Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tasty beverage

My aunt Mariene and her husband Henry hosted a Labor Day BBQ for the family at their beautiful home in Wells, Maine. It was a perfect day with a lots of family and incredible weather. We spent most of the day out on the deck taking it all in, it was great.

On the way up Lynn and I stopped at the New Hampshire State Liquor Store located on Interstate 95 (yep, a state run liquor store right on the highway). It was a bad move because Kevin woke up but I did get to buy a tasty bottle of Limoncello. If you've never had it, it is an incredible lemon flavored after-dinner drink. It is easy to make at home, check out recipes at foodnetwork.com.

Quick hits

Heading to Maine today for a family BBQ but I wanted to share some good links about my newest bud Sarah Palin:

Wall Street Journal profile

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe (the paper's lone conservative)

Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald (a liberal but has an interesting column)

And it would not be Sunday without Howie Carr. His column today is not just about Palin but it is a good read anyway.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Media bias never ends

Take a look at this blatant bias hit job by CNN's Campbell Brown. She goes after John McCain's political advisor about the experience of Sarah Palin and she constantly talks over the guy, interjecting, saying stuff like "come on", etc. You got to ask yourself, has she ever gone after Barack Obama and his experience?

2 Reasons McCain made the right choice in Palin

Not only are the Democrats hitting McCain hard for picking Sarah Palin but some Republicans are as well. Jonathan Martin of Politico has the story from both sides here.

In my mind, the fact that both parties are being critical is a good thing. For the Democrats, it shows that there may be something to worry about with Palin. As to the Republicans, I think it McCain had picked Romney or someone similar, there would have been such a large yawn coming from voters. I like Romney but he would have been such an uninspired choice in an election where Democrats have the edge in the "it factor." The fact that the people who have single handily destroyed the Republican party are upset is, in my mind, a good thing.

Barack Obama is a huge story and if the best the Republicans could have come back with was McCain and Romney, they would be slaughtered. Palin has shaken up the race to the point that Obama already seems like yesterday's news. The Grassroots are on fire with the Palin selection and yesterday McCain had his best day ever in terms of fundraising. The Republican establishment has destroyed the party and the rank and file were completely despondent, especially after the Democratic Convention. Palin changed all that in a matter of hours.

My wife is somewhat non-political but she came home last night excited about Palin. She actually called Michelle McPhee's talk show on 96.9 to talk about it and she wants to have a party on Election Night. I have supported McCain but now I may actually volunteer for his campaign. He does not have much of an organization in Massachusetts but he has a ton of offices in NH including one a few miles from me in Nashua. I tried to get on his website yesterday to look into local opportunities and that part of the website had crashed, I assume, because of people like me going there. Martin of Politico has more on that angle here.

Come November 4, McCain may look like a fool and I may regret writing all of this. But, I think the choice of Palin was a smart move to shake up a very depressed party and a potentially boring and uninspired ticket.

Cut off at the...knees

Politickerma.com has a great cartoon on the impact Sarah Palin will have on Joe Biden, especially during their debate:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Same old tired left

The media is once again proving once and for all that it is in the tank for the Democrats. There was nary a criticism to be found when Barack Obama chose Joe Biden last week but CNN wasted no time questioning Sarah Palin and the other whores for the left quickly followed suit.

The line from the left today is that the selection of Palin is an "insult" to women. They feel that McCain selected her to simply win votes from former Clinton supporters. Where the heck are they getting this? When I heard Palin was the choice, I never once thought of Clinton. I thought that she was a strong, independent conservative with a great story - a mother of five (including one who has down syndrome and who was born while she was in office) who is from way outside the Beltway.

Sarah Palin is a strong, independent women - and the left can't stand it. Nothing drives them more crazy than a strong woman who is not a Democrat or a black person who is a Republican (think Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice). I guarantee you that if Palin was a Democrat we would be hearing nothing but platitudes about her courage and convictions. Instead, the media once again shows why they are going the way of the dodo bird.

Together again

We had no school today so it was me and Kevin together again all day. As it turned out, he had a doctor's appointment this morning so I was able to take him. Lynn usually takes him to the doctors because she goes to work later but today it was my chance.

It was his 15 month check-up and all is well. I was worried that he was a tad overweight because he has a little belly but it turns out he is underweight (just slightly) and he is tall for his age. That's my boy!

He also needed to get two shots and Lynn had warned me that he gets pretty ticked off during them and he is all fired up throughout the day. Of course he cried during the shots but it did not last very long. And, he was not all that crabby today.

I felt bad because I was glued to the TV watching the suspense about who John McCain was going to pick but we did go to the park around 1pm. While we were there he fell down and started crying and when I picked him up he put his head down on my shoulders. So we left and he was asleep about 20 minutes after we got home.

It was nice being home with him again. It's only been a week since I've been back to work but I grew so attached to him over the summer that I look forward to being home with him. But, I am no fool. I put him to bed a little while ago and it is bliss. Ask any parent - the best parts of the day are nap times and bed time!

The base is going crazy

I have heard from some friends who are McCain supporters and here are their quotes:

"I am ready to run down the hall screaming."

"I wet myself a little bit."

Oh yeah!

PALIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

McCain did it!

Is it Palin?

It is 10am and CNN has reported that some sources say John McCain's pick is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Oh PLEASE GOD LET IT BE SO.

She is young, a woman, pro-life, a reformer, a mother of five (including one with down syndrome and another going to Iraq), and very attractive.

I am giddy thinking about it.

Couldn't have said it better

Wow, this says it all. Amazing analysis from Victor Davis Hanson over at National Review Online:

This Democratic propensity to plead poverty and oppression to highlight one's own success — along with the therapeutic anecdote — finally becomes numbing. Obama, who gained his education and found opportunity in the awful Reagan and Bush I years, lives in a mansion, has prep school and Ivy League degrees, made several millions of dollars last year, and was the offspring of two PhD candidates — and is thus a firsthand witness to America's greed and unfairness?
If Obama were to win, no one would infer from the desolation he described in America, that he may well inherit an economy, in a downturn, that just grew at 3.3 in the last quarter, an unemployment rate of 5.7%, and record levels of exportation, one that did not go into recession with $140 a barrel oil, with more students in college than at any time in its history and more than any other nation in the world, with a war in Iraq nearly won, and both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein gone and replaced with constitutional governments — and Europe, whether in France, Germany, or Italy, with strong pro-American leadership.
No one would infer that after our enemies blew a 16-acre crater in New York and attacked the Pentagon — and promised lots more to come — we have not been hit since, but in contrast, al Qaeda's leaders are either in hiding, scattered, imprisoned, or killed, with bin Laden and the tactic of suicide bombing with record low levels of support in the Middle East.
His bottom line: our enemies are winning, AK-47s are ubiquitous in our streets, our economy is in depression, and gay people can't visit their dying partners in our hospitals. In short, "Hope and Change" has became gloom and doom and there is something for everybody from government to save us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Style over substance?

I confess that I didn't watch much of Sen. Barack Obama's speech tonight. I started watching around 10:30 and I kept on muting the TV because I thought I heard the dirt bike punks again out back.

