & Noble was in violation of the Tennessee “harmful to minors” statute he was given the run around.

Since this story broke, AFA has learned that this is a serious problem in Barnes & Noble stores across the country. Many parents have written to say they have had the same type of heart wrenching experiences with their children as Barnes & Noble does not place the homosexual pornography behind the counter or even in a restricted area not open to minors. Anyone can go in and find it on the shelf. I wanted to warn parents and grandparents about this danger because this is the largest bookstore chain in America and other bookstores have similarly have no responsible policy when it comes to placing these kinds of books in theirs stores.

Troppe informazioni Martedì – giorni di scuola edizione (TMI #143)

1. What were you known as in HS (Jock, Princess, Geek)

Definitely a geek.

2. What were you really?

See question 1.

I excelled in the sciences. Math wasn’t my thing if only because they never went deep enough. I could give a crap about the rules for math, I wanted to know why the rules existed. Essentially I wanted to see the proofs. Probably why I did well with geometry and trig.

And on the standardized personality and ability testing I always scored off the charts on abstract reasoning.

3. If you could go back and tell your 16 year old self one thing, what would it be?

It’s perfectly ok for you to be gay. The only one who would have been a small problem would be my father but even then, I think he’s less concerned about me being gay than about my choice in my life partner.

And I probably wouldn’t have lost one friend in particular. He was more hurt that I had felt I couldn’t trust him than because of the fact I was gay.

4. If you could erase one moment from your school days what would it be?

Maybe I’d erase the meatball we put into this guys shoe during gym. We were devious little bastards. Or maybe booby trapping our homeroom at the end of our freshmen year. That was bad.

5. Who did you not date (or more) that you wish you did?

As a youngster I dated a few girls, even married one but that was only because her grandmother was in poor health and wanted to see at least one of her granddaughters married. And back then I was a complete go with the flow guy.

There was a friend of my now ex-wife however that I would loved to have dated. He was a cutie and sparks definitely flew between us. Oh well.

Bonus (as in optional): If you went to prom, describe your outfit.

It was a tux, black with white accent. I also had a shaved spot right up the center of my forehead since I’d been in a car accident a couple weeks before.

I’d been trying to get out on Mineral Spring Ave. in North Providence, RI. Mineral Spring Ave through the town is a three lane road, with the middle lane reserved for turns. I checked the westward flow and was in the clear, checked the eastward and had an opening, checked the west again and proceeded to go.

Next thing you know I’m t-boned. What had happened was that a guy was speeding in the middle lane and he crested the hill as I was pulling out. Smashed right into my car. He was traveling the center lane which is a serious no-no.

My car was a 1976 Mercury Monarch and if you looked at it from the side it looked like the letter A with the horizontal bar missing.

But this is a really entertaining story. A made my way over to a local restaurant, bleeding everywhere since head wounds bleed like all hell. Called the police and asked for a rescue too. They took me to Fatima hospital. At the hospital they did x-rays, no fractures or anything. Not even a concussion. So they parked me in the hall for a bit until they could stitch up the wound.

The thing was it was a Saturday night and I was due to be on the air at midnight. I asked them to get me near a phone and called my on-air partner and told him he’d have to do the show himself or ask the guys on before us to sub in. When he’d heard what happened he came over to the hospital.

They stitched me up which was an adventure. I’d had stitches before so I wasn’t freaked in fact I was more curious than anything. The doc actually gave me a mirror so I could see him stitch the wound.

I also told the doctor I could remove my own stitches if he’d just give me the hooked scissors to take home with me. And he did. Since then I’ve always removed my own stitches. You can tell when they’re ready to come out since it gets VERY itchy.

I’ll tell you this, a head wound is impressive. When I went to fill out the police report later that evening the cops were all concerned about me, the whole bit. I guess I looked much worse than I felt.

The Coming Economic Collapse Part II

I’ve been posting about the signs that we’re heading for a massive economic collapse that will make the Great Depression look like childs play. I’ve read quite a bit about that time period as well as spoken with people who lived through that time and it wasn’t pretty. Talking to those who lived through the first Great Depression say that they see many of the same signs today. It’s going to be interesting.

