Friday, October 31, 2008

NBC and Obama

If you need any further evidence of how in the tank NBC News is for Barack Obama, read this piece by Newsbusters and ask yourself, would Brian Williams (a former intern for Jimmy Carter) toss the same sort of softballs and warm and fuzzies to John McCain? It is almost nauseating to read this.

Exhibit A

Dan Kennedy reminds us once again why we should vote yes on Question 1. Although Dan (I think) does not support the ballot question, he highlights the absurd salaries paid to the Boston Licensing Board. See his thoughts here.

Another liberal collapse

Last week I blogged about the crushing financial losses at the New York Times. Now it appears that CBS, home of the unbearably liberal and biased CBS News, sustained a $12.46 BILLION loss last quarter.

Nothing could wipe the smile off of my face right now.

Preview of a President Obama?

Barack Obama's campaign has made a habit of taking on journalists that do not bow at the altar of Barack.

After the New Yorker did a spoof of Barack and Michelle Obama on their cover (although it was meant to be sympathetic to them), reporters from that magazine were banned from Obama's plane. Last week, a news anchor at an Orlando TV station asked tough questions to Joe Biden and they were banned from interviewing the candidates going forward. A radio show in Chicago was intimated to not have on a guest who was going to question Obama's ties to terrorist Bill Ayers.

Now, Drudge reports that the Obama campaign has banned reporters from the New York Post, Washington Times, and Dallas Morning News from its plane. What do these three papers have in common? They endorsed John McCain.

This appears to be Barack's MO - punish those who criticize and who dare speak out. Chilling.

I agree with a liberal!

Remember last year with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was running for the Republican nomination and he was lambasted for a campaign commercial in which a cross was symbolically behind him (it was a shelf)? Liberals (i.e. the media) said Huckabee was sending a coded message to Christians. Of course it was crap and was just another example of the media taking something a Republican does and blowing it way out of proportion.

Now, Blue Mass Group, a hyper-liberal blog about Massachusetts and national politics, highlights an interesting shot from Barack Obama's recent infomercial. Take a look here and ask yourself, where is the outrage from the media now?

Dirty politics

Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire is in a tough race against former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. If you click on the link on Sununu's name, you will see the color scheme for his campaign is blue and green. His campaign signs are very simple: white backgrounds with Sununu in blue and Senator in green.

Yesterday I saw a sign with the exact same color scheme and background but it said something to the effect that by voting for Sununu, you are voting for President Bush. It looked like a sign that Sununu did as it was just like his other signs. I couldn't believe it and I looked closer and saw at the bottom that it was paid for by the Democratic Party.

Now, if a Republican had done something similar to Shaheen's signs, there would be an uproar.

Case in point: Newsbusters is reporting that someone in Virginia sent out an "official looking flier" that said "Republicans Voters November 4, Democratic voters November 5." This is obviously an attempt to confuse voters who would vote for Obama. NBC, the house organ of the Democratic Party, went crazy over the flier saying just that. If an Obama supporter did something like this, NBC would have never mentioned it.

Tuesday's predictions

Human Events, the home of Robert Novak (who is very sick with brain cancer) makes its predictions for Tuesday's elections. They highlight the presidential race as well as the races for the House and Senate. They predict that Obama will win but not by a blowout (ala Reagan in 1984). They also think that the Democrats will gain more of a majority in the House and Senate but will not reach 60 seats in the Senate.


You can see the whole report here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Electoral Map Picks

WTKK (96.9 FM) is having a contest to predict the electoral map for next Tuesday's election. My guesses were as follows (red is for McCain and blue is Obama):

AK: red
AL: red
AR: red
AZ: red
CA: blue
CO: blue
CT: blue
DE: blue
FL: red
GA: red
HI: blue
IA: blue
ID: red
IL: blue
IN: blue
KS: red
KY: red
LA: blue
MA: blue
MD: blue
ME: blue
MI: blue
MN: blue
MO: red
MS: red
MT: red
NC: blue
ND: red
NE: red
NH: blue
NJ: blue
NM: red
NV: red
NY: blue
OH: red
OK: red
OR: blue
PA: blue
RI: blue
SC: red
SD: red
TN: blue
TX: red
UT: red
VA: blue
VT: blue
WA: blue
WI: blue
WV: red
WY: red

Bringing down the house

Dan Kennedy over at Media Nation wonders if the Diane Wilkerson case will bring down other politicians. If not, it certainly highlights the shadiness of Beacon Hill and City Hall and does not bode well for Mayor Menino and others, even if they did nothing illegal. The fact that Wilkerson essentially traded raises for the Boston Licensing Board in exchange for liquor licenses is appalling.

This could not have come at a better time. It will help those of us who have been screaming about Question One. This question is less of an attack on the state income tax and more about the culture of Beacon Hill. Eliminating the state income tax sends a message to these crooks and hacks and lets them know that the people are watching and have had enough.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sarah Palin visits the Vatican

My uncle John Dargan sent along the following joke he saw on the great blog American Papist. It is funny but true:

So, Sarah Palin's advisors decide that it is time for her to meet a bunch of serious world leaders. They head to Europe, where, first up, she has an appointment with the Pope. The Pope and some of his Cardinals invite her for a boat ride on the Tiber.
As they are sitting in the gondola talking, a wind starts up and blows the Pope's hat into the water. Palin looks around and realizes that no one is going to do anything about it, so she calmly rises, takes off her her high heels, and steps off the side of the boat.
Instead of diving into the water, however, she walks across it, to the hat, picks it up and walks back across the water to the boat. She climbs in, hands the Pope his hat and continues discussing whatever it was they had been talking about.
The Cardinals are open mouthed in astonishment at what they have just seen. The news media, in nearby boats are busy discussing among themselves how to report it.
Headlines the next day at the New York Times, The Washington Post and the networks all blare: "New Revelation: Sarah Palin Can't Swim."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunny skies on a rainy day

Today it is cloudy and rainy in New England. However, my day got a lot brighter when I read that corrupt State Sen. Diane Wilkerson was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges (i.e. taking bribes).