Nonetheless, from what I saw it seemed to be a typical Democrat speech but the backdrop was spectacular. The 85,000 person crowd, the flags, the signs, etc. Fox News is very positive about the speech and makes the obvious point that Sen. John McCain cannot compete with this. But, they save he has some powerful rejoinders: being a POW, experience, etc. It shall be interesting.

More on the "objective" media

Enough said...see here.

Dems at CNN

While Bill Clinton was President, CNN was so in the tank for him that it was known as the Clinton News Network.

Now, it seems as if that is true. Check out the Newsbusters story about registered Dems who work at CNN. It is appalling to think that people like Anderson Cooper who are supposed to be objective journalists are registered Democrats.

See the link here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three cheers for the men in blue

We live behind a big forest which is full of bugs, turkeys, and from what I hear at times, coyotes. I would never go back there and when our cat got out last year, I was afraid he was in there and had become some creature's dinner (luckily we found him safe and sound).

Last week around midnight I heard yelling and swearing coming from back there. We live in a pretty quiet area (so quiet someone once said all you hear there is the wind) so I was shocked and a little rattled. Eventually four boys emerged and you could tell they were drunk or high on something. They went around to the front of our place and one actually walked into my car, another kicked a car, and a third kicked down a sign. I almost called the cops but didn't. It happened again the next night and these kids were more vulgar. I heard the n-word shouted a lot and these kids seemed to be more hopped up on something.

I guess the folks who live next to us had some baby toys and other furniture outside and it went missing. They found it in the woods all burnt. Those boys had some sort of clubhouse back there and destroyed all the kids' toys. They called the cops and they caught the kids back there yesterday. They also had stolen dirt bikes.

I am so glad they caught these punks. I guess the cops have been looking for them for sometime and now they're in a heap of trouble. Justice!

Buyer's remorse?

In 1976, Ronald Reagan took on Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. Ford barely squeaked by at the convention and asked Reagan to give a sort of concession speech to the delegates. Reagan ended up giving an amazing speech and as he was talking, delegates throughout the hall were thinking, "We chose the wrong guy." They were right - Jimmy Carter beat Ford that November but 4 years later Reagan came back and smoked Carter.

Now, liberal Maureen Dowd wonders if the Democrats have made the same mistake. In a column today in the NY Times she writes:

There were a lot of bitter Clinton associates, fund-raisers and supporters wandering the halls, spewing vindictiveness, complaining of slights, scheming about Hillary’s roll call and plotting trouble, with some in the Clinton coterie dissing Obama by planning early departures, before the nominee even speaks.

At a press conference with New York reporters on Monday, Hillary looked as if she were straining at the bit to announce her 2012 exploratory committee.

“Remember, 18 million people voted for me, 18 million people, give or take, voted for Barack,” she said, while making a faux pro-Obama point. She keeps acting as if her delegates are out of her control, when she’s been privately egging on people to keep her dream alive as long as possible, no matter what the cost to Obama.

Hillary also said she was happy about the choice of Joe Biden because he added “intensity” to the ticket. Ouch.

She added insult to injury by coming out Tuesday night looking great in a blazing orange pantsuit and teaching the precocious pup Obama something about intensity and message. She thanked her “sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits,” and slyly noted that Obama would enact her health care plan rather than his.

She offered the electrifying fight that the limpid Obama has not — setting off paranoia among some Democrats that they had chosen the wrong nominee or that Obama had chosen the wrong running mate. “It makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together in the Twin Cities because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart,” she said.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Which is worse?

Phil Johnston is one of the biggest hacks in Massachusetts politics. His sole existence in life is to attack, attack, and attack (yikes, sounds like the pot calling the kettle black). He is a nasty man and never has a good thing to say about anyone (oh boy, I am digging my own grave).

Anyway, the always cheery Johnston had the following to say about John Edwards and Joe Lieberman:

"Edwards was only (my emphasis) unfaithful to his wife. Lieberman was unfaithful to an entire party.”
Um, Phil...I would argue that cheating on your cancer stricken wife, lying about it, and paying said lover hush money with campaign contributions is a tad more repugnant than changing ones political party.

Democrat Red Meat

The media is fond of chastising Republicans for being an "attack" party and always bringing people down with negative ads and campaigning. Anytime a Republican criticizes Obama, he is accused of "swift boating" (a reference to John Kerry's campaign) as if taking down a political opponent was invented in 2004. However, when it is a Democrat on the attack he is simply providing "red meat" for the party's base.

Case in point: Uber-liberal U.S. Rep. James McGovern of Worcester offered the following statesmen like (sarcasm alert) tidbit today in Denver:

"I have lived in Washington with George W. Bush as a United States congressman for eight years. He is the worst president in the history of the United States of America."
"And his Republican allies in the Congress are no better," he added. "Their agenda is not about advancing anything, it is about destructing everything."

If a Republican said that about Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, he would be labeled "mean spirited." Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.



Funny stuff

I am not trying to make light of Sen. Edward Kennedy's illness and I wish him a full recovery but Brian over at savewrko.com makes a good point about those who say he is fighting cancer "courageously." He says it always reminds of the following story from the hysterical (and fictitious) Onion:

Loved Ones Recall Local Man's Cowardly Battle With Cancer
Profiles In Fear

On Jan. 26, just four days after visiting the doctor for what he thought was severe indigestion or maybe an ulcer, Russ Kunkel got the dreaded news: A malignant, fist-sized tumor had metastasized between his stomach and liver. It was cancer.
Right then and there, faced with the prospect of a life-threatening disease, the 34-year-old Florissant, MO, husband and father of three drew a deep breath and made a firm resolution to himself: I am not going to fight this. I am a dead man.
On Feb. 20, less than a month after he was first diagnosed, Kunkel died following a brief, cowardly battle with stomach cancer.

Why a Catholic VP does not matter

Going back to what I said earlier this week, the fact that Joe Biden is a Catholic means nothing on matters such as abortion. Yesterday the DNC approved the following line in their party platform:
"The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."
Apparently, the platform was "tailored to Obama's specifications." Thus, the selection of Biden is 100% meaningless and complete and utter spin. But, we already knew that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Shocking, shocking I tell you

So Gov. Deval Patrick has been going on and on about a $1 billion budget deficit, a bad economy, and how we cannot afford to eliminate the state income tax. Well, that has not stopped him from adding close to 2,000 new hacks to the state payroll in the past year. The Herald has the article here.

All together now - Vote yes on question 1!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to reality

That butterfly in my stomach feeling is from the fact that tomorrow is the first day of school! We had meetings and orientations last week but tomorrow is the first day of classes. I am ready to go but I still get all jacked up the night before.

Although we have a four day weekend coming up (we get the Friday before Labor Day off in addition to Labor Day), today felt like the end of summer. It was nice, then, that Lynn, Kevin, and I took a trip to Hampton Beach today. Kevin lasted just under 3 hours which is good for him. He was beat from the sun and ocean air because he slept for 2 1/2 hours after we left. For dinner, Lynn made a good summer meal: hot dogs, corn on the cob from Brox Farm in Dracut, and pasta salad (well, the pasta salad was from a box but it was still good).

Now we wait for the bell to ring in the AM!

