Thursday, November 30, 2006

The DMV Screws Up

On October 20, 2006 at the corner of Quaker Lane South and Boulevard my son’s school bus driven by convicted felon Robert Fountain struck and killed 65-year-old Dean Carlson. No children were aboard the bus at the time, Fountain had just dropped off the high school kids and was on his way to pick up the elementary school kids. Subsequent blood tests showed that Fountain has cocaine in his system. The astute reader may well ask what the hell Fountain was doing driving a school bus in the first place?
The DMV was in the process of trying to suspend Robert Fountain's license roughly a month before the accident because it had subsequently learned he had a criminal record -- including a pending narcotics charge--deemed serious enough to bar him from receiving the license in the first place, said William Seymour, the agency spokesman.

Let's forget that creepy feeling parents all over West Hartford have right now upon learning that they have been entrusting their little princes and princesses to the tender mercies of a convicted felon, after all there was no harm done there. The family and friends of Dean Carlson are probably wondering if Dean would be alive if the DMV had done their job. I know it's fashionable to kick the DMV around and with good reason. It's the land that accountability and productivity forgot.
In a weird way I don't even fault Fountain, he is what he is and was just trying to hold down an honest paying job, unfortunately he was allowed to drive a bus and poor Dean Carlson got killed. Fountain is not the only one responsible for this sad series of events, but I bet he's the only one who will pay.

Excellent Piece From First Things

By the way, I hope you are not too squeamish. This piece is not going to pull any punches. If you find the idea of love uncomfortable or sentimental or best-not-talked-about or existing only in the midst of a passionate love affair, then you will find problems with what I am writing. I am writing of love not as a matter of grand passions, or as high-falutin’ idealism, or as religion. I am writing about love as the stuff that makes the processes of human life happen: the love that moves the sun and other stars, which is also the love that makes the toast and other snacks. Love is the most humdrum thing in life, the only thing that matters, the thing that is forever beyond the reach of human imagination. . . .

By all means read the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why The Government Sucks

There are many reasons WTGS, but today let's focus on this tasty little bit of governmental interference and goodytwoshoeness. According to a story in the Washington Post people in Fairfax county Virginia can no longer feed the homeless from there homes or their church's kitchen unless the county has certified the kitchen whence the food comes. So let's say you and your family are eating a meal of baked chicken, peas & carrots, mashed spuds and gravy - all lovingly prepared by the Mrs. and you see a homeless man in front of your house, if you run him out a plate of what you just ate, you would be breaking the law. Because ONLY THE GOVERNMENT knows how to feed the homeless.
The intent of this law is to prevent food poisoning of the homeless by well meaning dolts who donate last months salmon mousse to the needy. But this particular brick on the road to hell will have the effect of closing down church based soup kitchens and other humanitarian assistance on the assumption that the state can better provide such assistance. Rotsoruck.
It would be easy to crack wise about dumpster buffets and eating cheese off of pizza boxes but I think this story illustrates a fundamental divide between liberals and conservatives. Liberals view it as the government's job to feed the hungry and think it's unfair that the homeless eat less than optimal food. Conservatives view it as their responsibility to feed the homeless and recognize that one of the less than perfect aspects of street living is less than perfect food. In an effort to perfect the imperfectible liberals make a bad situation worse.

C.S. Lewis

Was born today November 29 in 1898 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I loved his Space Trilogy, though it's written for children, I was impressed by Lewis' intelligence and subtlety. In high school, East Catholic no less, you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a C.S. Lewis tome so I was surprised to learn that he wasn't Roman Catholic. His Christian apologetics are first rate, notably Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce.
This quote by Lewis, it's describes to a large degree why I am a conservative:
We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
And this quote on the nature of man:
You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Can Them, Can Them Now

Yesterday a three year old special needs preschool student was left on his school bus all day when the driver and the the school bus monitor NEGLECTED to notice that he did not get off at school. How many kids do these yahoos pick up? Twenty, thirty at most? I bet the it's more like ten or twelve and TWO adults, one of whom is payed to ensure that things like this don't happen, couldn't make sure that this poor kid got to school safely. They're both lucky it was warm yesterday or their screw up could have been much worse. At the very least these two should be sacked and then made to sit wearing funny hats without food, water or bathroom breaks in an cold school bus for ten hours a day for ten days. Cruel and unusual? You betcha, but it's not so cruel that it's immoral and it's just unusual enough to make a lasting impression.