This lady has made a career out of dishonesty and she will finally get her comeuppance.

This is the second Democratic state senator to be arrested this year - earlier this summer it was Sen. James Marzilli who was arrested on sexual harassment charges.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Media dishonesty...again

This weekend, the Anchorage Daily News endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Some in the media are trying to portray this as another example of Sarah Palin hurting John McCain's campaign. How could the state's largest paper endorse Obama and Biden over McCain and native daugher Palin? they ask.

Of course, what they won't tell you is that the Anchorage Daily News did not endorse Palin when she ran for governor in 2006. Furthermore, they have endorsed the following men for president: John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton (twice), and George McGovern. Sense a pattern here?

I am convinced more and more that the "mainstream media" is dead. I blogged earlier today about the decline in circulation for the rag Boston Globe. People are sick to death of the media's BS and Democratic spin and they're moving to blogs, talk radio, and the internet as an alternative. The media continues to pretend they are objective and fair but the numbers do not lie.

Boston Globe continues to bleed

Between March and September of this year, the Boston Globe's Monday-Friday circulation was 323,983. A drop of 10.18%. See the rest of the hemorrhaging here.

Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two Quickies

I have about 40 or so projects that I need to finish correcting by tomorrow morning so I only have time for two quick hits.

When will Hollywood learn? The Oliver Stone movie "W." (a biopic about George W. Bush) has absolutely tanked. This of course is despite the assist from the media which did all it could to prop up this piece of crap. The movie cost about $30 million to make and so far it has only pulled in about $23 million. I am sure it will make its money back on DVD sales but I am quite pleased to see Stone and Hollywood fall flat on their faces.

The Boston Globe has an interesting article today on the state of the Massachusetts GOP. I may sound like one, but I am not a Republican (although I vote mostly Republican). The article states that the number of Massachusetts residents who are registered Republicans are a paltry 12%. They have a young and aggressive Communications guy named Barney Keller (son of WBZ's Jon Keller) but that won't be enough.

The problem with the Mass. GOP is that it has nothing compelling to offer. Their leaders are nothing more than warmed over Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei is a liberal and House Minority Leader Brad Jones tries hard but is pretty ineffective. The party has even come out against Question 1 - the ballot question that would eliminate the state income tax. Why would people bother with this party if all they are are Democrats with a different twist?

The Massachusetts Democrats have a good motto: Ideas in Action. The Mass. GOP would be wise to try to mimic some of the Democratic tactics and inspire people to get involved. They need fresh ideas and new people - something that is a clear alternative to the Democrats. Moving to the left will not win elections (or people).

One more thing - compare the websites for the Mass. GOP and the Mass. Dems. The GOP website is bland and boring with few updates (the last news posting was October 2 and the last event posting is September 16). The Dems, however, have a slick site with fresh content. Any wonder they always win? They seem to want it more.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another classic

You know you're old when you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than to find videos like this on the internet:

Not true

Rocco over at Whispers highlights a baffling poll that asserts that most young Catholics are in favor of abortion. The poll said that 60% of those surveyed believed abortion should be legal and a majority felt abortion was not a major issue for them in this election.

I find these findings to be very suspect. I have been to the March for Life in Washington, DC four times and I would say that 75% of the people there are under 25. Before the March, the Archdiocese of Washington holds a Youth Mass and Rally in the Verizon Center. Tens of thousands of young Catholics gather there to pray and rally around the pro-life cause. It is one of my favorite days of the year! At the March itself hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the country swarm Washington protesting abortion. I will concede that some may be there just to hang out with their friends and to get away from home for a few days but not all of them.

The school I teach at typically sends 300-350 students to the March - the largest contingency of any group in our state! Furthermore, this past week we did some projects on being a Faithful Citizen and the students did amazing work highlighting the importance of voting pro-life (among other issues).

I would venture to guess that the young Catholics who were polled were not exactly Church going Catholics. Rather, they are CINO (Catholic In Name Only). Young Catholics are overwhelming pro-life and supportive of Church teaching. They are part of the JPII generation and are literally transforming this nation and our Church.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You can't make this stuff up

I guess we no longer have to worry about tight state budgets - all is well. We can repeal the state income tax without any problem, we can restore services, and the budget can be balanced.

You don't agree? Then why did the Dracut Housing Authority recently give its director Mary Karabatsos a 6.7% pay raise this year with automatic 3% pay raises over the following two years? In addition, why did Middlesex Community College give President Carole Cowan a raise of 7.1% retroactive to July 1 - raising her salary to over $208,000?? Oh yeah, she also gets use of a state car and an $18,000 housing allowance. Cowan lives in Manchester-By-The Sea. If you've never been to this seaside town, let's just say Madame President isn't exactly slumming it.

Next time they tell you the state is broke, remember this.

You know the drill: vote yes on question one.

Chilling video

For those who think Barack Obama is a thoughtful, caring politician, watch this video. Here you will see the true side: the radical leftist who feels that teenagers who get pregnant are "punished" with a baby and the man who says the first bill he will sign as president is the Freedom of Choice Act. He proudly boasts of his 100% pro-abortion voting record and is in the back pocket of Planned Parenthood.

This man is dangerous. I will lose any and all respect for any devout Catholic who after watching this video still votes for Obama.

LOL

I could not help but have an enormous sense of schadenfreude when I read the NY Times, owner of the rag Boston Globe, has experienced a profit loss of 51.4%!

Hey New York Times:

Go Pat Go

Great column today by Pat Buchanan on the media's double standard. Speaking of Joe Biden's recent comments that Barack Obama will be tested during his first few months in office, Pat said:

Is Russia about to move on the Crimea? Is Israel about to launch air strikes on Iran's nuclear sites? What is Joe talking about?

If one assumes Joe is a serious man, we have a right to know.
Instead, what we got was Obama's airy dismissal of Joe's words as a "rhetorical flourish" and a media – rather than demanding that Joe hold a press conference – acting as Obama surrogates parroting the talking points that Joe was just saying that new presidents always face tests.

Had John McCain made that hair-raising statement, he would have been accused of fear mongering about a new 9/11. The media would have run with the story rather than have smothered it.