Joe Biden...yawn

Howie Carr takes Joe Biden down a notch in his piece today in the Boston Herald. Howie takes a stroll down memory lane and looks at Biden's first failed run for President in 1988 (this shows you how long this guy has been hanging around). As many know, Biden "borrowed" (a political euphemism for stole) a speech from a politician from the U.K. and passed it off as his own. Michael Dukakis caught wind of it and had one of his minions drop a dime to the Des Moines Register. Biden dropped out soon thereafter.

Much is being made of Biden's Catholic "faith" and how this may help Obama with Catholics and blue collar men. Sure the guy is Catholic but his votes and public stances fly squarely in the face of Church teaching (namely on abortion and marriage). If Obama picked a Jewish running mate who was opposed to the state of Israel would the media be saying he would help with Jewish voters?

Just because Biden is a baptized Catholic does not automatically mean Catholics will fall in line. What is more important, I think, is how one practices and lives his or her Catholic faith. Labels mean nothing unless they are backed up with substance.

A new blog called Catholics Against Joe Biden is already up and running, check it out.

Hitler and McCain??

50 year-old Madonna kicked off her new tour last night in her adopted homeland of England (check out the scary picture of her over at Drudge). I guess at one point she showed a video montage of Hitler, Robert Mugabe, and then...John McCain. The inference, of course, is that McCain is just as bad as a man who killed 6 million Jews and the dictator from Zimbabwe. She then showed another montage but this time of John Lennon, Al Gore, Gandhi, and Barack Obama.

And liberals wonder why regular people are fed up with Hollywood elites getting involved in politics (h/t to my man Jon Keller).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Arrival at St. Mary's

My friend Andrew Nelson has arrived at the seminary in Baltimore to begin his priestly formation. He has his first blog posting from Baltimore up at his blog The Adventures of Mr. Nelsoin and Bellringer. Check it out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Those Jesuits

I am proud to say that I attended Boston College High School, THE Jesuit high school of Boston. When I got to the Benedictine run Saint Anselm College in 1994 and mentioned to the abbot where I had gone to high school he joked, "The Jesuits! We got you just in time."

I deeply admired the Jesuits at BC High but over the past few years, some other Jesuits around the country have gone off the reservation. Jesuits testified in favor of gay marriage in Massachusetts, former U.S. Representative Father Robert Drinan advocated for abortion rights, the former Jesuit Urban Center in Boston was once called one of the best places in Boston for men to meet other men, and author George Weigel once discovered a Jesuit novitiate in California had posted pictures of their Halloween party with young Jesuits dressed in drag with names like "Jabba the Slut" (good article here explains it all).

Now this doesn't really compare but it seems that the head of Boston College's Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life is an agnostic (h/t to the fantastic Diogenes). The center's director, Dr. Alan Wolfe recently wrote an article in "New Republic" and said at the end:

If a better balance between religion and politics is to come about, it will because of what religious leaders do, and not because of what non-believers such as myself want to happen.
Fair enough but would BC appoint an anti-Darwinist to head its Institute for Scientific Research or Dr. Jack Kevorkian to run the Sloan Center on Aging and Work or a Communist to oversee the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy?

Boston FD does the right thing

This is fantastic news. The Boston Fire Department has upheld the termination of fire fighter Albert Arroyo who was out on "disability" but found the energy to be a bodybuilder. He was ordered back to work some time ago but he never showed up so he was fired. Arroyo appealed this week but it was upheld.

Perhaps the FBI investigations into phony disability claims by Boston fire fighters put some fear into the powers that be.

Crying wolf and Prop 2 1/2

Tony over at richardhowe.com is a liberal Democrat. But, he takes cities and towns to task today for crying wolf whenever a Prop 2 1/2 vote comes up. If the vote fails, the predicated disasters never materialize and things stay the same. This leads to a major credibility gap between the leaders and the voters.

See his thoughts here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This says it all

Howie Carr nails it again today with a great column on the culture of Massachusetts politics. Using the campaign theme of "Two Americas" from the campaign of the disgraced John Edwards, Howie says the two Americas are really the "Public Sector America and the Dreaded Private Sector America."

In DPS America, it’s not the Great Depression, but things are not good. Workers are being laid off, bought out, cut back, outsourced and RIFed. Those who remain are getting hit with higher health-insurance premiums, discontinued retirement plans, a deflated stock market and ever-rising property taxes on plummeting property values.

But it’s still morning In Public Sector America. Let the good times roll. Nine percent pay hikes, free cars and gas, endless overtime, a three-day weekend every month, fake disability pensions, plus you get to steal everything that’s not nailed down.

This isn’t a democracy we’ve got in Massachusetts, its a kleptocracy.

Get well number 8


Monday, August 18, 2008

Church Closings in the Berkshires

It is a scenario playing out all over the country. Catholic parishes are closing because of a shortage of priests, parishioners, and money. We were spoiled by the surge in priests and people during the last century but times have unfortunately changed. No bishop wants to close a parish and it kills me to see it happen. But, men are not becoming priests, the people don't come to mass and the people don't support the parish so the inevitable happens. The pendulum may swing the other way some day but that is a long ways off.

Earlier this month the Diocese of Springfield announced that a number of parishes in Northern Berkshire county will be closing. State Rep. Dan Bosley (D-North Adams) has called the decision to close the parishes "heavy-handed top-down." He also said that the people did not have an opportunity to be a part of the process and he wants a moratorium on closings and a dialogue with the diocese.

Oh ironies of ironies. Over the past few years, voters have been trying to have the opportunity to vote on gay marriage in Massachusetts. However, the state legislature would not permit the constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot (as was their constitutional right I will concede). I remember Bosley making a speech against sending the amendment to the voters and trying to say that there is evidence of same-sex lovers in the Bible. Back then he was not afraid of making decisions unilaterally nor was he interested in a moratorium and allowing the people to have a voice. This guy is a joke.

The media admits its bias

Thank you! The Washington Post's ombudsman finally admits that the coverage of Sen. Barack Obama has been more favorable over Sen. John McCain. Since June 4, The Washington Post's page one stories have been about Obama 3-1 (142-96).

See the article here.

The arrogance of Obama

For those who scoff at Rush Limbaugh mockingly calling Sen. Barack Obama the messiah and at John McCain's ads picking on Obama's ego, take a look at an article over at Politico.

Obama was at some fundraisers in California where he told the crowd, "I will win. Don't worry about that." OK, most candidates say that. It gets worse, however. Speaker of the House introduced Obama saying he is "a leader that God has blessed us with at this time." Oh my Lord, gag me please.

When it was his turn to speak to his flock, I mean audience, Obama actually had to explain why he was campaigning. This guy and his followers cannot believe that he actually has to run a campaign, put out ads on TV, speak to people. Why can't be just be the President now?

This guy is starting to scare me. Here is the money quote:


"Now, you want to win. And saying it doesn’t make it so," he told the crowd. "It would be nice to think that after eight years of economic disaster, after eight years of bungled foreign policy, of being engaged in a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged, that cost us a trillion dollars and thousands of lives, that people would say, let’s toss the bums out. Toss the bums out, we’re starting from scratch, we’re starting over. This is not working."“So I understand why a lot of folks are saying, this should just happen. Why are we having to run all these television commercials? Why do we have to raise all this money? Just read the papers. These are the knuckleheads who have been in charge. Throw ‘em out. But American politics aren’t that simple."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

McCain 1 Obama 0

Last night Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama had their first joint appearances at a Faith Forum in California. I didn't bother watching the replays (for once I was actually out on a Saturday night so I could not watch it live) because I know who I am voting for and these things are fairly scripted and boring.