It Looks Like It Was A Probe

According to the Washington Times the behavior exhibited by the six Imams was consistent with a security probe by terrorists, a dry run.
Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin. "That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."

In related news, Muslims plan to boycott US AIR over this incident on the belief that US AIR was too aggressive in their security measures. The sad thing is that a Muslim free airline would probably do quite well. Religious intolerance or well earned paranoia? Personally I'd rather sit next to a slight Muslim than a ginormous Catholic, simply because I would have more room. As long as the person is well behaved, I couldn't care less how they worship God or which god they worship. But if allegedly mainstream Muslims are going to behave like this, perhaps it's best they boycott all airlines.

The Sublime to the Ridiculous

Timothy Holder an Anglican priest in the Bronx has introduced hip-hop language to the liturgy so that th ... I'm not sure why he did it, maybe he was just trying to be relevant in the most irrelevant way possible. But thanks to the Rev. Holder, the 23rd Psalm has been reduced to:
The Lord is all that, I need for nothing. He allows me to chill. He keeps me from being heated and allows me to breathe easy. He guides my life so that I can represent and give shouts out in his Name. And even though I walk through the Hood of death, I don't back down for you have my back. The fact that you have me covered allows me to chill. He provides me with back-up in front of my player-haters and I know that I am a baller and life will be phat. I fall back in the Lord's crib for the rest of my life.

I suppose it's no worse than translating Poe's The Raven into Klingon.

Find The Missing Word

Read this story about injuries to French police and see if you can find the missing word. Then ask yourself if the press would be so coy if the missing word was "British", "Goth" or "Christian". Poltroonery, shear unabashed poltroonery masquerading as objective reporting.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Best Video Ever

The seventies were a rough decade everywhere.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

To Protect and Serve, When Possible

According to the Hartford Courant a police detective in Bristol was apparently so over loaded with cases that many serious crimes went more or less uninvestigated. Read the story and be thankful that you are the victim of crime in Bristol.
Before I throw the detective, James W. Palmer, under the bus for sloppy work I would suggest that whoever is in charge of the department is just as responsible, if not more so. Either the detective had an unmanageable workload or was incapable of getting it done. Who is answerable when he doesn't? According to Chief of Police John Divenere there was a problem but now it's corrected:
"I don't want anyone thinking this is still going on. It was an aberration," DiVenere said this week. "You had a detective who had some performance issues. A number of supervisors tried to address them. We took internal action, and he retired immediately."

Chief what are you paid to do? In my opinion you and apparently some others were asleep at the helm. Have the sexually assaulted children you swore to protect and serve received justice?This debacle is not the result of one mans actions - no matter how incompetent. Shuffling one man off to pasture doesn't address the whole problem does it?

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody

(link via Hugh Hewitt)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Update on The Six Imams

This story from the NYT sheds some more light on the removal of the six Imams from the US Air flight earlier this week, read the whole thing it's pretty short.
I don't doubt that it's tough to be Muslim today in America and I bet it's frustrating to have your intentions questioned all the time. But if I were on that plane with my family and saw what the man who wrote the note saw, I would either get the hell off the plane ASAP or make a major stink. Insensitive? Yeah, but it's well earned insensitivity. I have heard more bellyaching over the Imam's travel vicissitudes from CAIR and the NAACP than over all terror acts committed in recent months by Muslims combined.
I am troubled by the seat belt request. If these men are indeed thin, why the hell did the need seat belt extensions? Is it possible this whole thing is a "dry run" for some other group of six? At this point no one in a position of responsibility can be sure, so they did the right thing by removing the six men, offended sensibilities notwithstanding.