Contrasting McCain with his hero, Joe declared a few weeks back, "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and ... said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"
Nice historical reference. Except when the market crashed in 1929, Hoover was president, and there was no television.

Can one imagine what the press would have done to Sarah Palin had she exhibited such ignorance of history. Or Dan Quayle?

Joe gets a pass because everybody likes Joe.

Fine. But Joe also has a record of 36 years in the
Senate.

Has anyone ever asked Joe about his own and his party's role in cutting off aid to South Vietnam, leading to the greatest strategic defeat in U.S. history and the Cambodian holocaust? Has anyone ever asked Joe about the role he and his party played in working to block Reagan's deployment of Pershing missiles in Europe, and SDI, which Gorbachev concedes broke the Soviets and won the Cold War?

In the most crucial vote he ever cast – to give Bush a blank check for war in Iraq – Joe concedes he got it wrong.

Is Joe's record of having been wrong on Vietnam, wrong in the Cold War, wrong on the Iraq war, less important than whether Sarah Palin tried to get fired a rogue-cop brother-in-law who Tasered her 10-year-old nephew to "teach him a lesson"?

"I've forgotten more about
foreign policy than most of my colleagues know," says Joe humbly. Given his record, it is understandable Joe has forgotten so much of it.
And then, speaking of the dying media:

Saturday, the New York Times did a takeout on Cindy McCain that delved back into her problem with prescription pills. Yet when Hillary's campaign manager, Mark Penn, brought up Obama's cocaine use on "Hardball," he was savaged by folks for whom the Times is the gold standard.

The people apparently had a "right to know" of Bush's old
DUI arrest a week before the 2000 election, but no right to know about how and when Obama was engaged in the criminal use of cocaine.

The media cannot get enough of the "Saturday Night Live" impersonations of Palin as a bubblehead. News shows pick up the Tina Fey clips and run them and run them to the merriment of all.

Can one imagine "Saturday Night Live" doing weekly send-ups of Michelle Obama and her "I've never been proud" of my country, this "just downright mean" America, using a black comedienne to mimic and mock her voice and accent?

"Saturday Night Live" would be facing hate-crime charges.

How do we know? When the New Yorker ran a cartoon of Michelle in an Angela-Davis afro with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder, New Yorker editors had to go on national television to swear they were not mocking Michelle, but the conservatives who have so caricatured Michelle and the Messiah.

Is there a media double standard? You betcha.

I am shocked, shocked...

In one of the great movies from the 80's, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", Steve Martin and John Candy both realize that their wallets are empty. Candy turns to Martin and says, "We've been robbed" and Martin says in an incredibly sarcastic voice "Gee, you think so?"

So when Pew Research came out with a study that John McCain has received more negative press than Barack Obama, I had the same reaction as Steve Martin. Big shock!

Papal update

Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia has a nice update on upcoming travels, appointments, and writings of Pope Benedict XVI. Take a look here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What to do now?

I was watching C-SPAN last night and they were showing a forum hosted by Georgetown University between Republican David Frum and Democrat Bob "I've never won an election" Shrum. I don't know much about Frum but Shrum was an advisor to Dick Gephardt and later Michael Dukaksis in 1988, Bob Kerrey in 1992, Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. He famously turned to Kerry on Election night 2004 and said, "May I be the first to say, congratulations Mr. President."

The discussion between Frum and Schrum was excellent and very civil. I don't normally watch C-SPAN but they were both fascinating. Frum made an interesting point: Republicans are always looking for the next big person to step up and run for president, another Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan. He said their focus should be the next big idea, rather than the person. If you have the ideas, the people will emerge.

One of them also said Republicans typically nominate their presidential candidates based on who is "next in line." Cases in point: Nixon in 1960, Ford in 1976, Bush in 1988, Dole in 1996, etc. Bush 43 was an exception but it does seem to be the case that their candidates are simply guys who have waited in line and now have their chance. It is a recipe for disaster: Reagan was the better candidate in 1976, Dole was a disaster in 1996, and now McCain looks like he will be blown out of the water (although I am still holding out hope).

If the Republicans lose the White House and seats in the Congress, I think it will give the party time to sit back and reflect on what went wrong and how they can regain the hearts and minds of the people. I think the Democrats did an incredible job rebuilding their base and their party after the 2004 election and the Republicans would be wise to follow their model.

Blood on their hands

The Deacon's Bench, one of my favorite blogs, highlights some sad polling data:

The bigger news is Obama's jump among white Catholics, where he's totally reversed McCain's lead. Last month, McCain led 48-percent to 41-percent among white Catholics. Now, Obama's up 49-percent to 41-percent. And here's a fascinating tidbit: McCain's 16-point lead among White Catholics from last month has evaporated. The candidates are now dead even among those voters. Obama's strenuous Catholic outreach is finally starting to pay off.
A President Obama would be inaugurated on January 20, 2009. His first official act will be to make abortions more accessible and the first bill he will sign will be the Freedom of Choice Act. Two days after his inauguration, on January 22, 2009, Catholics around the country will mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I wonder if the same Catholics who vote for Obama and watch him make abortion more available will also rally against abortion two days after his inauguration.
Shame on those Catholics who vote for Obama in November but who preach against abortion. You reap what you sow.

You have to pay higher taxes and bills...just not me

You got to love Howie Carr. In a media day and age when there is less and less focus on local issues, he continues to dig deep to expose these bums. The hack du jour is Worcester State Rep. Robert Spellane.

His Honor feels that you and I should be paying more in state taxes as last year he filed legislation to raise the state income tax to 5.95%. So he wants you to shell out more of your money but he is being sued by his bank because he has refused to pay his mortgage. In addition, he was found guilty last year of spending $50,000 of campaign money for his own personal use! To top things off, he divorced his wife and is now dating a 27 year old woman. Did I mention that Rep. Spellane is the vice chair of the Financial Services Committee and his girlfriend just happens to be a lobbyist for the insurance industry?

Send these guys a message on November 4!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What are they thinking?