However, I was happy to see that this was not the case and some think McCain came out the "winner." Even the left is conceding that Obama was out of his element and was severely upstaged by the much older, less suave, McCain.

Newsbusters has the story here. They quote a number of lefty blogs, here are some of the juicy quotes:

...I honestly can't remember hardly any of Senator Obama's answers to the questions that were asked, while McCain has had at least SOME memorable answers.

I think it was a mistake for Senator Obama to do this forum.

I've been shocked at how well McCain has done compared to what I was expecting. That very well could be it.

I don't know why Obama went there - he comes across as a poor second to our "McZero the hero".

McCain beat our a** tonight.

We have been here before. You don't bring Karate to a gun fight. You bring an Uzzi. McCain brought an Uzzi. Obama brought a pocket knife and got ambushed. It's time to stop this crap.

His answer "above my pay grade" will be in an ad tomorrow. He appeared to give non answers to me. And he must have said uh and um a hundred times!

OBAMA GOT CREAMED...NO OTHER WAY TO LOOK at it.

Another nail in the coffin for the state income tax

Regular readers of this blog know what this headline from boston.com means for us taxpayers come November:

MBTA employee charged with stealing subway fare money

Fall


Kevin and I were doing our weekly grocery shopping on Friday at Market Basket and I noticed that Yankee Magazine had their fall edition on newsstands. I almost bought it but resisted. Fall is my favorite season of the year: football, foliage, crisp days, football, football, football.

While it also mean going back to work for yours truly, I cannot wait for fall to begin. I love the feeling fall has. Everything feels new again and everyone is rested and ready to start anew.

I remember the fall after I graduated from college. I was really bummed out because for the first time in 17 years or so I was not going back to school. I didn't know what to do with myself - fall was always a time of change and transition and here I was doing the same thing I was doing all summer - working.

Now that I have been a teacher for a few years, I once again have that sense of newness and anticipation as September rolls around. Lynn and I (or is it Lynn and me) will be making a list of things to do this fall. My date book is already full of football games and other fall type events but there is so much more to see and do in New England. We used to make lists when we were dating so we thought we'd do it again now that Kevin is with us. A good place to start is Yankee Magazine's website, check it out, especially their foliage site.

Howie on Police Details

Howie Carr has another homerun in today's Boston Herald column. As I mentioned before, Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed an end to some police details. Namely, work being done on state roads with speed limits of 45 MPH or less. People are now saying that the governor's directive is nothing more than spin so voters will think the state is doing something about waste (see WBZ's Jon Keller's take under "Devil in the Details" here).

Here is a snippet from Howie's column:

In other words, this initiative is as meaningless as everything else Deval does. Still, the cop unions are going crazy, just like the NRA does whenever any gun-control legislation is introduced.

It used to be that there was sympathy for the cops’ argument that they needed more money. But that was before the
Big Dig greedfest, before Boston cops arrested and handcuffed a then-Boston Edison foreman for trying to end a blackout in Roxbury without a paid detail on hand. That was before the local weekly newspapers began running annual lists of the best-paid municipal employees, at the top of which are invariably cops who were not the valedictorians of their high school classes.

Just to pick one Boston cop, totally at random:
Thomas M. Menino Jr. The mayor’s son last year collected a base pay of $69,814, plus another $13,043 in details, $33,153 more in overtime, $16,562 for very important college degrees under the Quinn bill, $4,304 in retro pay, plus $650 in “other” pay.

Total annual take for Mumbles Jr.: $137,526.

The new office

Last month, the Archdiocese of Boston moved their offices from Brighton (Boston) to Braintree. The Brighton location was opened in 1929 and was considered a "Little Vatican." Cardinal William O'Connell built the campus to send a message to the Yankees (no not those Yankees) that the Catholics had "arrived" and now had power too.

The Church had to sell the land (with the exception of the seminary) to Boston College to help pay off debts. Their new office is a refurbished office park that was sold to the archdiocese for a pittance.

The Boston Globe has a nice piece on the new office (now called the Pastoral Center). It sounds great - modern, convenient location, new technology, etc. The old location was tired and the offices were spread throughout the city. Now they are all in one location. See the article here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Race baiting

The Democrats are always eager to play the race card and accuse Republicans of being racist or injecting race into a political campaign. Sen. John McCain was said to be racist for saying Sen. Barack Obama was too inexperienced to be president. Huh?

Now, DNC Chair Howard Dean (aka "The Screamer") has called the Republican party the "white party." Who is playing the race card now?

By the way, can you imagine if the RNC chair called the Democrats the "black party?" The media would be falling all over itself with indignation.

To quote Howard Dean, "Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

Decline of Star Wars

Dom over at Bettnet has a good post today on the decline of the Star Wars franchise. The original 3 were of course some of the greatest movies ever made. I remember seeing "Return of the Jedi" almost once a week when it was in theatres. The new 3 were OK with the last one ("Revenge of the Sith") being the best. I was literally on the edge of my seat during the last 20 minutes or so as Anakin became Darth Vader.

Now George Lucas has come out with an animated "Clone Wars" movie. I may see it but I really don't have much interest. Ho hum.

MBTA cries wolf

Last week the MBTA begged the state legislature for a financial bailout/cash infusion because they were in such debt. Well, that didn't stop them from giving 9% pay raises to 240 executives (story here).

I can't blame a Democrat for this one. The T's GM, Dan Grabauskas, is a Republican who was appointed by Mitt Romney.

Keep these raises coming guys. The more there are the more likely the income tax will be repealed in November!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tribute to Cardinal O'Malley

The Boston Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, has a nice tribute to Cardinal O'Malley on the occasion of his fifth anniversary as our archbishop in this week's issue. Check out the articles here.

Kerry as VP?

There is talk that Sen. John Kerry may be in the running to be Sen. Barack Obama's running mate. While I doubt this will happen, there is also talk Kerry may get a Cabinet position in an Obama administration.

If Obama wins and Kerry moves on and Sen. Edward Kennedy has to step aside because of his illness, there could be a major shift in Massachusetts politics, the biggest in decades. We shall see.

Dreaming of a house

Lynn has been talking more and more about us buying a house soon. We currently own a condo but with Kevin, we're running out of room fast. When we have another baby, there's going to be a serious space crunch.

My hopes of having a home was increased today when I went to help my father today in Melrose. He needed to do some work on their roof and asked me to hold the ladder for him. We got the ladder from his neighbor who is a native of Italy. This guy has an amazing garden. He grows grapes, tomatoes, onions, peppers, melons, shallots, etc. He also makes his own tomato sauce, sausages, and wine. He gave my father and I a bit of wine and it hit me a little bit. I guess homemade wine packs about 10% more alcohol then store bought.

Anyway, seeing his garden makes me want to get a house so I can putt around in a backyard someday. I don't really have much of a green thumb but I want to learn. Does anyone want to buy a condo from us??

The pot calling the kettle black

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said yesterday that former Gov. Mitt Romney does not have any "moral scruples" (article here). This coming from the man who paid for the services of a male prostitute named Steve Gobie, then hired him as a personal assistant, only to find out that Gobie was run a prostitution ring out of Frank's apartment.