Traditional Muslim Values

A Saudi man was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison in Colorado for enslaving and sexually assaulting an Indonesian women he and his wife kept at $2 a day as housekeeper and nanny- for 4 years. Homaidan Al-Turki did not apologize for his crimes because:
"Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit," Homaidan Al-Turki told the judge in a voice choked with emotion. "Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution. The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors."

Traditional Muslim behaviors? Slavery, sexual assault? Thanks for the heads up there Homaidan.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Racial Sensitivity

In the last couple of days there have been two events that show Americans dealing with issues of race, religion and ethnicity.
The first is Michael "Kramer" Richards' now infamous outburst at the comedy club. A better man than I might look for the larger implications here, like how in the 21st century a man so prominent or at least famous could be so racist and stupid. I would suggest that what we saw here happens at traffic lights and other places of inconvenient interaction all the time. This doesn't excuse Richards' behavior one iota, I just think it's more common than many would like to believe. As for Richards, I don't think he has a hooded sheet in his closet, he's just a garden variety asshole. Unfortunatly he's not alone.
The second episode occurred when six Imams where removed from a Phoenix bound US Air flight in Minneapolis because they were seen behaving "oddly" prior to the flight. Details are, of course, sketchy but apparently the odd behavior was the Imams conducting their evening prayers on the flight.
Three of them stood and said their normal evening prayers together on the plane, as 1.7 billion Muslims around the world do every day, Shahin said. He attributed any concerns by passengers or crew to ignorance about Islam.

While I hope that everyone in this instance was treated with respect and dignity, CAIR and Muslims throughout the world should recognize how people in the US might be a little wary about groups of Muslim men standing and praying in unison on a plane. Regrettable as this instance is, to do otherwise at this point would be ill-advised.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Three Shot, One Dead in Hartford

Kids are sold songs like this:
I shot dread in the head, took the bread and the landspread Lil' Gotti got the shotty to your body So don't resist, or you might miss Christmas I tote guns, I make number runs I give emcees the runs drippin when I throw my clip in the AK, I slay from far away Everybody hit the DECK

Then they're sold violent video games like this:
"Scarface" has a so-called "balls meter" that fills up when you shoot people, and when you taunt your freshly dead enemies. When it's full, you can press a button and go into a "Blind Rage" that temporarily changes the game into a first-person shooter. Doing this not only makes you invincible, you'll actually gain health with every person you kill.

Then they're sold $279 jeans with picture's of murdered black men photocopied on them. And after listening to murder glorified in music, and practiced for hours in video games, seen repeatedly on TV and in the movies some 16 year old boy gets shot dead everyone looks at each other and asks how this can happen. Follow the money and don't look so surprised.

Friday, November 17, 2006

HMOs Now In The Third World

An Umlazi mother was horrified when she examined her newborn daughter to find that part of the baby's little finger on her left hand was missing. ....."When the nurse was approached and questioned, she said my child probably ate her finger or maybe it was eaten by a cockroach."

Call me a nit picker, but newborn children don't have teeth with which to chew off their own fingers and saying that a fricking cockroach ate it is far from reassuring.

