Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Non-Maskable Interrupt (NMI)
Back in the days when I designed computer hardware and systems, the NMI was the means for signaling the processor that a condition existed which needed immediate attention.  It was possible to get really tricky with it back in the day.  We used it for emulation when we wanted to have two operating systems coexisting on one machine...but that was another time...
Still, the best way to describe the situation with the Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas North East Direct Pipeline project is to recognize it as a real world NMI.
Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas will all go on for some people...okay, for most people, but I don't think I can "mask" this situation.  It is with me day and night.  There is so much to learn and so little time.
Kinder Morgan has already hired a Public Relations firm.  They have time, money, power and lots of practice stripping whole towns of their property rights and drinking water.  If you don't like a pipeline running through your backyard, think how much worse it is to have them drill wells on your property.
The pipelines and the expansion of fracking operations are tied together.
President Obama has stated that we have enough natural gas to last the United States for 100 years.  That doesn't take into account the fact that the gas is owned by multi-national corporations who want these pipelines and to speed up fracking so they can sell that 100 year supply on the worldwide market as fast as possible.  If the Kinder Morgan NED project is representative, they are producing and selling natural gas at 3 times the US demand.  The 100 year projection is based on a peak in 2040 and an export rate of 15%.  Critics of the EIA projections believe a peak is more likely to occur by 2020. 
Some people think this is a good thing.  It helps our trade balance they say.  Maybe so, but who is paying for it?  Homeowners all over the country now own worthless properties.  Water supplies have been fouled forever.  Instead of leading by example by using energy efficiency, renewable resources, and smart grid technologies, we are building a natural gas dependent infrastructure that could very well hasten the demise of our biosphere...and we are feeding that addiction in other parts of the world too. 
When are the American people going to wake up and see that large multi-national oil and gas corporations drive our wars, write our laws, and pay no taxes?  They don't care about our environment or our people.  They hire slick advertising firms to create a public image and they make settlements with homeowners that include "gag orders."
There are also serious safety and investment concerns with Kinder Morgan: 

From Barrons Online, February 22, 2014:
‘…KINDER MORGAN’S CAPITAL EXPENDITURES in its vast pipeline business is another area of debate. Hedgeye’s Kaiser criticized the company in September for sharply cutting sustaining capex on newly purchased pipelines.
Jefferies analyst Sighinolfi has different concerns. “Every company defines maintenance capex differently, but we struggle to understand how KMP can safely operate the largest portfolio of transmission and storage assets in the industry for just a fraction of its peers’ expenditures,” he wrote last year. Comparing Kinder Morgan with Spectra Energy Partners (SEP), another big pipeline operator, he found that Kinder Morgan was spending about half the maintenance capital of Spectra per mile of pipeline. He has a Hold rating on the Kinder Morgan MLP…’
- Barrons Online, February 22, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

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The elections are only a few days away.  I wish the best to all the candidates.  Win or lose, you put yourself "out there" for consideration as a representative, senator, etc.  Thank you for your courage and enthusiasm to serve.
I feel much as I did in the days before I got married or when I joined the Air Force.  It is that sense that life as you know it is about to change.  I will feel very honored to serve and hope I can do some good for our communities. 
Still, I've stayed engaged in the activities that matter to me most, so I know that I will be just as busy as ever if I don't win.  There's plenty of work out there to be done.  Knowing my opponent, he will do much the same thing. 
A very profound thank you to all my supporters and Representatives Ames, Ley and Young for all of your help.  You made this campaign a true pleasure!  I am grateful and humbled by your generosity and talents.  The Rindge Dems are a small, but determined support group who held house parties, put out signs all over Cheshire 14, wrote LTEs and donated their extraordinary talents to the campaign.  For sheer energy and extraordinary organizational skills, I must say, the Jaffrey Dems truly rock!!!  The Jaffrey Dems made the herculean task of hand addressing envelopes for a mailing, then stuffing, sealing and stamping them actually seem like fun.  The full page ad was spectacular!  Thanks also to the Contoocook Valley Dems for their generous support of a very positive mailing!
I feel like a better person for even campaigning.  I highly recommend it.  I met some truly wonderful people and learned a little more about the neighboring towns.  I feel more at home and invested in the Monadnock region than ever now.  Win or lose, it's been a privilege made possible by the support of many people.  I am grateful for the chance you have given me. Thank you!
Let's Vote!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thank you, Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce!!!