Yup, Romney is much worse than that (note sarcasm).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Media bias redux

I have blogged a number of times on the liberal bias in the mainstream media. I have more thoughts...

Whenever an anti-Bush or Republican book comes out, every major network touts it and the morning shows or shows like "60 Minutes" do long puff interviews and segments with the author. However, whenever a Democrat is bashed in a book you would never know it. Or, if the networks do acknowledge it they trash the book as mean spirited or point out errors. They actually have a term for these books - "swiftboating." The name of course comes from the Swift Boat Veterans who questioned John Kerry's service in Vietnam (as if hammering a political opponent is something new).

Jerome Corsi, the author of the anti-John Kerry book "Unfit for Command", has come out with a new book called "Obama Nation." The book is critical of Obama's liberal connections and shady past. The book is number 1 on the NY Times bestseller list and is exposing some serious flaws in Obama. How did CNN recently cover the book? Take a look at the following transcript as posted by the fantastic website Newbusters.org (I bolded the most absurd parts):

SUZANNE MALVEAUX: There's a new book out about Barack Obama, and it is not flattering. The facts are mixed with accusations about Obama that are misleading or just flat-out wrong. Yet despite all of this, there is concern that author's claims might catch on with some voters. Our CNN's Jessica Yellin joining me now, and Jessica, the author even admits that there is an agenda here behind this book.
snip
MALVEAUX: The Democratic presidential nominee of four years ago is trying to help the current presumptive nominee. John Kerry hopes what happened to him does not happen to Barack Obama. So Kerry and supporters roll out a website called "Truth Fights Back." It promises to fight lies from what it calls the right-wing smear machine. Joining me are CNN political contributor, Democratic strategist Paul Begala, and Republican strategist Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney. Good to see you guys; thanks for joining us.
I want to start here by talking about this new website that John Kerry has up. He's saying he's coming back and he wants to make sure that all these smears and lies basically are addressed. Is Barack Obama, is he responding to some of these attacks quick enough, or is he falling into the same kind of trap that John Kerry was in at this time last summer [cycle?].

Can you feel Malveaux's pain and worry? She also calls criticism of Obama "lies" and "attacks" and says Kerry was in a "trap." Now, when Democrats attack Republicans do we find the same concerns? No, they're just ignored or just reported as straight news. There is no handwringing or commentary.

For example, the Democrats released a website today called "The Next Cheney" which criticizes potential running mates for Sen. John McCain. CBS News quotes the Dems' press release throughout the "article" and pointed out some examples from the website. If this was a Republican website, there would all sorts of condemnations from the left in the article and lots of hot air from the reporter.

Political Junkies

If you're a political junkie like me, you'll love a relatively new website called Politicker. It contains political stories and commentaries for most states. To find yours, you simply need to type your state's abbreviation next to politicker. For example, Massachusetts is www.politickerma.com. Great stuff here. I also go to politickernh.com.

Obama and Text Messaging

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign recently announced that they will announce his running mate via text message. All one has to do is text the campaign (which gives them your number) and they in turn will text you the VP name when they're ready to make the announcement.

When I first heard this I didn't think much of it but I read today on richardhowe.com that there is something bigger at play. By having all these thousands or millions of cell phone numbers, the campaign now has more ways to contact people directly. They can now text voters on Election Day and urge them to get out and vote. Rather than having to call people at home, now they can simply text them.

I must confess that this is genius.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hillary Comback?

Rush Limbaugh always says that nothing is an accident when it comes to the Clintons. Every speech, off the cuff comment, and action (i.e. Hillary crying) is on purpose. They are very staged and know how to make the news.

That is why the noise coming out of Clinton's camp regarding the upcoming Democratic convention is no surprise. Hillary does not want Obama to win the election (just like she didn't want John Kerry to win in 2004). She wants him to lose so she can make another run in 2012. So she is doing everything she can to make Obama's nomination at the convention rocky. She has called for a roll-call vote of the delegates, she and Bill got themselves primetime speaking slots, her supporters will be very vocal and visible, etc.

On Monday "The Atlantic Monthly" published internal documents from Clinton's failed campaign. The documents highlight their strategy against Obama and the ways in which they were going to go after him. Do you think this was an accident that these came out just days before the convention? Clinton's fingerprints will not be on the leak but you can be sure that she wanted the memos to get out there because they cast more negative light on Obama. Sure they make her look bad but the focus will also be on Obama's shortcomings.

This is all great stuff. Maureen Dowd, the uber-liberal columnist from the NY Times has a column on this topic here. You can also see the Atlantic Monthly piece here.

Obama and abortion

Sen. Barack Obama has said that his first act as president will be to remove all restrictions on funding for abortions. This policy, known as the Mexico City Policy, was instituted under President Reagan, rescinded by President Clinton, and reinstituted by President Bush.


Obama is perhaps the most pro-abortion senator in the U.S. Senate. He is in favor of partial-birth abortions and has never voted against a piece of anti-abortion legalisation as a state or federal senator.

Sadly many Catholics will still vote for him in November. I even know of priests who will vote for him and yet they will preach about how abortion is evil. Yet they will have voted for a man whose first act as president was to make abortions easier to obtain. I will never understand this.

Pat Buchanan has a nice column today about Obama and abortion. You can see it here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last week of summer vacation

Hard to believe but I go back to work next week. We have meetings and orientation for the students next week and classes begin on August 25. My life will go into overdrive from that point until mid-June. I teach six classes (including one I've never taught before), I am the advisor for the freshman class, and we have many evening/weekend activities that I need to attend. Before Kevin came along I used to stay at school until 5 or 6 correcting papers and preparing for classes. Now I do a lot of that at home after he goes to bed.

I confess that I have been bored at times this summer but I think I will miss spending the day with Kevin. But, I have a good schedule so I will still see him more than if I worked a full year 9-5 job. Teaching may not pay a lot but it is great for quality of life.

Thank you Deval

I never thought I'd say this but thank you Gov. Deval Patrick. The state legislature recently passed a $120 a year COLA for state retirees. This does not sound like much but it would have cost the state billions of dollars over the next 20 years or so. Yesterday Patrick vetoed the increase.

Patrick is a smart politician. He knows that taxpayers are close to eliminating the state income tax this November because of repeated bonehead decisions by the legislature, hacks, and state agencies. He is trying to show that he's trying to something by vetoing this bill, calling for the end of police details, and looking to reform the state pension system.

I hope people can see right through it, however. What the state needs is a complete overhaul because if we don't eliminate the state income tax this fall, they will go back to their old ways and nothing will change.

The death of the media

For a number of years we have been witnessing the long, slow death of the "mainstream" media. Newspapers, evening news, and news magazines will soon be extinct thanks to the internet and talk radio. While I still subscribe to my local paper (Lowell Sun), I hardly watch local news and never watch network evening news. I get most of my news and information from the internet and talk radio.

Now, the media has driven a new nail into its coffin with its refusal to cover the John Edwards scandal. They now say it was because the story could not be confirmed and they wanted to be deferential to Elizabeth Edwards. Yet that did not stop the NY Times from reporting a rumor that Sen. John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist.

