Thursday, May 31, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Non-Vietnam War Veteran Dick Blumenthal Declines To Apologize For Lying Several Times Concerning His Service In Vietnam
Lili Marleen, sung here in English and German by Marlene Dietrich, was one of the most popular songs of World War ll. It was a German marching song, quickly appropriated by all the nations that fought in that war. By 1943, Lili Maleen was being sung in America, England, Russia, Italy, among other nations. It is the song of a solider led through blood and slaughter by a memory of the girl he left behind as she stood bathed in lamplight.
In English, at the café De Paris in 1954
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Mrs. Zawistowski is a Republican candidate for State Representative in the 61st District, which includes Suffield, East Granby and Windsor, CT.
She is a business owner at a time when business is suffering under the hammer blows of a Democratic assault on free enterprise and a woman who very likely will be able to withstand the laughably absurd charge that the Republican Party is prosecuting a “war against women,” the Dem’s new all-purpose bumper-sticker slogan for Campaign 2012.
Tami Z -- Republican of the Year in 2011, Small Business Leader of the Year 2011, former Executive Vice President of Northeast Savings in Hartford, former Assistant Director of the UConn Center for Real Estate and Economic Studies, the Vice Chair of East Granby Board of Finance – presently is the owner of Resource Books, LLC.
Beyond all this, Tami Z, who has made her own way in the world, has lived her eventful life with her eyes opened.
A large part of the campaign strategy employed by incumbent Democrats this year will be to refocus public attention from Connecticut’s continuing economic downslide – and, more importantly, the destructive prescriptions offered by incumbents to solve such problems as entrepreneurial flight from Connecticut’s punishing high taxes and burdensome regulations – to sexy campaign formulas scripted by National Democrats in Washington DC, the same crew of Chicago politicians who have not been able to produce a balanced budget in three years. Hence “the Republican war on women.”
Both Connecticut’s governor and most cob-webbed covered Democratic incumbents in the state – too few of whom are women – have signed on to the same script. The real operative slogans of the current Democratic Party in Connecticut are: 1) “There is no enemy to the left,” one of the reasons the party has drifted so far from its roots; and 2) “Permanent tax increases, temporary cost savings.”
That is what the state’s first Democratic governor in more than 20 years and the state’s Democratic dominated General Assembly have and will continue to deliver: a steady policy drift leftward, higher taxes, and temporary cost savings.
Tami Z knows that, despite the too ardent Democratic Party claims to the contrary, women already are IN THE BOAT to which President John Kennedy made reference when he said “A rising tide lifts all the boats,” thereafter cutting taxes and simplifying regulations to spur a stalled economy.
When the tide rises, women prosper as well as men. When the tide is in recession, they suffer the same deprivations – which fall most heavily on those who are struggling to make their way in a world full of false promises and solutions that drive real progress backwards.
Such women, she told me, will no longer be satisfied with political slogans, the equivalent of romantic sweet talk. Their eyes are open. They want the Real Deal.
Tami Z’s campaign site is here.
Her Facebook page is here.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
“That road show has helped fuel a jump in overtime pay for Malloy's 11-member security detail of state troopers. They have earned a total of nearly $700,000 in overtime since the governor took office. His two drivers alone made a total of more than $150,000 in overtime during that period.
“Malloy's driving costs exceed those of the two previous governors. The highest 12-month cost for former Gov. John G. Rowland's driver was $134,000 in salary and overtime. The highest 12-month figure for Gov. M. Jodi Rell's driver was $129,000, state records indicate.”This is what we used to call in more frugal days – when, for instance, the national debt was less than $5 trillion and much of Europe, addicted to failed socialist programs, was not on the verge of collapse – a pretty penny.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Following Connecticut’s remarkably jam-packed “short” legislative session, Republicans and Democrats took the usual victory lap in their rhetorical chariots. But winners and losers there were.
Republicans in the General Assembly were rolled over by superior numbers; nothing unusual there. They lost. And they will continue to lose pending that day when voters in Connecticut unite to “throw the bums out,” an American version of the Marxist battle cry: “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to win.”
Karl Marx may have been an economic dufus, but he certainly was a suburb ad-man and, were he alive today, might have made a valuable contribution to the 5th District U.S. Congressional ambitions of, say, Chris Donovan – also a loser. In a Machiavellian power struggle with Senate President Don Williams, Mr. Donovan held hostage, in a vain attempt to force Senate leaders to bring his doomed minimum wage increase bill to a vote, a bi-partisan jobs bill that some say likely would have passed. As time ran out in the session, both bills sunk beneath the waves. The jobs bill – a pearl of great price for Democrats who had hoped to be able to use the bill to convince voters in the upcoming elections they were not hostile to business interests – was the cause of some recriminations following the close of the session.