Pity of The Leaves

By Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869-1935

Vengeful across the cold November moors,
Loud with ancestral shame there came the bleak,
Sad wind that shrieked, and answered with a shriek,
Reverberant through lonely corridors.
The old man heard it; and he heard, perforce,
Words out of lips that were no more to speak—
Words of the past that shook the old man’s cheek
Like dead, remembered footsteps on old floors.
And then there were the leaves that plagued him so!
The brown, thin leaves that on the stones outside
Skipped with a freezing whisper. Now and then
They stopped, and stayed there—just to let him know
How dead they were; but if the old man cried,
They fluttered off like withered souls of men.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou'

Do you ever see a movie that you liked so much you wish could live in it? I loved 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou' so much that I would like to at least vacation there. Bill Murray plays a dope smoking Jacques Cousteau wannabe, who by any standard is a loser with more flaws than you generally encounter in five or six people, but somehow you like him. There are so many plots and sub plots, themes and quirky little things, it would be easy to miss the point of the film, which is a bunch of plots, subplots themes and quirky little things. As for quirky little things, behold the Crayon Sea Pony. Don't you wish you had a few? Everyone aboard Zissou's ship the Belafonte gets a matching Life Aquatic outfit, complete with Glock pistol and Zissou Aididas'. I love when they cast actors against type, here they have perennial good guy Jeff Goldblum as a bit of a pompous prick, watch him with Cody the three legged dog. Willem Dafoe who often plays the heavy is an emotionally vulnerable Klaus Daimler who whines that Zissou always puts him on the B team and is easily assuaged with some kind words from Zissou.

Instapundit and Majikthise on Oppressive Regimes

An interesting response to the barbarians:
The answer is taking gender-based oppression into account in refuge claims. We could "rescue" every oppressed Afghan woman who wants asylum by simply opening our doors to all female refugees from Afghanistan, and any other regime that doesn't afford full civil rights to women. The message to patriarchal regimes: Keep this up, and we'll take all your women and children. Heck, if you don't knock off this tin-pot dictator shit, we'll take all your scientists, all your engineers, all your doctors, and all your journalists--regardless of gender! Our gain, your loss.

Instapundit: I'm not sure that would work, but it's worth a try. Maybe some private groups could help pick up travel expenses. I think they could live without the engineers, doctors, journalists, etc., but I'm pretty sure they'd miss the women.

Me: I'm not so sure and I'm glad I'm not a goat in Afghanistan.

UPDATE: A little research would indicate that I'm glad I'm not anything in Afghanistan. There's this story about how teenage boys are trophy "wives" in Kandahar
There is a local saying that birds fly over Kandahar using only one wing, the other covering their posterior. Now the population claims “Birds flew with both wings under the Taleban…but not any more”.

And there's this story about how Afghan men due to the lack of contact with women practice homosexuality. Supposedly they're not gay per se, they just have sex with men and boys.
Daud is unmarried and has sex only with men and boys. But he does not consider himself homosexual, at least not in the Western sense. "I like boys, but I like girls better," he says. "It’s just that we can’t see the women to see if they are beautiful. But we can see the boys, and so we can tell which of them is beautiful."

Before you sell your home and move there, you should know that if you get caught doing what everyone else is apparently doing, they may execute you by pushing you off a cliff or crushing you under a stone wall. Repressive, intolerant and randomly violent, good times, good times.

Trent Lott

Trent Lott wants to be the minority whip, good for him - but the GOP will forever be the minority party if they let jackasses like Lott have positions of leadership again. I don't care what Lott said at Strom Thurmand's party, I despise how he jettisoned all principle to maintain his position as senate majority leader. We need new leaders who will put the natioanl interest first.

UPDATE: WTF Lott is now the minority whip? Did our GOP senators just watch the same election I did? Now is not the time, if ever there was one, for a spendy, racially insensitive, ham handed poltroon to enforce GOP discipline in the senate. I weep for our future.


O.J. Simpson will discuss on broadcast TV, (Fox of course), "how he would of committed" the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. I'm at a loss for words. I hope the advertisers know that some of the money they're paying to sell their widgets is going into the pocket of a man who very likely murdered the mother of his children. Is that the "image" they want to project?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Birthday P. J. O'Rourke

Dexter once gave me an autographed copy of P.J. O'Rourke's Republican Party Reptile in which P.J. had written "Pull your pants up, turn your hat around and get a job." Good advice then, good advice now.