It is no secret that the media gives Democrats a pass. If a Democrat is in trouble, they rarely refer to his political party but if it is a Republican, it is in the headline or the first sentence of the article. Edwards, for some reason, was a media darling so they left him alone until ABC finally went with the story last week. The rest of the media had no choice but to follow.

The media critic for the LA Times, Tim Rutten, spells it all out beautifully in a column here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dracut = Fiscally Responsible

For about a year now, schools, cities, and towns have been struggling to pay the bills. Teachers are being cut, user fees are going through the roof, and extra curricular activities are being eliminated.

My hometown of Dracut has bucked that trend. We have a great town manager who watches every penny and makes sure we don't overspend. Our taxes are reasonable (Lynn and I pay under $1,500 in property taxes) and we have great services.

The Lowell Sun has the story here with a great sub-headline in the paper edition: "How does Dracut do it?"

Free Rides

Whenever someone tells you that we cannot afford to eliminate the state income tax this fall, you can add the following to your litany of why we can: 501 state employees are allowed to drive state cars home FREE. Next time you fill up your tank to go to work, think of those state employees who are driving on your dime. Also be sure to think of it when you vote this November to repeal the state income tax.

The Boston Herald has the story here.

Archdiocese of Boston Exhibit

This is the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese (now archdiocese) of Boston. The celebrations have been pretty low key - an opening mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross last December, the Men's and Women's Conferences in April, the pope's mass at Yankees Stadium (which Lynn, Kevin, and I were lucky enough to attend), a youth concert, and some other regional events. I think there is a huge mass and dinner in November.

Now the Boston Public Library has an exhibit on the history of the archdiocese. It appears that it is small and that most of the items are from the first 150 years or so. But, if you're in the area check it out. The Boston Globe's Michael Paulson has an article on the exhibit here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Masstimes.org

We went to Hudson, NH's Old Home Day on Saturday afternoon. There wasn't a whole lot to see and do so we headed back home around 4:30. We were heading out early on Sunday so we were hoping to go to mass on Saturday evening. Most parishes in this area only have mass at 4:00 (well, there are other masses but they're in Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese) so I went to Masstimes.org to try and find a later mass in southern New Hampshire. Thankfully we found a 6:00 mass at a parish in Nashua. Phew.

Masstimes.org is a great resource. It is not always current but comes in handy at times like these.

BBQ Send-off

Lynn, Kevin, and I headed up to Brookfield, NH (population 604) today for a BBQ for our friend Andrew Nelson. As I mentioned last month, Andrew is off to St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore to begin studies for the priesthood for the Diocese of Manchester, NH. The BBQ was at Andrew's parents' beautiful country house.

The weather was perfect and there was a nice mix of my co-workers, Andrew's family, priests, college friends, and neighbors. The food (especially the cake) was awesome!

We stuck around until about 8:30 so Kevin would fall asleep for the night. He was asleep within minutes but he woke up screaming once we hit Dracut at 10:00. For some reason he has been sleeping poorly lately. For example, this morning he woke up around 5:00am. We brought him into our bed but he would not fall back asleep so I let him scream himself back to sleep in his crib.

Andrew is heading off next Sunday. He will visit some family en route and report to the seminary on the 21st. Please pray for him and his discernment. Best of luck Andrew.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Liberals on Edwards

Yesterday I mentioned that Sen. John Edwards is nothing more than a smug and slimy snake oil salesman. It seems some liberals agree. Seth Gitell and Dan Kennedy are to the left politically and they ate Edwards for lunch.

Writing in February of 2007 Gitell said:
...this guy is an absolute empty suit who has been in search of a political identity since 2000. I first encountered this guy at a Democratic breakast at the Beverly Hilton during the 2000 DNC in Los Angeles. The room filled with Massachusetts’s seasoned politicos didn’t give him a second look. Everybody at the level of City Councillor and above saw him for what he was — a shallow neophyte. In 2002, I went up to New Hampshire to see him again and came away only marginally more impressed.

“When he got to the subject of income disparity between the rich and poor, Edwards seemed ready to discuss a substantive problem in depth — as if he were going to deliver some innovative solution that would restore the vital center of American politics. He started out promisingly: ‘I think you could ask the American people tomorrow — and I’m talking about people who live in rural North Carolina, who sometimes vote Democratic and sometimes vote Republican, I think we can convince them tomorrow — that every child in America ought to get a first-class education.’ And then … nothing. While packaged as a unique statement delivered by a Democrat who managed to win an election in Jesse Helms’s own state, Edwards’s comment scaled the pinnacle of banality, if such a thing is possible. Who among serious Americans — including the Republicans — doesn’t think students ought to receive the best possible education? Policy fights involve how best to achieve this — not the general principle, which was all Edwards had to offer.”

Kennedy's take is here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Edwards finally exposed

Former Sen. John Edwards has finally admitted that he had an affair with a former campaign aide (although he denies being the father of her newborn). I am so glad to see this guy taken down. When running for president (both times) and vice-president, he came off so smug and sleazy. Thankfully people saw through him as he is now 0/3 but hopefully more people will finally see what the rest of us have been saying about this phony.

Interesting aside - last June Edwards was named "Father of the Year." Ha!

My graduate school alma mater, Salem State College, recently announced that Edwards and his wife will be speaking at the school as part of their college speaker series. I hope they now spike the appearance as he is not only a liar and an adulterer but he was cheating on his wife who has cancer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Another double standard

I confess that I never read it but one of the premises of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" is that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and that the legendary Holy Grail is not the cup He used at the Last Supper but rather their ancestors. The book (and movie) was blasted by Christian groups but their protests fell on deaf ears. The publisher, Doubleday, never apologized for the book and went on to publish an illustrated edition the following year.

Now Doubleday's parent company, Random House, is cancelling the release of a book because it may offend Muslims and lead to violence. I've got nothing else to say.

See the article here.

Increased cell phone tax

At the end of the legislative year (July 31), the state legislature passed a flurry of new laws at the last minute. One of them was an increase on cell phone fees to help fund 911 dispatch centers around the state. The fee will now be 75 cents a month (up from 30 cents). Not just that, a new state agency was established called the Massachusetts State 911 Department.

Now of course I have no problem with improving our 911 capabilities but once again the state raises our taxes to fund new programs rather than making cuts or reforms (h/t to Dracut Forum).

On a related note, Gov. Deval Patrick will sign an executive order calling for the end of some paid police details. Massachusetts is the only state in the country that requires police officers to direct traffic at construction/work sites. Most officers get paid about $40 a hour and the work requires very little heavy lifting. I was leaving a local park in Dracut the other day and there was a detail cop chatting with the person in the car in front of me. He waived me around him because they were right in the middle of the exit.

Rained Out

Kevin and I took a ride today to the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston. Soon after we got there the sky turned dark and thunder started. We stayed close to the visitor's center so we would not get stuck in a downpour but it took forever for the rain to start. Once it did, we were stuck about 1/4 mile from our car. We hung out in the visitor's center until it let up a bit and then ran like hell to the car.

It was pretty there but we didn't get to see much. But not all was lost - the vending machine at the visitor's center carried Blair's Death Rain Buffalo Wing Chips!!!! The coffee shop at my old company used to sell these (as well as the habanero type) and I used to love them. They are so hot but are awesome. I found their website this afternoon and you can buy them on-line. I may need to do that.

