NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – School Committeeman John Oliveira says he has built an electric fence around his Trump political lawn sign to keep people away after repeated thefts.
Oliveira, 54, admits the electrified fence looks terrible and said his neighbors will probably complain, but he did it to protect his property in the city’s West End from further thefts.
“It hasn’t been touched in two weeks since the electric fence went up,” he said.
The fence is about three feet high in a triangular shape with yellow and black safety wire and three small signs that say, “Caution Electric Fence,” in English, Spanish and French, he said. It is solar powered and has a current going through it.
“I’m defending my property and my right to free speech,” he said. “This is about my right to free speech, period.”
There is also a “Vote New Bedford” sign near the Trump sign, but it is not within the electrified area, he said.
The thefts are just “not right,” he said. Oliveira, a Trump supporter and a former longtime Democrat who recently changed his party affiliation to Republican, said he would not go around and steal political signs for Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president.
“It’s about mutual respect. It’s not about taking people’s signs because you don’t agree with what they have to say.”
Oliveira said he feels the thefts are directed against Trump and not him. “It’s not vandalism because of the number of times it has happened,” he said.
A controversial figure on the School Committee, Oliveira has on occasion swore and behaved rudely towards colleagues during public School Committee meetings.
He said he has lost about $100 because of the thefts.
Oliveira said he started displaying the Trump sign on his lawn around the end of May and about two months later they began to disappear. The thieves stole them in broad daylight. He said they were on his lawn in the mornings when he left and when he returned in the afternoon they were gone.
The sign has been stolen four times since the end of July, he said.
The last straw, sort of speak, was about two weeks ago when he went to Maine for a week and he saw the sign was gone when he returned home, he said. That was when he decided that he was going to erect an electric fence.
He said he has filed two complaints with New Bedford police and officers have come to his home to take reports.
New Bedford police didn’t respond to emails or calls about Oliveira’s reports of vandalism to his political signs.
Follow Curt Brown on Twitter: @curtbrown_sct.
This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: Massachusetts man puts up electric fence around Trump lawn sign
evidence shows huge mail slowdowns after Trump ally took over
The United States Postal Service (USPS) saw a severe decline in the rate of on-time delivery of first-class mail after Louis DeJoy took over as postmaster general, according to new data obtained by the Guardian that provides some of the most detailed insight yet into widespread mail delays this summer.
Related: Trump doesn’t seem to understand how voting works. Here’s what you need to know
Shortly after taking the helm, DeJoy – a major Republican donor with no prior USPS experience – implemented operational changes he said were intended to make the financially beleaguered agency more efficient. Those changes included an effort to get USPS trucks to run on time and limiting extra trips to transport late mail, with the result that mail was often left behind.
Many critics have noted that DeJoy chose to make these changes at the worst possible time, in the midst of a pandemic and months ahead of a presidential election in which a record number of people are expected to vote by mail.
In late August, DeJoy announced he was putting the changes on hold until after the election, and last week a federal judge in Washington blocked USPS from implementing them. The changes were clearly aimed at “voter disenfranchisement”, given the increased role USPS will play in this year’s presidential election, the US district judge Stanley Bastian wrote in his ruling.
“It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Services’ changes is an intentional effort on the part the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections,” Bastian wrote.
Describing the data, Philip Rubio, a history professor at North Carolina A&T university who is also a former postal worker, said: “This is a remarkable graphic illustration that reveals the decline of on-time first-class mail from the very first day after Postmaster General DeJoy’s policies were announced and implemented.”
“Not only do we see the national picture for first-class mail delivery worsening over time after DeJoy’s policies become effective, but we also see locally conditions varying and even emerging for the worse.”
Of note, some areas in key swing states saw significant declines in on-time delivery rates of first-class mail. In the postal district for northern Ohio, on-time delivery rates dropped as low as 63.60% in mid August. In the Detroit postal district, on-time delivery fell to 61.01% the same month.
USPS has pledged to facilitate timely delivery of mail-in ballots for the election and work closely with election officials to ensure that happens. But the relationship has been rocky recently; some election officials fumed when the agency sent out a mailing to every household with information about mail-in voting without thoroughly consulting with them. The generalized mailer was misleading for voters in the handful of US states that automatically mail all registered voters a ballot.
Although DeJoy’s changes have been paused until after the election, the new data shows that first class mail continued to be delivered late across the country after his reversal. In the Baltimore postal district, for example, the on-time delivery rate remained at less than 60% at the end of August.
“Unfortunately, even though on-time performance improved after those changes were put on pause, delivery speed is still well below normal and far below the postal service’s own targets,” said Steve Hutkins, a professor at New York University who runs Save The Post Office, a blog that monitors the agency.