The Democrat’s “social agenda” is dancing in the winner’s circle: In this and previous legislative sessions, Democrats were able to repeal Connecticut’s rarely used death penalty; pass legislation that will facilitate to unionization of some health care workers; legalize the medical use of marijuana; codify marriage for gay partners following a court imposed order; and pass an omnibus tax bill that in the future will be used to finance more left of center social legislation.
Generally, the expression “social agenda” is most often used by left of center politicians and commentators to thwart the feeble attempts of social conservatives to retain the remnants of Western civilization, but both parties strenuously support much different social agendas, and the term itself is useless except as a political battering ram to breech and lay low social norms, a perennial occupation of the left following the French Revolution. Robespierre's battle cry, it will be recalled, was that men would lose their chains only when “the last monarch is strangled with the intestines of the last priest.”
All legislation – but perhaps most especially budgets bills – have social implications. The term “social legislation” is at best a misleading redundancy: No bill passed in the General Assembly is without social effect; and if there were such a bill, it would be wholly unnecessary, because legislation that produces no change at all leaves the status quo undisturbed. A more accurate, though less politically charged descriptive tag, would make a distinction between various kinds of change.
Mr. Malloy’s glowing summary of his 16 months in office is a celebration of what he calls “positive, meaningful changes.”
One may dispute the figures offered by the governor that in his view demonstrated a Connecticut economy blown forward by progressive gusts of political winds issuing from a forward looking General Assembly.
Mr. Malloy paused in his victory lap to salute “Design Build legislation” and “project labor agreements,” both of which certainly will make life more placid for unions, and in the process “create thousands of good paying jobs.”
Both “positive changes” will increase the price of labor and create a closed shop environment for private bidders on state construction jobs. Since construction jobs such as these are financed through taxes, one may expect taxes to increase proportionally – not a problem for a governor and Democratic dominated legislature that together have imposed on Connecticut the largest tax increase in the state’s sometimes parsimonious history.
Neither the governor, who has put himself before the public as a forward looking progressive, nor progressive Democrats in the General Assembly may reasonably object when they are called men and women of the left. Both the left and the right believe in the efficacy of what the governor calls “positive meaningful change.” They most often come to blow concerning the instruments of change. Broadly speaking – there are, of course, exceptions – the right affirms that social norms should inform politics, while the left affirms that politics should reform social norms. This is why Mr. Malloy feels so comfortable in his summation of the recently concluded short legislative session using the word “change” and its variants no fewer than 15 times in a brief ten minute address to legislators who had, said the governor, “Over the course of the last 16 months… pushed through more change through these two chambers than has occurred in Connecticut in a long time.”
Somewhere off in the distance one hears an insistent voice whispering in the whirlwind: Not all change is efficacious.
Unused to taking bad news for an answer, Mr. Donovan, retiring this year as Speaker, supposed that members in the Senate misunderstood how his scaled down proposal of a 50 cent hike in Connecticut’s present minimum wage -- at $8.25 the fourth highest in the country -- would be seamlessly meshed with tips given waitresses and bartenders. Mr. Donovan would see to it they were furnished with the right information and, ever ebullient, said he remained confident that the Senate would take up the bill before the session ended this year.
“People said I didn’t have the votes in the House,” Mr. Donovan enthused. “We got 88 votes here.”
High minimum wage enforcements by legislatures correlate with the percentage of union workers in a state, and in this respect Connecticut also excels, rating seventh highest in the nation with a unionized workforce of 16.7%.
The resistance to Mr. Donovan’s bill, Mr. Williams said, centered on timing: “They [members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate] felt the economic times were not right. They’ve supported minimum wage increases in the past. They strongly supported the Earned Income Tax Credit last year which provides a significant boost to low-income workers.” And, of course, the Democratic majority in the General Assembly also supported a guaranteed wage increase of three percent each fiscal year for state union workers nine years out as a part of its budget package, still wretchedly out of balance, according to recent figures supplied by the state’s Democratic Comptroller.
The same Democratic Majority in the General Assembly passed without much political fallout the largest tax increase in Connecticut history, topping even the bite taken out of taxpayer’s wallets by former Maverick Governor Lowell Weicker, who bullied the income tax through a compliant Democratic majority in the General Assembly more than twenty years ago.