On God and Santa Claus
From P.J. O'Rourke's book Parliament of Whores

I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.
God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle-aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well-being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God's heavenly country club.
Santa Claus is another matter. He's cute. He's nonthreatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he's famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus

Monday, November 13, 2006

Anti Military Simpsons

I hate to say this, but I think I'm through watching the Simpson's. In a lame reverb of JFK The Lessor's stupid ramblings last week, the writers of the Simpsons saw fit to imply that Army recruiters have trouble getting even the stupidest young people to enlist. Hysterical that, on the day after Veterans Day. Like most things from the left coast, the Simpsons have always been left leaning, which is fine- some of my best friends are liberals. To literally add insult to the various injuries suffered daily in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere is just plain wrong. They should be ashamed, but probably never will be.


One in six children in Hartford has at least one parent in prison, according to a story in Sunday's Hartford Courant. One in six, that's hard to imagine. I was in my thirties before I knew well somebody who had been in prison. As you might imagine, life for these children is difficult. They have higher rates of suicide, drug abuse, and arrest. Whether this is the apple falling pretty much where you would expect or a function of one or more parents missing is not addressed in the article.
Why is this happening in Hartford? Poverty, education, cultural choices? I haven't a clue. It just seems odd that less than two miles from here lies a different world where children visit prisons instead of museums on the weekends. How must this inform their view of the world? I assume that if you're in prison at the very least you're a screw up, if not much, much worse. Some of these kids parents are drug dealers who were sent away for killing people. What assumptions do they make about people like their imprisoned parent? Even if they draw the "correct" conclusion it must make them feel pretty crappy about themselves and their family. What a sad situation.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday USMC

Happy 231st Birthday Devildogs! Having been a "Zoomie" I didn't have much use for all the normal rah-rah, gung-ho stuff one normaly equates with the military, in fact I thought most of it to be b.s.. But every decade or so you hear stories like this:

Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a Mexican immigrant who enlisted in the Marine Corps the day he received his green card. Sgt.Peralta was proud to serve his adopted country. In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year old brother, "be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American." On the morning of November 15, 2004, the men of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines awoke before sunrise and continued what they had been doing for seven days previously - cleansing the city of Fallujah of terrorists house by house.At the fourth house they encountered that morning the Marines kicked in the door and "cleared" the front rooms, but then noticed a locked door off to the side that required inspection. Sgt. Rafael Peralta threw open the closed door, but behind it were three terrorists with AK-47s. Peralta was hit in the head and chest with multiple shots at close range. Peralta's fellow Marines had to step over his body to continue the shootout with the terrorists. As the firefight raged on, a "yellow, foreign-made, oval-shaped grenade," as Lance Corporal Travis Kaemmerer described it, rolled into the room where they were all standing and came to a stop near Peralta's body.But Sgt. Rafael Peralta wasn't dead - yet. This young immigrant of 25 years, who enlisted in the Marines when he received his green card, who volunteered for the front line duty in Fallujah, had one last act of heroism in him. Not only can Rafael's family be proud of him, but his fellow Marines are alive because of him. As Sgt. Rafael Peralta lay near death on the floor of a Fallujah terrorist hideout, he spotted the yellow grenade that had rolled next to his near-lifeless body. Once detonated, it would take out the rest of Peralta's squad. To save his fellow Marines, Peralta reached out, grabbed the grenade, and tucked it under his abdomen where it exploded."Most of the Marines in the house were in the immediate area of the grenade," Cpl. Kaemmerer said. "We will never forget the second chance at life that Sgt. Peralta gave us."Sgt. Rafael Peralta will get little media coverage. He is unlikely to have books written about him or movies made about his extraordinarily selfless sacrifice. But he is likely to receive the Medal of Honor. And that Medal of Honor is likely to be displayed next to the only items that hung on his bedroom wall - the Constitution, Bill of Rights and his Boot Camp graduation certificate.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Justice For Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman was an easy man to admire. After 9/11 he turned his back on the NFL and all that comes with it and enlisted in the Army with his brother Kevin only to be killed in action by friendly fire. The Army and the powers that be have screwed up the investigation, stonewalled and prevaricated to the point that Tillman's parents have no clue how and why their son died.
Pat's gone, nothing will change that. The least we can do for his family is to find out exactly what happened and hold those responsible accountable. I don't want a witch hunt where some gung-ho Ranger E-5 gets a 3 year all expense paid trip to Leavenworth, I want to find out what happened and why. Were there training and command and control errors that allowed this to happen and have they been fixed? "I support the troops" is just lip service as long as nonsense like this goes on.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Kickin Sitcheyation