What we’re looking at will be much worse. A complete collapse of the currency and the complete insolvency of the government. If I were a rich person (Some 6% of the population owns 85% of everything.) I’d be very afraid right now.

Why? Because if there’s one thing that the citizenry of the U.S. takes to heart it’s gun ownership. We have the most well armed citizenry in the WORLD.

There’s a very good course which right now comprises fifteen lessons. It’s called Crash Course and some of the information in there may startle you but much of it I’ve known for a while.

Some of the signs, flat wage growth, rising unemployment, increasing debt and crumbling infrastructure. Those are just a few. The Crash Course goes even further explaining retirement program obligations and deficits, etc. Long story short, the debt obligations of the country and we citizens currently stands at $80 Trillion dollars. In order to settle that debt it means we’ll have to convert assets to cash. But in this economy there are far too many sellers which drives down the price of the assets. In addition it drives down the value of the dollar resulting in massive inflation.

If you hadn’t noticed, we’re paying more and more for food and fuel. An example is that National Grid just asked for and received permission to raise electricity rates by 21.7%.

And there’s worry that small and mid-size banks will fail. Sovereign is a mid-sizer btw, so too is Citizens and they’re two of the bigger banks in RI, with BofA having the largest footprint. In the case of Citizens they’re a Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary so I think they’ll be safe. However, I think BofA might be the first big bank to fail based upon stock prices and reports that don’t leave me very optimistic.

The main site is Chris Martenson, he lectures on the coming depression and the site has some very good documentation and resources to learn more about what is going on.

AFA is upset at being called hate mongers

Surprise! The AFA takes umbrage at McDonalds not acceding to their demands that they end their relationship the the NGLCC. What’s interesting is that the AFA is focusing exclusively on McDonalds when the NGLCC site proudly proclaims that American Airlines, American Express, IBM, Intel, JP Morgan Chase, et al are founding sponsors.

So throw away that computer with the Intel processor, it’s made by a company that encourages gay owned business. Don’t use the Amex card, and pull the investment account. Quel horreur!

According to the AFA if you use any of those companies for any purpose you are helping to promote the gay agenda. What is the agenda? I don’t know, do you? The morons at the AFA see homosexuality as strictly the sexual aspect. The fact of a dick going into another mans ass or mouth just makes their stomachs turn. But they ignore all the other aspects, you know, the love, the caring, in essence all the same things that straight people have, we’ve got it too.

Of course the AFA also takes issue with being called hateful but that is precisely what they are. The whole concept of organized religion requires the establishment of the other, the one outside that commune. Sin for example is someone outside the grace of their god.

Of course there’s the old term hate the sin, love the sinner. Except in the case of the AFA they seem more focused on loving the sin and hating the sinner.

I can’t wait for that old fraud Wildmon to kick the bucket. The only lament I have is that he’ll have no knowledge of it since there’s nothing beyond this life. To spend so much time wrapped up in hate must be very exhausting and such a waste of time.

McDonald’s: those opposing SSM motivated by hate

July 10, 2008

Dear Friend,

Throwing out any pretense of being neutral in the culture war, McDonald’s has taken up the rhetoric of gay activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated by hate.

AFA has asked for a boycott of McDonald’s restaurants because of the company’s promotion of the gay agenda. AFA asked McDonald’s to remain neutral in the culture war. McDonald’s refused.

In response to the boycott, McDonald’s spokesman Bill Whitman suggested to the Washington Post that those who oppose SSM are motivated by hate, saying “…hatred has no place in our culture.” McDonald’s has decided to adopt the “hate” theme used by gay activist groups for years.

Whitman went on to say, “We stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment.” Mr. Whitman has intentionally avoided addressing the reason for the boycott. This boycott is not about hiring gays or how gay employees are treated. It is about McDonald’s choosing to put the full weight of their corporation behind promoting their agenda.

McDonald’s donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership and a seat on the group’s board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress in support of same-sex marriage.

McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner said the company will promote issues they approve. “Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world…and we do.”