The same Democratic Majority in the General Assembly passed in its current session a bill abolishing the death penalty for murderers who commit heinous crimes in the future -- but not, alas, for the 11 convicted murderers currently awaiting execution, all of whom have been desperately praying for abolition -- this despite polls showing that a majority of the abolitionist’s constituents favored retention of the death penalty for the kind of depraved crimes that have so richly earned the Connecticut 11 a trip to Death Row. Some attorneys and court watchers in Connecticut have predicted that the exception in the death penalty abolition bill will be vacated by an appeal court on constitutional grounds, and ethicists have argued that the exception is morally indefensible: If the General Assembly has abolished the death penalty because enlightened legislators regard such a barbaric punishment as morally indefensible, what is the moral justification of applying a repealed law to prisoners remaining on Death Row?
The same Democratic dominated General Assembly voted to legalize medical marijuana, approved an unaffordable bus line tagged by its opponents as “the bus to nowhere,” provided nearly $1 billion in funding to save the UConn Health Center – yet again -- and, with the governor’s concurrence, shoveled millions of tax dollars into the maw of prosperous Connecticut companies as a part of Mr. Malloy’s “First Five” program.
Perhaps Mr. Williams sensed a note of exhaustion among the Democratic members of his caucus, or a fear that voters in the upcoming elections might for once take notice of the spending proclivities of his accomplices in this the age of $5 trillion dollar national budget deficits. The news that Connecticut’s budget is in the red – yet again – by about $300 million following the state’s historic tax increase bounced off Mr. Donovan’s cranium like a rubber ball off a rock.
“What we have now,” Mr. Williams said before Mr. Donovan’s bill was left on the General Assembly's cutting room floor, “are pretty challenging economic times, with employers struggling and the fact that Connecticut’s minimum wage is higher than New York, it’s higher than Massachusetts, it’s higher than Rhode Island.”
Mr. Donovan, this year running for the U.S. House in Connecticut’s 5th District, has little to fear, little knowledge about how the real economy works in the real world, and a shortage of common sense, attributes that may fit him perfectly for a lifetime of service in the U.S. Congress.
Friday, May 04, 2012
And there is no embassy official, no Obama administration official, no Secretary of State who does not know that in leaving the embassy Chen traveled from freedom back to prison."Give me your tired, your poor,"Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,"The wretched refuse of your teeming shore."Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,"I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Very quickly, arrangements were made between the U.S. and China to cough up what must have seemed to U.S. and Chinese diplomats a bothersome political hairball. Hours after Chen’s plight appeared in newspapers across the United States and Europe, the prisoner was out of the embassy and on his way to a hospital, there to be treated for a for an injury he had sustained during his flight from house arrest to the U.S. Embassy. Arrangements had been made to keep Chen in China. Since the trumped up charges against him had not been dropped – the prisoner had been accused of damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic" – the U.S. Embassy refugee American diplomats turned over to his persecutors was still a prisoner.
At the hospital, Chen called a hearing, according to a story in the The Hill, “set up to explore his efforts to leave China and escape persecution.
Mrs. Clinton, who has often spoken out against oppression by authoritarian regimes other than China, no doubt wishes to be of service."’I want to meet with Secretary Clinton,’ he said on the phone. ‘I hope I can get more help from her. I also want to thank her face to face.’“Chen added that he is most concerned with his family, and said, ‘I really want to know what's going on with them.’"
According to the most recent report in the New York Times, Mrs Clinton announced “she was encouraged by a statement earlier on Friday from China’s Foreign Ministry that said Mr. Chen could apply to study outside China. The proposal appeared to offer the possibility of a breakthrough in the crisis.”
“But according to Fu, an American official relayed threats from the Chinese government that Gaungcheng’s wife and children would be returned to Shandong, which Fu described as “hell” for the abuse in captivity they have received in there for the past seven years, if Gaungcheng did not leave the American embassy.
“Hu wondered why American officials would relay the threat of returning them to their home-turned-prison if not to encourage Gaungcheng to return to Chinese soil.”
Thursday, May 03, 2012
For General Assembly Democrats determined to frustrate Governor Dannel Malloy’s education reform plan, the most recent projected budget deficits came just in time. Ben Barnes, Mr. Malloy’s money cruncher at the Office of Policy Management (OPM), and Comptroller Kevin Lembo, after dickering over the red figures, have agreed that the budget is in deficit by about $200 million; the real deficit is probably closer top $300 million.