Pappy's Staff: The reason he's pullin' our pants down.
Pappy's Staff: Gonna paddle our little behind.
Pappy's Staff: Ain't gonna paddle it - gonna kick it, real hard.
Pappy's Staff: No, I believe he's gonna paddle it.
Pappy's Staff: I don't believe that's a proper characterization.
Pappy's Staff: Well, that's how I'd characterize it.
Pappy's Staff: I believe it's more of a kickin' sitcheyation.

This is an excellent opportunity. The GOP revolution of 1994 died when it overdosed on pork, corruption and most importantly OVERLY WEAK DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION. For a the last few election cycles the GOP could hardly be distinguished by their platform or behavior from the Dems, so why bother voting for them? Yeah the war in Iraq is a big issue, maybe the only issue, but ask Ned Lamont how far that got him.
As a generation our task is to ensure the pluralistic western democracies stand up against the rise of militant Islam. GWB to his credit understands this. Many, many in the Democratic party do not. This is not about terrorism per se, although that's a part of it. I believe that for the GOP to be successful they need to re-embrace their core values:
  • Strong national defense, we must secure Iraq.
  • August intelligence gathering capabilities.
  • Fiscal responsibility.
  • Secure our borders.
  • Positive climate for businesses and incomes to grow.
  • A judiciary that respects the constitution and does not legislate from the bench.

Bad night for the good guys...

What now? I'd like to be optimistic. I'd like to believe the Democrat Party will prove me wrong but that seems so unlikely. It wouldn't matter as much if we were not at war but we are and the Copperheads just won and won big.

It's not all doom and gloom. Lieberman, a pro-war candidate, won in a solidly blue state and he won convincingly. Ned Lamont was a one issue candidate and that issue - the war - wasn't nearly enough to put him over the top. Also, the GOP losses, as large as they were, were no larger than the historical average for the party of a president in his sixth year on the job. So the case can be made it could have been, and maybe should have been, a lot worse. The final ray of sunshine comes from the way the Dems got over the top: they had to find blue dogs. I don't know how much of a difference having new conservative voices in the Democratic caucus will be, but it can't hurt.

That said, Iraq looms over everything. And it's hard to see the Dems coming to power as anything but a calamity to the war effort.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Few Thoughts On The Election

  • It looks like the Dems have taken the house, and who knows perhaps the senate. I look forward to any new idea they may come up with.
  • John DeStefano just gave his concession speech, I thought he did a damn fine job. He seems like a decent guy, we just disagree on almost every issue.
  • Lincoln Chaffee lost, now Rhode Island has a real Democrat in the senate. Go away Lincoln.
  • I hope the GOP leadership takes a hard look at what we stand for. They need to stop spending money recklessly, stop screwing around in Iraq and secure our borders.
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi will forestall a Rodham-Clinton presidency in 2008. After two years of one screetchy, liberal harridan the country will have no stomach for another.
  • Lieberman won, I haven't heard Lamont concede yet. Schlesinger did better than I expected.
  • Jodi Rell won easily. Apparently the governor's mansion is on a one way street because I didn't notice her spending any of her political capital to help other GOP candidates.
  • It's great to watch TV without those damn annoying political ads.

It's all over except for the voting...

