Saturday, October 23, 2010

Letter to the editor: "Massachusetts no longer an automatic win for Democrats"

(Previously published by the Watertown TAB & Press, October 22, 2010. Copyright 2010 Watertown TAB & Press. Some rights reserved.)

I’m a proud Townie currently transplanted in London, England. Although most of my time is spent “across the pond,” I try to keep in touch with all things Watertown—especially as it relates to politics.
I’m back in town for a few short days and, as is my practice, I like to walk around to see what’s changed since the last time I visited.
Interestingly enough, this time the biggest change seems to be in the political climate.
Maybe it’s the election of Scott Brown, or maybe it’s that Massachusetts voters are finally fed up with an ever-expanding government. What I know is that, as I watch the news, I see Barney Frank in a tight race with Sean Bielat. I also hear that Dr. Gerry Dembrowski is giving Ed Markey his first serious challenge in 34 years. Now I know Obama promised us change, but I don’t think this is what he had in mind!
Say what you will, or believe what you want you want politically, but I think we can all agree that it’s a good thing that Massachusetts can no longer be considered an automatic win for a Democrat. For decades the Republicans have written us off and the Democrats have taken us for granted.
Massachusetts’s citizens are independent thinkers. Just look at the biggest plurality of registered voters—it’s unenrolled. Yet for decades as far back as most of us can remember, we consistently sent a congressional delegation to Washington that was 100 percent Democrat.
But things are finally changing.
Last January, Massachusetts shocked the nation by sending Scott Brown to replace the so-called “Lion of the Senate,” Ted Kennedy. In November, we can continue to show our independence by unseating some people, such as Barney Frank and Ed Markey, who have simply been there too long. Frank, by his association with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapse, is partially responsible for the economic crisis we find ourselves in. And Markey sponsored legislation designed to make our heat and electric bills go through the roof. These two guys we can really do without.
So before I head back across the pond, I will exercise my duty to vote, especially against any incumbent running for re-election. You might say it’s my way bringing “hope” back to change.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Voting for the "shock wave"

BOSTON, U.S.A.—Today, during my last day on my old stomping ground, I voted in the 2010 Massachusetts elections. I voted a straight Republican ticket, including Charlie Baker for governor, Dr. Gerry Dembrowski for Representative, William C. Campbell for Secretary of State and Karyn Polito for Treasurer.
There were no Republicans running for Sheriff of Middlesex County, so I wrote in Tony Blair for the position. Even his detractors would agree that he'd make a good cowboy.
There was also no-one from the GOP running for District Attorney. I wrote in Ted Crilly, the well-meaning but accident-prone priest of Father Ted fame.
I voted "yes" on all three ballot questions. A Yes on Question 1 would remove the sales tax on alcoholic beverages, where the sale of such beverages or their importation into the state is already subject to a separate excise tax under state law. Yes on Question 2 would repeal a state law allowing the issuance of a single comprehensive permit to build housing that includes low- or moderate-income units. And, most importantly, Yes on Question 3—the ballot question whose result I'm most interested in—would reduce the state sales and use tax rates (which were 6.25% as of September 2009) to 3% as of January 1, 2011. YES ON 3!!!
Now I'm as prepared as I'll ever be to return to England with a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that I played my part in what will hopefully be a Republican "shock wave" and the beginning of era of lower taxes reverberating across the Bay State on November 2.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time to re-jig the ol' résumé