Yet another reason to wipe out the state income tax

This is the summer that keeps on giving. Middlesex Country Registrar of Probate John Buonomo (hack alert) was caught on tape allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from copy machines at the Registry of Deeds. Channel 5 has the damning video here.

Need more reasons to eliminate the state income tax this fall?

Dracut makes the news

One of the few Democrats that I will vote for is Dracut State Rep. Colleen Garry. She is pro-life, in favor of traditional marriage, and always votes to lower taxes. She supported Hillary Clinton in the primary and apparently she recently complained that no one from the Obama campaign has reached out to former Clinton supporters such as herself.

Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe rips into her in today's paper. I bet Garry will vote for McCain anyway.

President Bush - Underestimated?

I confess that President Bush is no George Washington but you got to give him some props for being the first President to attend the Olympics in a foreign country. He may be going because he will soon be out of office but I am sure the fact that the Games are being held in China played into his decision.

China is a horrible place for individual freedom. While they have done a nice job moving to a more open market economy, they still deny religious freedom and political rights. Bush gave a speech in Thailand calling on China to expand political liberty to its citizens. In addition, while in China he will attend Church. This is a major political statement to the Chinese government and one that may go down in the history books.

Pope Benedict has also called on the Chinese to allow for religious freedom. Last year he issued a letter to the Chinese people (in Chinese) where it was summarily removed from most Chinese websites.

Last year Tony Blair converted to Catholicism after leaving office. I doubt President Bush will do the same (although his brother converted) but I would consider him an almost Catholic president.

Primary showdown

Sen. John Kerry is facing a primary challenger this year for the first time in his senate career. Ed O'Reilly is an attorney from Gloucester who is running hard from Kerry's left. He has criticized Kerry for his vote on Iraq and methinks that many lefties may go for O'Reilly because of that.

Now Worcester County Sherriff Guy Glodis has come out and said he will vote for O'Reilly in the primary. Glodis is a hack's hack so for him to say this is pretty huge. I doubt many other major names will come out for O'Reilly but this says something.

The story is here.

More on Obama fundraiser

Tuesday I blogged about the uncommon man menu at Monday night's Obama fundraiser in Boston. Yesterday Howie Carr had a great column on those who attended the event. He also mentions that Sen. John Kerry gave the introduction and rattled on so long that people started looking at their watches and Obama was trying to give some tactful hints for him to wrap it up!

Anyway, you can read it here. Great stuff.

Meetings galore

Sorry for the lack of postings yesterday. I attended a workshop in the morning and then went to my school to do some work. I then had a meeting that evening and when I got home Lynn and I watched the new Kevin Spacey movie "21." It was pretty good but the plot twists were a little too cute.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Obama and the Beautiful People

Last night I met up with some friends at a restaurant called the Common Man in Merrimack, NH. At the same time, Sen. Barack Obama was in Boston for a fundraiser but he was not around any common men (excuse me, common people, I must be PC when speaking of the Messiah). It cost $28,500 for a couple and $15,000 for individuals to attend.

Howie Carr's spies got the menu and once again, the Democrats show that all their talk about being the party of regular people is bogus. Check out the spread by clicking here.

Patriots Training Camp

Kevin and I took a ride to Foxboro today to see the Patriots practice. I've only been to Gillette Stadium once and that was for my former company's "Holiday" party a number of years ago. Now the Patriots have built a huge mall called Patriot's Place and there are a ton of stores and restaurants there.

We got there around 2:15 and there were already some guys on the practice field. They all started streaming out around 2:30 and I recognized Wes Welker, Richard Seymour, Tedy Bruschi, Laurence Maroney, and Jabar Gaffney. The biggest name missing was the biggest of them all - Tom Brady. I asked someone who works there and he said he hasn't seen him at a few practices now. I guess he has a minor leg problem. I also didn't see Bill Belichick but I could have just missed him.

To be honest, it was kind of boring. We stood off on a grassy area and Kevin was running after footballs that were being tossed around by kids. We left around 2:45 as there was nothing to really see. If I didn't have to keep my eyes on Kevin and stop him from stealing people's drinks and footballs, I may have stayed longer! It was nice, however, to get out of the house and do something different.

MBTA Fare Hike

The MBTA is warning that fares will be raised "substantially" unless the state legislature step in to help out financially. The Globe has the story here.

Of course, the MBTA would never cut jobs, reform their ridiculous pension rules, and stop hiring hacks in order to balance their books. Interested in seeing why the MBTA is in such trouble? Check out employee salaries at the Boston Herald's database here.

Yet ANOTHER reason to eliminate the state income tax this fall.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer is almost over

Two ways I know summer will soon be over:

1. In Lowell (the city next to Dracut), the sun will set at 7:59pm on Wednesday (no longer after 8:00pm)

2. Our dining room table is next to our deck and we had to always close the drapes around 7:15 or so to avoid mega sun glare. Now, it is 5:00 and I just closed them

Mr. Menino, tear down this wall

Dan Kennedy over at Media Nation points out the irony of Mayor Thomas Menino's silencing of street performers at Faneuil Hall (I blogged about this last week).

It seems the city and the National Park Service have now put up a fence around Faneuil Hall to prevent street performances. The irony: the fence blocks the red line marking the Freedom Trail.

Giving up Labor Day

Employees at Tyson Chicken in Arkansas have agreed to drop Labor Day as a paid holiday. Instead, they will get the fall Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr off. It also seems that the plant has a prayer room for Muslims and the Muslim employees can take two 7 minute breaks to go and pray. See the article here (h/t to Newbusters).

This is all fine with me, this is what they want I appreciate it when companies accommodate religious practice. I just find it odd that a union would agree to give up Labor Day, a day set-up to honor the labor movement (i.e. unions).

However, check out the comments at the end of the article. People are NOT happy with this. Lots of calls to boycott Tyson.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Interview with Cardinal O'Malley

Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe interviewed Cardinal Sean O'Malley on the occasion of his 5th anniversary as Archbishop of Boston. The article is fair and it highlights both O'Malley's successes and failures. He mentions a lot that O'Malley is very shy and quiet but a man on fire when he is preaching. This is very true. He is the best preacher I have ever encountered but one on one, he is VERY quiet. I have met him on a few occasions and he has very little to say (I thought it was just me!).

Paulson also mentions that some priests find him "remote." I wonder if that is true. I have heard that he finds Boston so large and such a fish bowl that he has a hard time being close to his priests. When he was in Fall River, he would just pop by a rectory for dinner and have casual chats with the priests. Now that is impossible given his schedule and celebrity status.

One thing I never knew was that he asked Pope John Paul II to reconsider his appointment as archbishop. Boston was a mess and he had just been named Bishop of Palm Beach less than a year earlier.

The article is here along with a video and transcript. O'Malley is a good and holy man. I hope he is our archbishop for many years to come.

I am in the top 10,000,000

Alexa.com rates the traffic of websites and lists them in order of visits. I checked out my website and as of today, I am the 10,307,214 most visited website in the world!

Curious as to the number one website in the world? Take a look here.