National Grid’s RI Rate Increases

National Grid just got a whopping 21.7% increase in electricity charges from their lapdog PUC here in RI.

But are a few things I’d like to say to National Grid.

I know about National Grid’s history in the U.K. They essentially plundered the system there and they’re doing the same thing here. Only thing is, there’s nary a mention of it on the web because much of what they did occurred before the information age.

That said I also know two little factors about National Grid here in Rhode Island. Most of our power generation is via natural gas. Sure gas costs have gone up but nowhere near the levels to justify a 21.7% increase in electricity prices.

That leads me to another factor. A few weeks ago a blurb showed up in our local rag about the fact that National Grid was bemoaning the fact that people were using LESS electricity.

This is a tactic used by many monopoly electricity providers, and there is no doubt about it National Grid IS a monopoly. Usage goes down, rates go up. Essentially you’re penalized for conservation.

How do we solve this since the monopoly has control of the PUC, the legislature etc. due to their very deep pockets?

I’d like to see a federal law that says every U.S. citizen is allowed up to 40 hours a year to attend hearings, votes, etc. That way we can be there when they schedule a hearing at 10:30AM for instance, rubbing elbows with the paid lobbyists. We need to send a CLEAR message that we KNOW what they’re doing.

The other thing we need to do is get a bit more active in the political scene. I know so many people who have no idea how their government works, or who don’t bother to or aren’t registered to vote. That’s some shameful stuff right there. Maybe if we were much more visible to the governments, state and federal we might see some of the unmitigated greed recede.

Because my friend that is precisely what’s happening. It’s public robbery and those of us who see it get more and more incensed by the ease with which it happens to us.

The other thing that happened in RI was the removal from budget consideration the heating and power assistance program. So this coming winter some people will be forced to either live in a dark, cold and hungry state. It’s all intentional, a malnourished and scared population will never rise up, or so they think.

PUC OKs increased electricity, gas rates

01:00 AM EDT on Friday, July 11, 2008

By Paul Edward Parker

Journal Staff Writer

Starting Tuesday, National Grid customers in Rhode Island will pay 21.7 percent more for electricity and 8 percent more for natural gas, the Public Utilities Commission voted yesterday.

The commission also voted to have an independent auditor review National Grid’s financial statements to confirm the calculations that were used to support the rate hikes.

The electric rate increase, which was approved unanimously, is what National Grid had asked for. The new rate will be good until Jan. 1.

The gas rate increase, passed on a 2-to-1 vote, is less than the 10 percent the company had sought. That new rate expires Nov. 1.

For a typical home heated by natural gas, average monthly gas bills will grow by $9.60 to $129.43. Electric bills will go up $16.67 to $93.44. That would make the total bill for the year for both utilities climb about $330.

The commissioners said they were painfully aware of what their vote means in these difficult economic times.

“It seems to me there is no solution that would not be painful,” said commission Chairman Elia Germani.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Commissioner Robert B. Holbrook. “It’s unpleasant. It’s distasteful.”

“No doubt in my mind that shutoffs are going to happen. There’s going to be more of them,” said Commissioner Mary E. Bray. “How we get around that, I’m baffled.”

Bray said the state needs to develop a plan to help low-income residents who can’t afford their energy bills. “We need to do something quickly.”

But, the commissioners said, they had no choice. State law requires them to approve rate hikes when utilities have to pay more for the electricity and natural gas that they distribute to customers.

The commission could look at only three questions:

•Did National Grid act prudently when it purchased gas and electricity?

•Are the calculations presented by the company accurate?

•When should the increase take effect?

The first question was essentially answered long before National Grid even sought a rate hike. State and federal regulators had approved the purchasing plans under which National Grid buys gas and electricity.

As to the question about accurate calculations, the commission, which has a limited staff, relies largely on consultants hired by the state Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to check the math. That’s why, in this case, the commission voted to hire an independent auditor, with National Grid picking up the cost.

“I think that’s the least we can do when approving a rate increase of this magnitude,” said Germani.

That left only the question of when to institute the rate increase.

Again, the commissioners said they had little choice.

“The last thing we want to do is do nothing,” said Holbrook. “It’s a question of pay me now or pay me later.”