The police officers in Peabody, MA will now receive September 11 as a paid holiday (or receive overtime if they work that day). They said they're making this a holiday for police officers to honor the sacrifice made that on day by their brothers in New York City.

Well, if that is the case then why don't NYC police have the same perk? For those who have never been to Peabody, it is the furthest thing from New York City. It is a city with a mall, maddening traffic jams, and a downtown that floods everytime it rains. Why then would Peabody's boys in blue, who have NO connection to the men who died on 9/11, (other than a common profession) have a holiday that no other police officers in the nation have?

My initial thought was that the city caved because the police are losing detail work and they had this worked into their contract to make up for lost wages. But, the city agreed to keep using them for details. Then it dawned on me - Peabody is surrounded by two major state roads: Routes 128 and 114. Any road work done on those roads will be performed by the state, not the city and thus, flagmen can be used and not Peabody cops.

All together now: vote yes on question one.

Textbook pandering

If you looked up pandering in the dictionary, there would be a huge picture of Joe Biden. In his debate with Sarah Palin he said he believed marriage should be between one man and one woman. But, on the Ellen DeGeneres Show he said if he lived in California, he would vote against the proposed ballot initiative that would ban gay marriage in that state.

Gee, why would he say that on Ellen's show? This man and his running mate will say anything to get elected.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Intellectual snobs

Great column in today's Boston Herald about how in the media, Republicans are always smeared as intellectual lightweights while Democrats are portrayed as erudite and thoughtful. It is short enough that I have posted the text below:

There they go again! Anyone who follows the mainstream media knows by now that Sarah Palin is the dumbest person to be nominated for national office. Or so goes the narrative.
The proof? A purloined and doctored record posted on the Internet purportedly showing Palin’s high school grades and SAT scores. That the liberal intelligentsia fell for this hoax is unsurprising considering their unshakable view of the Republican Party as the “stupid party.”
In the 1950s, the press portrayed Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson as a great intellectual, while ridiculing Republican Dwight Eisenhower as an ineffectual bore. Never mind that Eisenhower commanded the largest army in the world to defeat Nazism.
In 1976, the media celebrated Jimmy Carter as a brilliant newcomer with fresh ideas (sound familiar?) and mocked Gerald Ford (a graduate of the Yale Law School!) as a bumbling idiot.
They maligned Ronald Reagan as a Hollywood B-actor.
In 2000, although George W. Bush’s college grades were superior to Al Gore’s, the press nevertheless depicted Bush (who earned a Harvard MBA) as a frivolous frat boy and Gore (who dropped out of two separate graduate programs at Vanderbilt) as “in love with the world of ideas.”
It was the same tired narrative in 2004: George Bush, “Village Idiot” vs. John Kerry, “Thoughtful Intellectual.”
Thankfully, most people do not vote for candidates based on 30-year-old report cards. But this doesn’t stop the “gotcha” media from selectively using such records to mock Republicans.
Which brings us back to this year. For all of the celebration of Barack Obama as an Ivy League intellectual, we know nothing of his years as an undergraduate at Columbia - indeed, his campaign refuses to produce a transcript.
And what of Joseph Biden’s dismal academic record at Syracuse University Law School, the lies he told about his record or the academic discipline imposed by Syracuse for plagiarism? Apparently, none of this is relevant, but Palin’s purported high school transcript is appropriate grist for the mill.
Let’s face it: The liberal media is positively offended by John McCain’s choice of a plain-spoken, hard working, intellectually honest running mate without Ivy League credentials. They will do anything, including falsifying an irrelevant high school record, to bring her down.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall slipping away

As the days get colder and the leaves start falling, you can tell that winter is fast approaching. Thus, I am trying to take advantage of the final nice weekends.

Yesterday morning I took a group of my students to Strawbery Banke (sic) in Portsmouth, NH. It is a neighborhood on the edge of the city that has been preserved. It has about 40 homes and businesses that have been salvaged and restored - some dating back as far as the 17th century and the most recent being from World War II. It is a beautiful place to spend a day and the kids really liked it (I think).

After that I headed to my parish, Saint Francis, for our first annual Harvest on the Hill. Our church is located in East Dracut which has been spared from a lot of new homes and sprawl. The church is on top of a hill surrounded by rolling fields and farms. There were some many people that we had to park about 1/2 mile away at Farmer Dave's - I didn't mind though, it was a beautiful walk. Farmer Dave is a farmer (obviously) and a parishioner who also runs Brox Farm stand on Route 113. At Harvest on the Hill, they had a ton of food, live music, games for the kids, book sales, candy sales, raffles, etc. It was a real nice event and I think it will become an annual celebration of the fall. Kevin was a little cranky and didn't have a good time really - he would not even go on the bouncy things. We hung out with our friend and fellow parishioner Rebecca and her daughter Julia. Julia is about a month younger than Kevin so we always joke that they will be each other's prom dates. I watched her for a few minutes while Lynn, Kevin, and Rebecca went to look around and she was an angel - she sat there eating her goldfish and even offered me some. I wish my boy was as stoic.

Lynn met up with her friend Jen today to help her register for her baby shower (Jen's, not Lynn's) so it was Kevin and daddy today. We headed back to Farmer Dave's for a hayride and a walk though his corn maze. As we were riding on the hayride, I thought about how lucky I am to live in Dracut. As I have mentioned before, I grew up in Melrose and never really heard about Dracut. In fact, I didn't even know where it was when we decided to look at condos up here. I just kept on seeing it come up when we would search so we went for it. Dracut has struck a nice balance between growth and preservation. We have about 4 or 5 operating farms and tons of open space. The town just did a survey and we urged them to do even more to preserve space and to create parks rather than homes.

Kevin wasn't too big on the corn maze so we left that and went over to pet the goats and to look at the pumpkins. We then drove to Brox for some apples and after that Kevin was asleep in minutes. I was pretty tired too so I was glad he fell asleep. However, once we got home and I put him in his crib, he woke right up. I could not keep my eyes open so I put him in his room while I napped on the couch. I got about 20 minutes in which was great, I really needed it. The flip side is that Kevin went to bed at 7:30 tonight - he was exhausted.