Actually, that's not true. Within about a nanosecond of the polls closing tonight, the 2008 presidential race will begin. But that's the NEXT campaign. THIS one is all but history and I'll be leaving to go do my civic duty as soon as I'm done here.

I don't know what to expect. There's a lot of noise. Dems are hopeful. The GOP is doleful. A number of polls show a late GOP surge. Last night on Brit Hume's show on FoxNews, there was unanimity around the roundtable that the House would pass from Republican control. The other day over at, Dean Barnett climbed out on a limb and declared the GOP would not only hold onto the House but would "run the table" in all the close Senate races. I want to believe him but last August, right after Lieberman lost in the primary, Barnett predicted Joe would be forced from the race by Labor Day... I think I'll give him a "mulligan". After all, since he won the primary, Lamont's run a really dumb campaign. I suppose there was no way to predict that would happen. So maybe Barnett's right about THIS race... I don't doubt there's momentum in our direction but that won't mean nothing if we still fall short. I think there's a good chance Democratic gains can be kept below 20 seats which would give them a bare majority. I also think we'll hold the Senate. I'd REALLY like to see Michael Steele win in Maryland. I don't care if Allen or Chafee get bounced but it sure would be nice if Santorum can somehow, someway find his way to victory tonight.

Here in Connecticut, Lieberman will get his revenge and I'm guessing we'll hang on to two of the House seats. Simmons will win one of those races...

That's it from MY crystal ball. My district votes at the Methodist church a few blocks from here. I'm off to cast one of the few Republican votes that will come out of Hartford today. I'll be back here tomorrow to argue about what it all means.

I Voted Today!

Sometimes I don't think we attach the proper importance to voting. Like the Maine lobsterman who can eat lobster three times a day if he wanted to, we've come to overlook a very special thing because most of us have never gone without it. (Que rising patriotic music to unfurling red, white and blue bunting.)
The polls were quiet, only two other people there when I went to vote at 0800. One was a woman so, shall we say, Reubenesque, I was surprised the curtain closed about her. I thought well of her in my own instantaneously judgemental sort of way for hauling that big keester to the polls. There are a lot of perfectly fit slackers who can't be bothered to walk the half a block from Starbucks to Townhall to vote this morning, but that is probably a good thing. The other voter was this "dude" who could pass for Dennis Hopper's Billy from Easy Rider, complete with the fringed leather possibles bag or man purse if you will. He was scrounging around in his dude purse for some form of ID since only squares and "The Man" carry a wallet with a picture ID like an actual drivers license in their back pocket. The octogenarians manning the polls accepted something with his name and address printed on it, ostensibly a utility bill or Ed McMahon mailer. The good news is the man is undoubtedly a citizen because what other republic could possibly sustain such a curious relic?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wow! That's Alot O'Bombs!

The Red Cross demands that the use of cluster bombs be halted immediately, saying that the munitions are inaccurate and pose a lingering threat well after hostilities end. In truth there can be no doubt of this as the 142d Medical Company of Plainfield found out during the first Gulf War. While I agree that cluster bombs can be dangerous to non combatants, I question some of the numbers they use:
According to the NGO, between 95 and 98 percent of such munitions are neither reliable nor accurate, with anywhere from 10-40 percent of the so-called submunitions scattered by the mother bomb failing to explode, the ICRC said.

According to Handicap International, the Israelis used four million cluster bombs, of which up to 1.6 million failed to explode.
Four million cluster bombs? Million with a M. I find that very difficult to believe. Since a 500 pound bomb is about the smallest cluster bomb made, that would mean Israel dropped close to 2,000,000,000.00 pounds of munitions on Lebanon. Even if Handicap International meant to say pounds, that's still 8000 bombs, quite a bit for F-16s to carry at 16 per sortee.
Is this a clerical error, yet another example of civilians talking out their ass about weapons they don't understand or is it another NGO carrying water for the enemies of Israel?