State law allows the utility to charge customers after the fact for any shortfall between what it pays for electricity and gas and what it collects from customers. That means putting off a rate increase would not decrease how much consummers eventually have to pay; it would only mean that they would get hit with a huge bill down the road to cover the shortfall.

That is what led Holbrook to vote against the 8 percent increase in gas rates.

National Grid, which normally gets new gas rates every Nov. 1, had sought for yesterday’s approval to be good for 16 months. That was with the understanding that the company could come in during that period seeking an interim rate change. Part of the rate for the 16-month plan would pay off an existing shortfall of about $10 million.

The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers recommended a four-month plan that does not address the shortfall. That would be looked at in the fall, during National Grid’s more comprehensive annual rate review.

Holbrook did not want to leave the $10 million hanging until November.

But Bray wanted to see what happens with the volatile energy markets. “Hopefully, things will have calmed down and adapted more.”

Germani did not like signing off for 16 months, leaving it to the gas company to decide when to return to regulators. “We should keep the company’s feet to the fire.”

Germani said he expects rates will increase again when the company comes back.

“The United States has become an energy hog,” he said, adding that the country has 4 percent of the world’s population but uses 25 percent of its energy. “The time has come to pay the piper.”Your monthly bills

Before rate hike

Electric: $76.77

Gas: $119.83

After rate hike

Electric: $93.44

Gas: $129.43

Monthly average over a 12-month period for a residential customer who uses 500-kilowatt hours of electricity a month and 922 therms of gas a year.

Source: National Grid

Troppe informazioni Martedì sette peccati capitali edizione (TMI # 142)

1. LUST: Besides your current Significant Other who do you lust for or have you lusted for?

Hmmm, I’ve lusted for Darryl Stephens who plays Noah on Noah’s Arc. Mmm mmm mmm. Then again Keith Hamilton Cobb who plays Quincy Abraham is quite delish to look at too.

2. GLUTTONY: What food brings out your inner glutton?

Pasta with a good meat sauce. You cannot beat that.

3. GREED: What are you greedy for?

Hmm, money of course. Power is another.

4. SLOTH: What is your plan for an ideal day of sloth?

Wake up around noon, stretch, give the balls a scratch. Then maybe think about something to eat. Next up is reading a bit, maybe a nap around 6PM then surf the net, post a blog entry, things like that. You know what, my favorite vacations are the ones where I can do that kind of routine. Seriously, I’ve told the story before where we were staying at a house in the middle of a lake and how I used to just doze on the dock. It was heavenly. I’m firmly in the Oscar Wilde camp why stand when you can sit, why sit when you can assume horizontal polarization. (That last is an amateur radio joke!)

5. WRATH: Describe a time that you let out a can of whoop ass on someone.

I’m a big believer in karma, but anytime possible I help karma along. I’m also a big believer in the fact that revenge is a dish best served cold. I watched a former employer’s business implode. Thing was I didn’t even have to help that along though sending the BSA after them surely had an effect.

6. ENVY: Who or what do you envy? Why?

I’m not very envious. It’s weird, I just don’t care. I think a lot of that is my Italian heritage. It’s funny at the pre-4th party we were at two weekends ago one of the women came up to me and told me I was a very cool guy, that nothing seemed to bother me. I told her it took long years of practice to reach that zen state, and how I had very fine tuned selective hearing. She got a laugh out of that.

7. PRIDE: Have you ever had to swallow your pride? What are you proud of?

I’m proud of the fact that I did the majority of the planning to move a massive I.T. infrastructure and pulled it off with just one glitch. Seems the backbone switch got fried by an errant voltage zap from a CATV line that hit it. There was still construction going on when we moved into the space.

I’m proud of my abilities. And no, I’ve never had to swallow that pride.

By the graph below, lust and wrath are my biggies.

Greed: Medium
 
Gluttony: Medium
 
Wrath: High
 
Sloth: Medium
 
Envy: Medium
 
Lust: High
 
Pride: Medium
 

Discover Your Sins – Click Here

Read the link for more on how the Seven Deadly Sins will Destroy America.