Now, I am going to eat some dinner, watch the Red Sox and get some school work done for tomorrow. Another wonderful weekend.

Another do as I say, not as I do liberal

Liberals around the state are begging people not to vote yes on question 1. "We need the state income tax, we need to fund programs, the schools will crumble, we need to retire at 55 and have a huge pension." Well, it appears that some liberals like to lecture us about the need for taxes yet refuse to pay their own.

Howie Carr exposes one such liberal today - State Rep. Ben Swan of Springfield. Said State Rep. owes over $33,000 in property taxes to the city of Springfield (and they could sure use the money!). You can see Howie's column here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Closing in on 5,000 hits

Sometime this week, this blog will register its 5,000th hit. I started this blog on a whim on July 2 and while 5,000 hits is nothing compared to most blogs, it is certainly more than I ever imagined. Thanks to those of you who take the time to read my ramblings!

Never laughed so hard

I would not normally post something like this but the girl herself posted it on You Tube. All I will say is fast forward to 2:45.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Police can break the law

The title of this posting is apparently the feeling of Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone. I like Leone and I voted for him when he ran for DA 2 years ago (see, I do vote for Democrats). But he seems to have a double standard when it comes to prosecuting public officials. Earlier this year he refused to prosecute State Sen. James Marzilli who was accused of sexual misconduct because of lack of evidence (however when new charges came up a few months later Leone went after him hard).

Now, the DA will not prosecute those off-duty police officers who were "protesting" at a work site in Woburn earlier this month. One of the officers drove down the wrong way of a street and others distracted the flagmen from doing their job.

I respect the officers first amendment rights but police arrest people for much worse acts of "civil disobedience." Whenever a sports team in Boston wins the championship, dozens of college students are arrested for disorderly conduct. I would contend that intentionally driving down the wrong way of a street and distracting a safety official is much worse than acting drunk and stupid in Kenmore Square.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

State of talk radio in Boston

Until 2002, I was hardly ever in my car. I never needed it as I was either a student or took the subway to work. But in 2002, I started driving to work and got into talk radio. My favorite is Howie Carr from WRKO (as you already know) but I've started to migrate to others on WTKK.

WRKO (680 AM) and WTKK (96.9 FM) have been going down different roads the past couple of years. In my mind, WRKO had the best line-up and I always had it on in the car. In the last year or so, thanks to bonehead moves by Jason Wolfe, WRKO has moved from live and local shows to syndicated and/or taped shows. Today they fired mid-morning guy Reese Hopkins so they only have two local shows left: Tom Finneran from 6-10 and Howie from 3-7. Finneran is a complete bore which only leaves Howie. They also eliminated all their weekend shows and replaced them with financial shows that pay to be on the air.

WTKK, on the other hand, has moved to make its lineup almost all live and local, even on weekends. The only syndicated shows they have is Imus in the Morning and some syndicated show overnight. They tried to get Howie Carr to do mornings but WRKO sued to keep him. Now they are live and local from 9am-1am and live all week!

As such, I now only listen to WTKK expect when Howie and Rush are on. But, I never get to listen to Rush because he is on 12-3. WRKO used to be something - now it is a pathetic shell of its former self. One can only hope that Howie gets to flee to WTKK someday - it will mark the end of WRKO.

Do yourself a favor and check out savewrko.com someday. It is a good look at the decline of talk radio in Boston, especially at WRKO.

Cutting the muscle

Faced with a billion dollar deficit, Gov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday that the state would be laying off 1,000 state workers. In addition, by years-end, he will come up with a proposal to reform state pensions and eliminate the Massachusetts Turnpike.

In a speech, he said that the layoffs would come from the "muscle" and not the "fat" and he warned that people would experience delays at the RMV, there would be deferred maintenance at parks, and longer waits for permits.

Now, what the governor is not telling you is that he is cutting the "muscle" (i.e. those people on the front lines who deal with citizens everyday) so the people of Massachusetts will become so affected by the cuts that they will line up in droves to vote no on Question 1. He wants people to feel pain so they will beg for mercy and practically ask for a tax increase to restore all services.

What is the governor not cutting? Hacks. Bloated, entrenched, political appointees who makes over $100,000 and do little to no work. Why not? We never see them, we don't have to interact with them on a daily basis. Let them keep their meaningless jobs and 2-hour lunches, who will know the difference? But, cut a few workers in the Registry of Motor Vehicles and stop cleaning parks and people will notice that and think twice about the state income tax.

Also, notice he is waiting until after the election to propose any changes to state pensions and the Turnpike. If you believe that one...

This is all a shell game, once again do not be fooled.

Monday, October 13, 2008

At the farm

I have today off and Lynn did not have to be at work until 1pm today so we headed to Parlee Farm in neighboring Tyngsboro for the morning. We had planned on going this Saturday but Kevin slept most of the afternoon and we had to go to mass at 4:00.

Parlee Farm is located about 1 mile off of 3A (not far from the Nashua line). They have a store, apple picking, a mini-petting zoo (mostly goats), and a haystack for kids to climb and run on. Kevin loved the animals and was able to pet their noses (thankfully he didn't notice the rabbit that was trying to get some love from another). He also ran around on the hay stack but there were too many big kids so he didn't last long.

The highlight for all of us was the mini apple cider donuts. These things must have crack in them because they were incredibly addictive. We bought two bags of five - Kevin had two and Lynn and I devoured the rest. They were warm and so very tasty. They're only open for two more weeks so get them while you can!

We left around 11:15 or so and Kevin was asleep within minutes. It is now 1:00 and he is still in bed (Papa is all curled up on the couch too, I should get a nap in before the boy wakes up). It is an unbelievable day today so after he wakes up, I think we'll head to the park and then find something else to do outside. Lynn is working until 9:00 so it's just the boys today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Racist or not?

On "Meet the Press" this morning, Tom Brokaw asked the panel if racism would play a factor in the 2008 presidential election. I didn't watch all of it but Ted Koppel agreed that race is a factor - that is - white people will not vote for Barack Obama because he is black.

On CNN this weekend, Rick Sanchez asked three black men, who are all voting for John McCain, if they are "sellouts" for not voting for Obama?