Moodbats

One of Howie Carr's favorite terms to describe a wacko liberal is moonbat. In today's column in the Boston Herald he gives the test to see if you're a moonbat. The list is below (my favorites are in bold):

1. You refer to the current national administration as the “Cheney-Bush regime.”
2. You’ve used the word “Halliburton” at least once in the last 10 minutes.
3. The biggest issue in the state: gay marriage.
4. The second biggest issue in the state: the pressing need for more bicycle paths.
5. You take part in the weekly anti-war protests on the town post office with all the other grandmothers, or should I say the women who would be grandmothers if they hadn’t had so many abortions 30 years ago.
6. You’re the only one on your block who still has the Globe delivered.
7. You believed the National Enquirer totally when they busted Rush Limbaugh.
8. You don’t believe a word of the National Enquirer now that it’s busting John Edwards.
9. Your car contains at least three of the following bumper stickers: “Redefeat Bush,” “1-20-09,” “We ARE a Family and We Vote,” “Kerry-Edwards,” “Free Mumia,” “9/11 Was an Inside Job” and “Got Hope?”
10. You still miss your favorite old bumper stickers: “Free Leonard Pelletier,” “War Is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things” and “Re-elect Marzilli.”
11. You scoff at people who believe in God, but just as fervently believe that there is a “scientific consensus” about global warming.
12. You’d never admit that the reason you don’t care about Obama’s plans to tax the middle class back to the Stone Age is because your dad down in New York put all your trust funds into tax-free municipal bonds.
13. You still watch Channel 2 and listen to NPR.
14. If you live in Newton, you can’t figure out why Mayor Cohen isn’t running for re-election.
15. You’ll never vote for state Treasurer Tim Cahill again after he sold out the Democratic Party by saying he wanted to be a “friend of the taxpayer.”
16. You think someone should nominate Arline Isaacson for a Nobel Prize.
17, You have both of Barack Obama’s books, and you’ve been meaning to get around to reading them, but . . .
18. You haven’t uttered the word “Christmas” since 1983, lest you offend someone.
19. Forget vegetarian, you’d like to be a vegan . . . except for that no-ice-cream thing.
20. And finally, you’re definitely a moonbat if you’ve realized that the next bumper sticker you put on your Prius is going to say, “Free Jim Marzilli.”

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Remy: Corporate Shill

The Red Sox own NESN (New England Sports Network) so the station is nothing more than a house organ for the team. The channel is packed with puff programing like "Sox Appeal", a dating show where the couples go on dates at Fenway Park and magazine type shows that are nothing more than promotional pieces for the Red Sox (The Boston Globe owns 17% of the team and the paper has also become a mouth piece for the team).

Over the past few years, I have noticed that the game commentators, Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, have become whores for the Red Sox. My first inclination was when Remy started putting a miniature "Wally the Green Monster" in front of him. Wally is the bastard mascot of the Red Sox who was booed so heavily when he was first introduced in 1997 that he was banished to visiting sick kids at hospitals. Over the past few years, Remy has been propping him up and even wrote a children's book about him. I am convinced that Red Sox management asked him to do this so Wally could become more acceptable. Right on schedule, he has now become accepted by the fans and is everywhere (mostly because of all the bandwagon jumpers of the past few years).

Last night Remy and Orsillo were bashing Manny Ramirez, saying he lacks respect for the game, he was a bad influence in the clubhouse, etc. I have no doubt that this is true but I am sure they were given talking points or were under the implicit instruction of management to bash Manny. Undoubtedly, all the Pink Hatters and fair weather fans will dutifully fall in line.

While I am glad Manny is gone (his production was way down and he was being a total pain in the arse), it drives me crazy that the Red Sox management sometimes have complete carte blanche in this town. Thank goodness that there are more alternatives to NESN and the Globe such as WEEI, Comcast Sports Net and NECN's "Sports Tonight." They are so much more objective. Watching NESN coverage or reading the Globe is like watching some Soviet Union newscast or reading the "Daily Worker", it is all propaganda.

The blog Joy of Sox had the same feelings, check it out here.

Friday Night Issues

Some people may have had some trouble getting onto this site last night. My blog (and thousands of others) were impacted by a problem with Site Meter, a website that tracks the number of people that visit websites. If you've ever scrolled to the bottom of my site, you see a counter. Any website with that counter was impacted last night. I guess Site Meter made some code changes and anyone using Internet Explorer 6 or 7 was impacted.

I've removed the counter until Site Meter gets its act together (and so people can visit my site!).

5th anniversary

This past July 30 was the 5th anniversary of Cardinal Sean O'Malley's installation as archbishop of Boston (The cardinal blogged about his anniversary here). Lynn was working at a Catholic parish at the time so we were able to get tickets to attend the mass. I remember the cathedral was packed (and hot) and there were a ton of media outside.

Lynn and I sat on the side so we could not see the altar that well. However, they had TVs all over the place so I watched part of the mass on that. I remember when Bishop Walter Edyvean was reading the decree from Pope John Paul II naming O'Malley as archbishop, O'Malley closed his eyes and had a look of terror on his face. However, when he delivered his homily, he brought down the house. It was funny, theological, touching, and meaningful. There was something in there for everyone. He won the people over that day and it was exactly what the people of Boston needed.

The Boston Globe did a great job covering his installation. The page is still on-line and you can check it out here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Spin or ignorance?

Sen. Barack Obama recently accused Sen. John McCain of trying to scare people into not voting for Obama because of his race. He said:

"[What they're] going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills."
By the dollar bill comment, Obama's campaign said he was not referring to race but rather that he has not spent "decades" in Washington before getting to this point. Either this is spin of the worst kind or the Messiah's campaign does not know American history. If you look at the men who are on our paper currency, NONE of them served for decades in Washington.
Let's take a look:
$1 bill: George Washington - there wasn't even a Washington, DC when he was president
$2 bill: Thomas Jefferson - Washington, DC was founded one year before he became president
$5 bill: Abraham Lincoln - His only previous experience in Washington was one term as a U.S. Representative
$10 bill: Alexander Hamilton - He was never president!
$20 bill: Andrew Jackson - his Washington experience was 2 years as a senator and less than one as a representative
$50 bill: Ulysses S. Grant - was a military man, not a Washington politician
$100 bill: Benjamin Franklin -was never president
This is up there with Obama's statement that he has been to 57 states!

Don't quit your day job (actually, please do)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a new book out (yeah, I didn't know either) and it is tanking. It is currently ranked 1,031 in sales on Amazon.com and the reviews are brutal. Check it out here.

Mayor Mumbles

I was a resident of Boston for two years and my biggest regret was not voting in the 2003 city election. It was the only election I have ever missed since turning 18. I have voted in EVERY special election, primary, and general election since that time. I just could not make it to the voting booth that day. I am bummed because I liked my perfect record and I wish I could have cast a ballot against Mayor Thomas Menino.

Nicknamed Mumbles (click here and see why - make sure your volume is on), Menino is now on a rampage against street performers at Faneuil Hall. His Honor apparently does not like all the sound outside his City Hall office and has now banished them to a small area (see the article here).

Mumbles has been around for a long time and despite his popularity, may be outstaying his welcome. Boston Magazine's Joe Keohane has someone new in mind, someone fresh to serve the city as mayor. That person is...anyone but Menino. He has two great columns on Menino's tactics and lack of vision and his hope for anyone to take him on in 2009. Take a look here and here.