BOSTON, U.S.A.— Great. Just great. From what I can see, folks who possess more than an ounce of common sense (a.k.a. non-far Left whackjobs) continue to be represented by the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree cord, thanks to the Tea Partying, arch-conservative gung-ho gang.
The Republican Senate nominee for Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, showed a truly frightening level of ignorance regarding the First Amendment during a debate against her Democrat rival, Chris Coons, last week.
During a candidate debate at Widener University Law School, Coons asserted that teaching Creationism in public schools violates the First Amendment. It doesn't necessarily do any such thing. Intelligent design should be a valid choice of belief presented to schoolchildren, especially to balance out the sickeningly staunch athiesm that's been promoted for the past forty years. Coons should talk with Richard Dawkins to find out how militant the athiest crowd is. Dawkins and his disciples have made a religion out of anti-religious fervor.
However, note that I said "intelligent design," as in a Higher Spirit that guided the creation of Earth and all its life forms, as well as the rest of the universe. It's not at all a sign of stupidity or ignorance to believe that there is a force much more powerful than us directing the whole show. (Even though, I admit, the essence of the words I just wrote apply to Scientologists as well; just insert the word "aliens" for "force".) I distrust the term Creationism because it suggests to me a lobby that plans to go the opposite way with their own brand of ridiculousness, namely, rejecting all scientific theory and advances because they weren't mentioned in the Bible.
You can gather, dear reader, from what I've written so far, that I have no time for athiests, Scientologists or Creationists. And you'd be absolutely correct. They're all as mentally deficient as each other. Put fifty members of each of the three camps in one auditorium and the collective I.Q. in the room would be less than Mini-Me's shoe size. (Throw in 100 adherents to the so-called "religion of peace" for good measure and the intelligence quotient wouldn't even rate without the aid of a micro-particle measuring device. The BS meter, however, would be about to blow up.)
Coons, however, was not wrong when he noted that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion. Coons had the right argument behind him; he just applied it erroneously. This is when the following worrying dialogue occurred between O'Donnell and Coons:
"Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" O'Donnell asked.
Coons told O'Donnell that the First Amendment bars the establishment of a religion.
The daughter of Socrates replied, "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"
According to Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone, who was present during the debate, "You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp." Gasp? If I'd been present, I think I'd have fainted.
Loosely translated, this is what O'Donnell really meant to ask: "What, you mean that it's, like, un-Constitutional to teach children that the sun revolves around a 10,000-year-old Earth and in fifty years' time we won't have the technologically and scientfically backward theocracy that I fall asleep to dreaming about?"
Remember how the "9/11 Was An Inside Job" layabouts asserted that Bush trashed the Constitution while in office? That crowd ain't seen nothing yet. The current crop of Generation ZZZ conservatives don't even know it enough to trash it. It's no wonder O'Donnell wants to reform public education—clearly it's failed her. But that's OK. She made up for it by having faith in things that were written during Methuselah's day and which went through more language translations than the number of drum sets that Keith Moon destroyed.
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate how O'Donnell is accusing Coons of being "addicted to a culture of waste, fraud and abuse," which, being a liberal Democrat, he no doubt is.
Yet—and I know I've mentioned this before—I'm sick of these candidates who seem to appear fresh off the Sarah Palin Factory of Dumb-Assery production line, only to get pushed into candidacy by the gung-ho gang. And they're going to represent me and my beliefs. I should be so lucky. I guess that means I'll have to re-jig my résumé so that it appears my education stopped at 6th grade.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Criminals don't kill; guns do

I was listening to Boston talk-show host Howie Carr—who I listen to via podcasts—and he brought up the topic of gun control after the recent shootings in the inner-city enclave of Mattapan ("Murderpan" as we Bostonians call it).
Howie is a populist conservative, so naturally he expressed dismay at the familiar attitude that it's guns that are the problem, not criminals nor a welfare system that breeds irresponsibility. He brought up a great point by referring to an old New York state statute called the Sullivan Law that stipulated if you were caught committing a gun crime, you went away for life. End of. Massachusetts and other states had similar laws as well. But now, with plea bargaining, the emphasis on the weapons charge basically gets dropped.
My favorite part of the segment, however, came when a caller asked, "Why do liberals believe that crime will go down if the law-abiding public is unarmed?" To which Howie answered (and I'm paraphrasing here):
"What they believe is the perfection of human nature, that somehow human nature can be perfected. Whereas conservatives acknowledge the imperfection of human nature."
It's true. Liberals believe that if you are generous with welfare bums, they will realize their debt to society by shaping up and at least living clean lives on the public dole. They believe that normal people should be willing to give up their security and protection by having pureblind faith in human nature.
And even though I admittedly do approve of some form of gun control myself—I think that if you have to learn to drive and register a car, you should surely be tested on your knowledge of guns and have them registered as well—I have to tip my hat to Carr for saying, "Gun control, yet another area for the government to poke its nose into. How's Obama-care working for you? How'd the BP oil spill clean-up go?" (Though, to be fair, I don't advocate a federal law; I want to leave gun control to the states.)
As for the thugs who shot five in Mattapan? Well, you just know they went through all the checks, didn't they? Registered their guns with the police and everything. What a shocker. It's not so much gun control or the lack of it that determines these crimes; it's the dissolution of Sullivan Law-type statutes.