So let me get this straight - if you don't vote for Obama because he's black and you're not, you are a racist (and rightfully so). But, if you're black and don't for Obama, you are a sellout to black people. Which way is it media? If skin color should not matter for one group of people, why does it matter for another?

Stop hitting yourself

Joan Vennochi, a liberal to the nth degree, pens a good column in today's Boston Globe about people in Massachusetts who complain about Beacon Hill but keep on electing the same people year after year. Her solution? Vote Republican.

It drives me crazy when people call for more "regular joes" to serve in office but scoff at Sarah Palin or who do nothing but complain about politicians yet never vote.

Unfortunately, it is hard to get people to run for office. Some years ago the State G.O.P asked me to run against Dracut State Rep. Colleen Garry. Despite the little issue that I am not a registered Republican, I was not interested in launching a campaign, especially against Garry. She may be a Democrat but she is fantastic: pro-life, in favor of traditional marriage, votes to cut taxes, etc. Who has the time these days?

But, when there is an option on the ballot, take it, vote against the establishment, stop beating yourself up by electing the same people over and over again. Vennochi quotes former U.S. Representative Peter Torkildson who said, "'There's a disconnect' between what Massachusetts voters say they want and who they elect..." Tis true.

See the column here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Complete injustice

Comcast continues to show the world that they are a classless and miserable company. This week, Comcast Sportsnet called Celtics legend Bob Cousy and told him that he would no longer be needed to broadcast Celtics game this year. Cooz only helped out with about 10 or so games a year and did no harm. Granted he does not have the pipes or insight he once had but what was the harm in keeping him around for a few games? Of course now that the Celtics are legitimate again, their cable broadcast partner can afford to throw people to the curb, especially an 80 year old man who helped build the NBA.

If you think people hated Comcast before, it is about to get worse. See the article on Cousy's firing here.

Want to register your disgust with these hacks? Click here for their "contact us" page. Let them have it...I did.

Another wedding

Tomorrow Lynn and I have another wedding to attend. This one is for the sister of Lynn's brother-in-law. The ceremony and reception will both be...well, geez, I can't remember. I think in Bellingham or somewhere down that way. Lynn's good friend and matron of honor Jen and her husband Marty live in Medway so they will be watching Kevin for the afternoon.

Jen and Marty are expecting their first child this February so tomorrow will be a practice run. Ha, they'll be begging for mercy after a couple of hours with Kevin! He is such a handful and a bundle of energy. We decided to go to mass tonight and as usual, Kevin was a maniac. We actually have a system down now - I take him to the foyer of the church from the beginning until the Nicene Creed and then Lynn comes and watches him until the end of mass. I usually have to take him outside for a bit when he gets a little crazy and spends too much time pouring water out of the water cooler.

After mass we headed to my school's homecoming football game. There was a tailgate before hand and Kevin ate close to 2 hot dogs and chased after his ball in the parking lot. We stayed at the game for about 1 1/2 quarters before we both got sick of chasing after him.

Good luck Jen and Marty, you'll need it!!

Harvest on the Hill

Like many newspapers, the Lowell Sun runs a religion article every Saturday (yours truly and the misses were featured a couple of years ago). Today they did an article on next Saturday's Harvest on the Hill event being held at our parish, Saint Francis.

Saint Francis sits on 15 acres of former farmland. The church was built in 1996 but I believe the parish had owned the land since the 1960's. Apparently the pastor at the time bought the land because he knew the parish would some day need to expand. The former church was a tiny little mission church about a mile away from the current location.

Now, our church and rectory sit on a beautiful patch of land with rolling hills and incredible views of foliage and local farms. Next Saturday, October 18, the parish is hosting the Harvest on the Hill festival to celebrate the fall and the beautiful location. If you're in the area, stop on by, it will be a great fall event.

Best explanation on Question One

Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation (and the woman who helped get Prop. 2 1/2 passed in the early 1980's) pens an amazing column this week on why Massachusetts voters should vote yes on Question One.

You can see the entire column here but this is the money part:

I'm not going to debate the fine points of this ballot question, which has been created by Carla Howell's Committee for Small Government. I am voting yes for one reason: It's the only protest game in town.

I've noticed that when government is out of control, concerned voters fall into one of two categories. 1.) Those who "get it," who understand that politics is a game and we need to learn to play it, too, or we get the booby prize; and 2.) The boobies, who think it's all for real, debate the fine points, and enable bad behavior by refusing to become combative about it.
Massachusetts politicians despise us, and for good reason. We re-elect them no matter what they do: Spend the money from the fourth highest per-capita taxes in the nation while not getting the job done; building up pensions and other public employee benefits while insisting we can't afford good state services or maintain state infrastructure; and, my favorite, raise taxes that they promise are "temporary," then repeal the voters' repeal of them.
They think we are fools. Sometimes they're right.

The enablers are told by The System that they aren't like those "mindless tax-cutters"; but rather they are good people who care about children and community. Then these "sensible" (not "reckless") people are patted on the head and sent on their way to vote against tax cuts, while The System laughs at them all the way to the bank, to the next political office or an early pension.

Here is the choice on Question 1: Vote

Most absurd political attack ever

In the presidential election of 1800, it was warned that if Thomas Jefferson was elected president, women would lose their purity. John Adams was called a monarchist (akin to being called a Communist in 1955) and Alexander Hamilton (a leading Federalist) was set-up into having an affair and was subsequently blackmailed.

The election of 2008 is getting ugly as well but the race for Massachusetts Senator just got ridiculous. Republican Jeff Beatty, a former Delta Force officer, was photographed in 1983 wearing a Yankees hat aboard the USS Guam. John Kerry's campaign actually used this picture to smear Jeff Beatty saying it is proof that he is a Yankees fan.

Now, I am going to assume that Kerry's campaign was joking around but to even bring this up is absolutely inane. Beatty said that he had just been bandaged up after having taken part in the Invasion of Grenada and a doctor gave him the hat to protect the treatment.