“The harms that were done have not yet been undone.”
David Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, declined to comment specifically on the data, citing ongoing litigation. USPS released a statement on Friday saying that on-time delivery for first class mail continued to improve in September and that on time departures for trucks continued to improve.
“The improvements are a result of the Postmaster General’s commitment to drive operational discipline and improve efficiencies across processing, transportation and delivery,” the agency said in its statement.
Emmy Awards Drop to New Low in Early Numbers
They Emmys are in line for their lowest ever viewership once again.
According to early numbers, last night’s show, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, scored a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 and drew only 5.1 million total viewers. While those numbers will increase later in the day as more accurate information comes in, they still represent roughly a 14% dip in total audience from last time around.
Last year marked a historic low for TV’s top awards shows, as a host-less ceremony on Fox delivered a massive 33% decline from the year before, scoring a 1.6 rating and drawing only 6.9 million viewers. For comparison, the previous four ceremonies before that were watched by 10.2 million viewers, 11.4 million viewers (in both 2017 and 2016) and 11.9 million viewers. That 6.9 million figure was roughly one third of the total pairs of eyeballs the Emmys drew as recently as 2013.
Sunday night’s ceremony could have been a flaming disaster, but by and large Kimmel managed to keep things together (especially considering he was leading proceedings from an empty Staples Center) and ABC produced a coherent show despite all kinds of COVID-19 related barriers.
It has to be noted that the Emmys faced even stiffer competition than usual on Sunday night, as the show aired against both NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and the NBA Playoffs on the East Coast in the primetime window for the first time.
There was also no red carpet lead-in this year to get the audience excited for the show due to COVID-19, which likely played some part in producing these low numbers. The previous two Emmys on ABC both had “Emmys Red Carpet Live” as their lead-in.
The biggest winner on Sunday night was undoubtedly “Schitt’s Creek,” which swept all of the major comedy categories, including outstanding series. HBO triumphed over Netflix in the overall tally, thanks primarily to “Watchmen,” which landed a whopping 11 total awards. One of the biggest surprises of the night came in the lead actress drama category, where Zendaya broke through for her “Euphoria” performance, beating out previous winner Jodie Comer and Oscar-winner Olivia Colman.
Elsewhere on the Sunday, a thrilling NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots delivered 12.2 million viewers and a 3.5 rating in the early goings. While that obviously dwarfs the Emmys and pretty much everything else on Sunday night, it does in fact represent around a 17% drip from last weekend’s “SNF” opener.
CBS’ reality offerings were shifted by NFL overruns, as “Big Brother” scored a 1.2 rating inn the key demo and 3.5 million viewers, followed by “Love Island” with a 0.9 and 1.7 million viewers. The season premiere of “60 Minutes” drew 7.5 million viewers.
More to come…
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Is Now The Time To Put Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) On Your Watchlist?
Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of falling short, can easily find investors. But as Warren Buffett has mused, ‘If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.’ When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.
In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Now, I’m not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can’t shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
Check out our latest analysis for Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. It certainly is nice to see that Lockheed Martin has managed to grow EPS by 21% per year over three years. As a general rule, we’d say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.
I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company’s growth. Lockheed Martin maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 9.5% to US$63b. That’s a real positive.
You can take a look at the company’s revenue and earnings growth trend, in the chart below. For finer detail, click on the image.
In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Lockheed Martin’s forecast profits?
Are Lockheed Martin Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since Lockheed Martin has a market capitalization of US$110b, we wouldn’t expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Given insiders own a small fortune of shares, currently valued at US$99m, they have plenty of motivation to push the business to succeed. That’s certainly enough to make me think that management will be very focussed on long term growth.
It means a lot to see insiders invested in the business, but I find myself wondering if remuneration policies are shareholder friendly. Well, based on the CEO pay, I’d say they are indeed. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like Lockheed Martin, with market caps over US$8.0b, is about US$11m.
The CEO of Lockheed Martin only received US$310k in total compensation for the year ending . That looks like modest pay to me, and may hint at a certain respect for the interests of shareholders. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. I’d also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.
Should You Add Lockheed Martin To Your Watchlist?
Given my belief that share price follows earnings per share you can easily imagine how I feel about Lockheed Martin’s strong EPS growth. If that’s not enough, consider also that the CEO pay is quite reasonable, and insiders are well-invested alongside other shareholders. Each to their own, but I think all this makes Lockheed Martin look rather interesting indeed. Before you take the next step you should know about the 1 warning sign for Lockheed Martin that we have uncovered.
You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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