The Only Issue This Election Day

Orson Scott Card, a Democrat, explains why it's important his party loses tomorrow:
There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide...

"The Choice, She's A Clear One"

Cox and Forkum

Saturday, November 04, 2006

listening to...

"Voodoo Cadillac" by Southern Culture on the Skids

about rights

Donald Sensing asks can atheism and the idea of human rights be reconciled? He begins with a recent article by Dinesh D'Souza and works forward from there.

D'Souza writes:
A group of leading atheists is puzzled by the continued existence and vitality of religion.
Sensing finds their puzzlement to be itself puzzling:
What an interesting thing for atheists to ponder... why would a deity-denying atheist be puzzled that religion is thriving? If evolution as they describe it is true, then religion is itself a product thereof. Not only that, but Judaism is an evolutionary product, so is Christianity, so is Islam, so is Buddhism, so is Shamanisn, so is … well, you get the idea...
Read the whole thing. (link via Blue Crab Boulevard)

something impossible just happened

Yesterday, The NY Times reported that the US government posted on the internet "some documents that weapons experts say are a danger... detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb..." The web site is now shut down.

How is this possible? I thought Saddam wasn't a threat - that he had nothing to do with WMDs. I thought President Bush misled us into the war. How could such documents exist? According to the article Saddam's "scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away..." How can this be? ... Hmmm... This is a real puzzler!

(I first came across this story via Instapundit. The direct link to the Times story came via a post by Dean Barnett over at Hugh See also Wretchard's commentary over at the Belmont Club.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Next Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee?

Meet Alcee Hastings, Democrat from Florida's 23 congressional district. You may remember Congressman Hastings as the Federal Judge, appointed by Jimmy Carter, who was impeached in 1989 by a Democrat controlled Senate for accepting a $150,000.00 bribe. He may be replacing Republican and foreign born Peter Hoekstra from Michigan's 2nd district. Vote early, vote often!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vet Bashing Pattern By Kerry

Victor Davis Hanson:
One of the things I love about America is the spontaneous brilliance and humor that undermine all pretension. No better example was that wonderful banner from our brave and ingenious soldiers in Iraq, blaring: "HALP US JON CARRY-WE R STUCK HEAR N IRAK."

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) - During a Vietnam-era run for Congress three decades ago, John Kerry said he opposed a volunteer Army because it would be dominated by the underprivileged, be less accountable and be more prone to "the perpetuation of war crimes."

From Mark Levin's Blog:

Some of my NRO colleagues seem sympathetic to John Kerry's explanation that he was attacking President Bush not the troops in Iraq with his "botched" joke.
They may think that, but they are unconvincing. The fact is that Kerry has a record of outrageous smears against our armed forces going back to 1971 when he lied before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee ; or last year when he ripped the character of our troops in Iraq on Face the Nation . His slur against these same soldiers two days ago is consistent with three decades of contempt for our soldiers. This is Kerry's pattern because these are Kerry's beliefs.

Are there other issues we should be discussing rather than Kerry's disdain for the military? Absolutely, we live in very dangerous times, but it would be helpful if grandees in both parties dealt with each other and with us in good faith. If you despise he military at least have the grapes to say so.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Kerry Kerkuffle Continues

First he said it, then he defended it, then he said it was a "joke" now Kerry's waffleometer is set on spin:
As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop.
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.
It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy. I don't want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops.

First, this is not an apology. He's not saying he's sorry for his actions, he's saying he's sorry if your offended. But no biggie there, let's leave the man some face. What offends me, besides the original offense, is that he thinks ALL AMERICANS are stupid enough to believe that this was merely a poorly told joke taken out of context. I don't believe for a nanosecond that Flipper was trying to make a joke, what we have here is a rare instance where a politician speaks his mind. Why do I say this? Let's look at what Kerry had to say about his fellow servicemen when he returned from his four month tour of Vietnam:

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.