Even so, what if he is a Yankees fan - who the hell cares? Just because John Kerry wears a Red Sox hat does not mean he is real a Sox fan. Remember in 2004 when he referred to "Manny Ortiz" (while pronouncing Ortiz like Ortez)?

Democrats should not get into baseball allegiances - just ask Ted Kennedy who in 1998 referred to Bill Clinton and Al Gore as the "Mike McQwire and Sammy Sooser of politics." Of course, he meant Mark McQwire and Sammy Sosa who at the time were in a race to break Roger Maris' single season homerun record.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yet another...

In today's Boston Herald, Howie Carr gives us yet another reason to vote to repeal the state income tax next month. Got to love it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cullen on the cops

Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe opines today about the actions of off-duty police officers in Woburn this week. He thinks the cops have a legitimate beef about the detail work being taken away but says their actions are only hurting them and presents the cops' actions as disingenuous:

The column, titled "A shame on the shield" is here but some snips:

To register their displeasure, about 50 off-duty cops from a half-dozen departments surrounded some guy holding a stop sign at a work site in Woburn on Tuesday and heckled him. One of them drove the wrong way down the street and disingenuously claimed the flagman had sent him in the wrong direction. This follows police picketing Friday, which forced state workers to abandon work sites in Revere and Everett.
Apparently, these cops have taken the new movie "How To Lose Friends & Alienate People" way too literally.

What happened Tuesday was nothing short of thuggish intimidation. And it is not going to endear the aggrieved police officers to whatever segment of the population they think these publicity stunts are going to win over. News organizations, including the Globe, have been getting e-mails from cops looking for us to cover these confrontations. They actually think this is helping their cause....

Paid details have for generations been a way for police officers to supplement their income. Cops have gotten married, started families, bought houses, sent kids to school, all based not on their base salary, but on the reality that they could earn extra money when needed by working details. It's no different than people in other lines of work being able to earn overtime.

You can say that was wrong, and that Massachusetts shouldn't have been the last state in the nation to have flaggers working construction sites instead of cops, but it doesn't change the fact that cops' lives were constructed on a paradigm that has been suddenly, unilaterally, and unfairly changed.

Rick Jolly, president of the Woburn Police Patrolman's Union, engaged in not a little hyperbole at Tuesday's protest when he complained, "They're taking food off our table."

Look, nobody's going to starve because the state will save $6 to $7 million a year by having civilian flaggers work details on some roads. But lifestyles will change. You might say, too bad. You wouldn't say that if you had gotten a mortgage, or were able to take your kids on vacation, based on the money you were able to make working details.

But here's where the cops lose the plot. They keep saying this is primarily a public safety issue. They are absolutely right to say a cop with a gun working a detail is a greater asset to public safety than some unarmed civilian waving an orange flag.

There are more than a few cases of police making arrests or saving lives while working details.

But that's precisely what made Tuesday's protest so patently offensive. Some of the cops who congregated around that work site endangered public safety. Calling the poor working stiff holding the sign a "scab" might score some points with their buddies, but it doesn't play quite as well with the people who pay cops' salaries. It was ugly, and it demeaned the officers who shouted the abuse more than the flagman.

Don't tell us this is primarily about public safety and then go out and flout it. Don't say it's about dignity and then go out and act undignified. Tell the truth: Money you were entitled to earn is no longer there. And that's not fair.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Video of police

Yesterday I blogged about the thuggery of off-duty police at a Mass Highway work site in Woburn. NECN was there with its cameras and caught some of the shenanigans - particularly of one officer intentionally driving down the wrong way of a street! This guy should be locked up.

Also, when you watch the video, take note of the police officer who is complaining that he has a bunch of kids at home and needs the money. But wait a minute, I thought the protest was about public safety???

Need another reason to vote yes on question one this November?

Cold breeze coming from the south

Oh my Lord, I agree with not one but TWO editorials in today's Boston Globe. They did three quick editorials on the police union tactics against flagmen, one on Bill O'Reilly, and another on competition for Mayor Thomas Menino. I agreed with numbers 1 and 3 wholeheartedly...what is happening to me??

See them here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More police thuggery

Check out this article in the Boston Herald. Apparently there was another incident of police intimidation on a crew from Mass Highway that was doing some road work in Woburn with a civilian flagman. The off-duty cops blocked the street, obstructed the flagman, drove cars down the wrong way of the street, etc.

If police unions feel that these tactics will sway voters and the governor to change their minds on police details than they are sorely mistaken. I feel that the unions will overplay their hands and will infuriate people so much that there will be a push to get rid of police details all together. This is thuggery at its worst and these guys are only hurting themselves and their cause.

I can't believe it either

In an SNL skit about a fictitious 1988 presidential debate between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis, Bush (played by Dana Carvey) prattles on and on about something and Dukakis (Jon Lovitz) looks at the camera and says, "I can't believe I am losing to this guy."

The Great Howie Carr turns it around today and says, "I can't believe John McCain is losing to this guy."

See it here.

Blaming the right people

Since January 20, 2001, George Bush has been blamed for every ailment this country has experienced. Bad weather? Bush's fault, he didn't do enough about global warming. 9/11? Bush's fault for not connecting the dots. Hurricane Katrina? Bush didn't do enough to get people out of New Orleans. Guy kills himself? Bush's fault for not doing something about guns. People living on the streets? Bush didn't do enough about homelessness.

Of course it is all a canard and the media has been very happy to play along. Now of course Bush is being blamed for the financial crisis. The media, which simply parrots Democratic talking points, has fallen in line and refuses to assign any blame to the Democrat and their ilk (i.e. Barney Frank).

There is a new video out on the web that helps explain who really is to blame for the current economic crisis. It's long and fast paced but stick with it. It was on You Tube but it was taken down (of course). I got it off of eyeblast.tv thanks to Newbusters.org. See it below:

Getting tips from Tony Soprano

I have nothing but respect for police officers and the work they do. My best man is in law enforcement and I know many other cops who sacrifice a lot for all of us.

However, the actions of some police officers in regards to Gov. Deval Patrick's plan to eliminate police details is shameful and their tactics are reminiscent of the mob.