I thought I would have five minutes at Candidate's Night, so I wrote the speech below.  Why I thought that, I'm not sure.  When I arrived tonight, I discovered I would only have 3 minutes.  (Bless you, Marissa, for saying that any speech longer than 3 minutes is too long!)  I had to cut several paragraphs to meet the time limit.  I left out most of the thank yous and the meat of my thoughts on our youthful exodus and how the challenge of our energy future might be the answer to creating new opportunities for them.

Maybe shorter was better anyway? 

In any case, if you couldn't make Candidate's Night, here is what I wanted to say...

"Good evening.  I'm Pat Martin and I'm running for the House to serve Fitzwilliam, Rindge, Jaffrey, Dublin, Harrisville and Roxbury.

I'd like to start by offering my thanks, to you, the citizens, for being so engaged and showing up tonight.  Whether or not you support my candidacy, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me during the campaign.  Such discussions help make me a better candidate and, with your vote, a better Representative.

I also want to thank all the candidates for "putting themselves out there" to run for office.  I especially want to thank Representatives Ames, Ley and Young for their distinguished service and for welcoming me to their team.  Cheshire 14 represents nearly 17K people.  It takes teamwork to reach that many people on a limited budget and even more so to represent them properly.  

Thank you to Representative Susan Emerson.  Our friendship proves that we can have different political opinions, but still be good friends who respect each other and can work together to solve problems.

Harry Truman once said that, "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you're not worried about who gets the credit."  I've learned that it's essential to have that attitude if you're going to attract the best minds and talents to your cause.

I've seen this play out in working with the people of Fitzwilliam on the quarry issue.  Representative John Hunt has submitted a Legislative Service Request or LSR which he thinks will return local control to mining operations.  Representative Susan Emerson is actively lobbying DES and DRED on behalf of the people of Fitzwilliam.   Their years of experience and contacts are great assets.  I offer to put my shoulder to the wheel to help them in this cause and to learn from them so that we can best serve the people of Fitzwilliam.

Working well with others is a requirement of the job of Representative and working well on teams is where I'm most comfortable and what I find most rewarding.

Good teams require a diversity of talent, opinion, respect for one another, and a spirit of cooperation.  In Rindge, our energy commission has produced taxpayer savings year after year.  The same core group of people have been working together since 2009.  From my days in the Air Force through my years as an engineer and then community volunteer, the greatest moments have always included others in shared victories. 

Speaking of teams, I would like to address the mass exodus of our young people.  60% of our High School graduates leave New Hampshire.

Anyone who volunteers with a community organization knows that it is essential to recruit young people to continue the good work.  Without a constant influx of new ideas and youthful energy an organization withers and dies. The median age in NH is over 41.  The older our population, the higher our health and human services costs.  There needs to be a balance between the safety and stability that comes with having an older population and the life and vitality associated with youth.

I see a glimmer of hope for bringing our youth back to NH in another of our challenges; energy.  It's time for New Hampshire to take a leadership role in energy conservation and renewable energy production. 
Doing so would generate many new good paying jobs, save money, and provide opportunities for our young people.  It is also good for our environment which is very much a part of the New Hampshire "brand." 

I ask for your vote because I care about the future of our families. I care about the educational system that is falling behind. I care about the future of our energy: where it comes from, how much it costs and at what price to our environment. I care about availability of affordable health care and see that the Affordable Care Act has already helped thousands gain access to health care and will continue to expand choices and accessibility. As a Vet, myself, I care about how we take care of those who have sacrificed for us. I also want to see the lowest taxes necessary to fund a responsive government with a tax system that is fair to all, not one designed to soak the middle class.

Finally, thank you to the Jaffrey Chamber for hosting this event. Providing a forum for citizens to exchange ideas and tackle problems in an atmosphere of civility is a tremendous service to the community and our future.

My contact information is on my literature on the table.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you feel haven't been addressed tonight.

In closing, I would be honored to get your vote on Tuesday.  I promise to work hard and to reach across the aisle as your representative in Concord.  Thank you!"

Monday, September 1, 2014

New England Ratepayers Association

I read the opinion piece, "Our electricity grid is bending; without change it will break," by Marc Brown in the Saturday, August 30th, Sentinel with great interest.  Some of Mr. Brown's points had me nodding in agreement, but others had me scratching my head. 
For instance, Mr. Brown states that, "...Northern Pass (1200 MW) and Footprint natural gas plant (700 MW) in Salem, Mass., are two projects that could bring much-needed base load power to New England, but both have been met with opposition.  Footprint, whose future is in question, has been opposed by environmental groups like the Conservation Law Foundation because it is a fossil-fuel generator, despite the fact that it emits half of the carbon dioxide and none of the sulfur dioxide of the plant that it would replace."  Yet, he fails to mention that methane gas has 84 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and 28 times over a 100-year period. Natural gas is a more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide due to the greater global-warming potential of methane gas.  Why omit that fact?
Whether or not I agree with an author's viewpoint, I generally check the organization from which the writer draws his authority.  In this case, Mr. Brown is the Executive Director of New England Ratepayers Association.
A Google search of New England Ratepayers Association reveals that, ironically, given his accusations of obstruction by New England Power Generation Association, his Ratepayer Association is funded by unnamed sources and waged a costly campaign against the "Cape Wind" project in Massachusetts.
Mr. Brown owns an ice cream shop in Kingston, NH and was formerly the director of the State Wide FreedomWorks, a Tea Party-affiliated organization with ties to conservative financier and oil industry giant David Koch.
Caveat Emptor, folks!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Because I care. Because good governance matters.

If you are reading this, you probably care about good governance too.  Of course, what is "good" in government will mean different things to different people...even to people in the same party.  Some Republicans believe that climate change is chiefly caused by human activity; others do not.  Some Democrats believe in supporting casino gambling or an income or sales tax; others do not.

So, it seems that no one will ever see a perfect world...or a perfect government...or a perfect candidate.  For many people, that realization causes them to simply "give up" on politics and civic engagement.  The evidence in political science research is pretty clear.  More than 20% of American adults who are eligible to vote are not registered.  Only 35% of eligible voters actually make it to the polls on a regular basis. The other 43% vote occasionally or rarely.

The most frequent reason given for not voting is that the person, "doesn't think it matters."
A friend of mine posted a meme on FaceBook that said, "When you skip voting, it's not rebellion; it's surrender." 

Don't vote because you feel guilty.  Vote because this is your government, your town, your state, and your country too.  Make your voice heard.  Even if you think no one is listening; I promise you that you will feel more hopeful than if you "sit it out."

On the flip side, is the fact that it takes so much money to run for office that it can hardly be claimed that we have a "representative" democracy.  In the US House, over half the Representatives are millionaires.  In New Hampshire where we pay our Representatives $100 per year, it is hard to imagine a working age person being able to serve in the NH Legislature without being independently wealthy.  Even running for little old Cheshire 14 can cost as much as $6,000 at 50 cents per voter...and most campaign guides suggest $1 to $2 per voter.   If you're not wealthy, you need to be a good fundraiser and be able to mobilize a grassroots effort of volunteers to get out the vote for you.

Money and power.  It sounds scary, but our saving grace is that even if you are rich and powerful; you still only get one vote.  People working together can make a difference.  Look at what happened with Market Basket this summer.  As one cashier said to me, "The Business Schools will be talking about this story for decades to come."  Little people stood together for the sake of one another and the future of the company.  Why can't we do the same thing with our government?

I believe we can.  I am asking for your vote and your help because I believe people who actually care about good and fair governance can get elected if they have the support of other people who care.

Whenever someone tells me (or I tell myself), "It will never happen.  People are too apathetic and discouraged to get involved," or that "All politicians lie to get elected," I think and talk about Granny D and her long, long 3,000 mile walk across America at the age of 89.  Her courage and determination in making a statement about the need for campaign finance reform is almost unimaginable to me.  In her 90th year, Granny D averaged 10 miles a day for almost a year.  She suffered from arthritis and emphysema, but she kept on going.  I've walked with the NHRebellion on 6 and 16 mile walks in memory of Granny D and felt the relentless pounding of the pavement in my back and hips...I marvel at her amazing spirit to do this day after day...and I draw inspiration from it.  Granny D just kept putting one foot in front of the other despite the weather, despite the terrain, despite the discouragement of others...one foot in front of another until the job was done.  