Last week in Everett and Revere, police blocked workers from the MWRA from doing work because the sites were deemed "unsafe." The crew was stopped from doing work on a manhole in Everett and was then followed to Revere where they were also prevented from working. They placed a bumper sticker on the manhole that read "Police Details Save Lives Governor Appointed Flagmen Won’t."

This is nothing more than intimidation and a shakedown. The police officers say they're worried about safety and don't have the guts to admit that it is really about the money they're losing. They should be ashamed of themselves and it begs the question, if you can't trust the cops anymore, who do you go to?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crying wolf

Surprise, surprise. The "I never met a tax I didn't like" Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released a report yesterday saying the state income tax is "crucial." This comes on the heels of the Patrick Administration saying they need to make draconian cuts to the budget and that state revenue (aka taxes) is way down.

Don't be fooled by all this. This news is timed to intimidate voters and to scare them into not voting to repeal the state income tax on November 4. Mark my words: if Question One fails, the state budget will all of a sudden be healthy again, hack jobs will skyrocket, the Massachusetts Turnpike will still raise tolls, and police details will return.

Ears are lowered

So Kevin's first haircut on Saturday went very smooth. He would not sit by himself so he sat on Lynn's lap. In addition, the woman gave him two lollipops so he sat there the whole time and was as happy as could be.

The only thing lasted about 5 minutes but he looks like a completely different person. Before his haircut, he had super long bangs and his hair was always unkempt. Now, he looks like the boy from Dutch Boy paint (at least his bangs do). I could not stop laughing when I saw the finished product - he looked so different. I took a ton of pictures and the lady gave us some of the hair for a scrap book.

Blood pressure rising...

When John Edwards ran for president in 2008, he was lauded for his populism and for being a man of the people. In 2000, Al Gore was considered the second coming of William Jennings Bryan. Now, all of sudden Newsweek calls populism "mindless"...but only when Sarah Palin is involved.

On the cover of this week's issue it says "She's one of the folks (and that's the problem)." How often do we hear about how we need outsiders, men of the people, people from outside the Beltway, people who have not been "corrupted" by Washington to serve in office? It is all well and good if it is a Democrat but if it is a Republican well then that person is just a mindless drone and is too inexperienced.

I have never questioned Barack Obama's experience. The Constitution has two requirements to be president and vice president: 35 years old and a natural born citizen. The only other consideration is that the president and vice president cannot be from the same state. That's it. There is no IQ test, no prerequisites, no prior experience needed.

I pray to God that John McCain and Sarah Palin are elected for a number of reasons but the biggest would be so the media would implode. Let's hear one for the common man!

Friday, October 3, 2008

First haircut

Before I head north for the day, Kevin will be getting his first haircut. He turned 16 months yesterday and he is in desperate need of a trim. His bangs are super long and he is starting to look like the Beatles. He does not like to sit still so Lynn and I are not sure how this is going to work. Her friend owns a salon in Dracut so we're taking him there. Pray a few rosaries for us!

Another night away

Every year, my friends Dan, Dave, Bill, and I head back to our alma mater, Saint Anselm College, for the Homecoming Weekend football game. This will be the 4th of 5th year that we have gone up for the game despite the fact the football team is perennially the worst assembly of players ever established by man. It is more of an opportunity for us to get together and to relive some of our college days.

Dan recently bought a second home in Maine so after the game, we're all going to head over to his place to spend the night. This will be my second Saturday away from home, I am starting to be spoiled! Lynn has graciously not put up a fight...I have been telling her that she should go away with some of her friends for a night so I think she may finally take me up on the offer.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Final thoughts

I think it was fairly even. I felt Biden was stronger on specifics and Palin came across at times as vague and nervous. She didn't blow me away but she didn't worry me either.

Biden does come across as a good guy, I must concede. I actually like him as a person but I would rather vote for my cat.

Watching some post-debate coverage on Fox and CNN and they're giving Palin high marks. Works for me!

Homer supports Obama

In an upcoming episode of the Simpsons (by the sound of the music it must be the Halloween episode), Homer goes to vote for Obama and the machine keeps on racking up votes for McCain. Some conservatives are fired up - lighten up, it is pretty funny.

There is a great line about voting in Ohio at the end, take a look here.

Do no harm

So far so good on the Biden/Palin debate. As usual, I stopped paying close attention after about a half hour but I am still listening.

I thought Palin sounded nervous at the start and was a little too generic at times. But, surprisingly she is very strong on foreign policy/Middle East. Somebody did her homework.

Biden is doing fine - notice he always refers to Palin as "the governor" but John McCain as "John." He is trying to show her "respect" so he is not accused of talking down or lecturing to her. He almost said "my opponent" but caught himself and said "the governor."

Dan Kennedy over at Media Nation thinks Biden is intentionally being dull. Interesting thought.

New beginnings

One of my favorite blogs is The Deacon's Bench by Deacon Greg Kandra of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Until this past week, Kandra had worked at CBS News in New York. He recently left to take a job with his diocese's TV station. He said it was a hard decision but he knew he had to "embark on something new" and "go into the deep."

I did the same thing a few years ago. For years, I worked in the financial services industry. I had a good job, made decent money, and had career potential. But, I knew I wanted to do something more with my life. Financial services is a fine career choice but it just wasn't me. I rediscovered my passion for being a teacher and thanks be to God, I got a job teaching in 2006. I have never looked back, not even for a second.

Kandra mentions a wonderful quote by Thomas Merton which sums up the feelings I had leaving a comfortable job and becoming a teacher. I hope it inspires those of you who may be looking to do something different but are a tad hesitant to leave the nest:

I would say there is one basic idea that should be kept in mind in all the changes we make in life, whether of career or anything else. We should decide not in view of better pay, higher rank, "getting ahead," but in view of becoming more real, entering more authentically into direct contact with life, living more as a free and mature human person, able to give myself more to others, able to understand myself and the world better.

Print this article out

You may want to print out yesterday's column by Howie Carr and bring it with you to the voting booth on election day. If you're tempted to vote to keep the state income tax, look down at the column and remember where your tax dollars are going.

See it here.