What do I hope to accomplish if I'm elected to the Legislature?  My highest priority now and after I am elected is to listen to what the people of my district need and then to work hard to meet those needs. If I depend on the people of Cheshire 14 to help get me elected, I am depending on them even more to help me understand how I can help them once elected.  I believe a Representatives' primary role is listening, studying the issues,and being a voice for the people of the district in the legislature.

It will probably come as no surprise that I will also work hard to help New Hampshire move toward greater energy independence and sustainability.  My work on the Rindge Energy Commission has been both rewarding and frustrating.  While the States around us are encouraging renewable energy projects and weatherization, New Hampshire has lagged behind.  Much of the reason that we are behind is because of policy.  We joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but hobbled it's potential by artificially suppressing the price of Renewable Energy Credits and simply "passing money back" to ratepayers ( after an administrative cost!) instead of investing all of it in weatherization or renewable production. 

Another big concern I have is the emigration of our young people.  Nearly 60% of our high school graduates move out of state after graduation; the second highest rate of loss in the country.  The loss of our young people to better opportunity elsewhere makes New Hampshire the fourth oldest state in the country with an average age of 41.1 years.  NH is also last in the Nation in supporting public higher education.  Those are not attractive statistics for companies looking to hire young professionals for the industries of the future.

Anyone involved with community organizations also knows that engaging young people is an essential factor in keeping an organization alive and vital.  Without a constant influx of young people, even the most venerable of organizations will wither and die out.  Pretty soon no one at the meeting has the physical strength to set up the tables and chairs or to run the events that define them as an organization.

How can we secure greater opportunity for our young people and simultaneously grow our economy?  I truly welcome your ideas on this subject.

Also high on my list of concerns is our crumbling infrastructure.  The people of Fitzwilliam and Harrisville have been particularly impacted by State roads that have fallen into disrepair.  When can they expect some relief? 

Most of all, I hope that my candidacy will inspire people to look around them and figure out what they would like to see improved or changed and then support the candidates who are willing to help make those changes.  I hope people will turn out to vote.  And, I also hope that people will consider running for office themselves. 

Please feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns.  You can comment below or email me at pmartin2894@yahoo.com. Your ideas and challenging questions will help make me a better candidate and, with your support, a better Representative.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Donation/Support Request

Pat Martin for New Hampshire House of Representatives
17 Farrar Road
Rindge, NH 03461

There's an old African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."  I am writing to ask you to become part of my journey running for the NH House of Representatives.  I am running to support a progressive agenda in Concord and I want you to join me.  I also want my campaign to be about promoting greater citizen engagement and civility in our governance at both the State and local level. 
I have made many of my best friends through my volunteer work and advocacy. These friends are people who have staying power, vision, aspirations for their children, and a desire to live happy, healthy lives, surrounded by friends. It is the relationships with such people that make all the work worthwhile. I want my campaign to be as engaging, fun and rewarding as the volunteer work we have shared.
Some of you may have pulled back from politics because the tenor of the public dialog has become so hostile. I am asking you to please pitch in again. What stops bullying is having other people stand up and insist on civility. 
If you can afford a financial donation to my campaign, I will appreciate whatever you can comfortably give.  To those who have already contributed, thank you so much!  The seat I’m running for is currently held by Harry Young. Harry asked me to run when he decided he could not.  The District includes Rindge, Jaffrey, Fitzwilliam, Dublin, Harrisville and Roxbury, so I need to cover a lot of territory with yard signs, printed materials and ads.  Fortunately, I am able to campaign and share expenses with Dick Ames and Doug Ley whose seats also cover Jaffrey, Dublin, Harrisville and Roxbury.  I am very proud to run with Dick and Doug, who are serving their district with distinction. A donation of only $10 will purchase 3 yard signs or 100 rack cards.  Every little bit helps.
But I must be clear... Bill O'Brien wants to take this seat back and will work hard to achieve that.  Every seat he wins back is a vote for Bill O’Brien to return as Speaker.
Whether or not you are able to contribute financially, I also need your help spreading the word about this campaign: adopt a yard sign, go door to door with me in your neighborhood, and generally encourage people to come out to vote this mid-term. 
I have set up a separate checking account for the campaign in my name. If you do write a check, please put "campaign donation" in the memo line.  My phone number is 603-899-2894 and email address is pmartin2894@yahoo.com.   

Please contact me if you are willing to join me on my journey to the NH House.  In the words of Granny D, "Democracy is not something we have, it’s something we do.”