Monday, December 24, 2007

Madonna Is Back!

Like it or not. Madonna is still the Queen of Pop.

Isn't capitalism wonderful? Think about it. Now a days my favorite artists can bypass the industry and go directly to me.

Commercial radio is dead to me. I fired it. Goodbye forever I-98.

I don't have to wait for my songs to come on commercial radio any longer nor wait for them to arrive at Wal-Mart. The artist I support with my dollars can bypass all the middlemen and come directly to me.

I can download them online and I got my new satellite radio for my car. (Thanks Julio!)

No longer do I have to suffer through the endless senseless monologs of chatty DJ's and sift through the limited stations for something I don’t hate.

I got more channels than I can count of both music and news. I got my favorites all programmed in. When Madonna is about to come on any of the channels my smart new radio whistles and I just hit the ‘select’ button and there is my Material Girl.

No talking! Just Madonna singing those bouncing tunes I love. And I don't have to fumble with those CD's eihier which somehow always get stained with coffee.

What liberation! Those who have doubts about the law of supply and demand are continually discredited.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thatcher On Reagan

God bless the Gipper and the Iron Lady. We are eternally in your debt.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gaffy's Billion-Dollar Girlfriend

By Kevin Rennie (Hartford Courant)

Lust for power is merely ambition. Lust and power together, however, can make trouble.The question is whether that potent cocktail cost taxpayers $1 billion this year because of a secret relationship between a high-ranking legislator and a state university vice chancellor. While they were pushing the bonding package, they were bonding.Supporters and leaders of the Connecticut State University System wanted $1 billion to renovate and expand facilities at its four schools (Eastern, Central, Southern and Western). But they haven't spent years cultivating a large network of supporters the way the University of Connecticut has. CSUS faced a much bigger task.

State agencies and institutions hire people to represent them in other parts of the government. Bureaucratic veteran Jill Ferraiolo bats for CSUS as associate vice chancellor for government relations and communications. She's the legislative liaison for the central office, which oversees the four schools.State Sen. Thomas Gaffey, D-Meriden, is a chairman of the Education Committee and vice chairman of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee.Ferraiolo and Gaffey became allies in the quest for that billion. E-mails between the two show that their entanglement extended beyond the halls of government as the legislature shaped policies on CSUS.
State Sen. Joan Hartley, D-Waterbury, a fiscal conservative and co-chairman of the Higher Education committee, resisted efforts to give $1 billion to CSUS without essential oversight. She opposed making the 10-year plan immune from the normal constraints of spending programs in a state with plenty of fiscal swings and roundabouts.Hartley infuriated Ferraiolo. In June, the associate vice chancellor expressed her contempt for Hartley in a presumptuous e-mail she forwarded to Gaffey (her "big boy" in a later e-mail). Hartley's aide had dared to make an inquiry of Southern Connecticut State University on behalf of some constituents, not something that would usually be shared by a Connecticut State University System staff member with another senator. But Gaffey and Ferraiolo shared more than a legislator and a bureaucrat usually do.June was not a good month for Ferraiolo.
In June, Joseph Ferraiolo, married for 18 years, sued his wife for divorce, citing adultery, a pointed claim in an age when the vague "irreconcilable differences" suffices. The couple divorced in October. Their three young children live mostly with their dad under the divorce agreement. A highly unusual paragraph in it precludes the parties and their lawyers from discussing their grievances. It punishes any leaks. Husbands and wives don't usually worry about leaks, but politicians do.
As the summer ended, Gaffey and Ferraiolo were living in a convoluted e-mail world, one that could have been written by Barbara Cartland with some Stephen King creeping in. In August, Ferraiolo oohs and aahs at a Gaffey favor for a mutual friend. He declares, "I move mountains for my friends." In September, brace yourself, she proclaims him a "god." "Alongside every god is a great goddess," reads his modest reply. News from Gaffey that he's had a call from an editor at The New York Times has Ferraiolo repeating in capitals that he is indeed a god. Another exchange finds Zeus offering bon mots in French. Power rarely improves the judgment of those who wield it.Plans for a trip to Dubai in the spring appear amid the e-mailed political hackery and claims to divinity.
Meanwhile, Ferriaolo strayed far from her portfolio by helping Gaffey find ways to criticize Gov. M. Jodi Rell's refusal to join the Democrats in the annual bonding bacchanalia.
Considering the authority the governor exerts over the state university system, Ferraiolo became reckless in her job in order to help Gaffey. There's the whiff of undue influence here in conducting the public's business. Through this tumultuous year, Gaffey and Ferraiolo attended meetings, planned strategy and kept flogging that proposal for $1 billion — without telling their colleagues they were dating.
David G. Carter, chancellor of the Connecticut State University System, said the personal relationship wasn't disclosed to him until after the billion-dollar package passed. Don Williams, state Senate president pro tem, says he first heard the rumors on Oct. 30 — the day the big bonanza for CSUS passed the Senate. But he says "the governor, and legislative leaders from both parties and chambers had already agreed upon the total bond package which included the CSUS 2020 program." [Williams] said the relationship was not a conflict for Sen. Gaffey.The state ethics office says that "the Code does not bear on this situation because "the liaison is not a family member" and the senator didn't receive "any benefit" from the bill's passage.
This kind of relationship, as is recognized throughout our land, clouds judgment. People involved in such entanglements end up serving each other rather than their constituents.Hartley eventually forced constraints on the $1 billion present, angering her Democratic colleagues. She became the target of their wrath. As they bayed for Hartley's head, no one mentioned Gaffey's private interest in the bill. They're celebrating at the Connecticut State University System, but Gaffey and Ferraiolo should brace themselves for scrutiny.
The benefits bestowed by state employees on individual legislators are regulated. Ferraiolo and Gaffey had better start gathering receipts for the state's ethics agency. Shortly after the bill was passed, the Senate Democrats requested an opinion from the Office of State Ethics on Gaffey's role in the legislation, but failed to ask about any benefits he may have derived from his relationship with Ferraiolo.Legislators who knew of the relationship but remained silent deceived their colleagues.
The philosopher-comedian Joan Rivers often declared that a pretty face and other attributes could get a girl a lot of good jewelry. Even the worldly Miss Rivers would gasp at a prize of a billion dollars in state bonds instead of traditional gems.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Press One For English Part II

Hi Dad

I could not agree more [an email-forward about making English the official language of the USA].
I love this song on the subject.

But I think the argument is better made that people should learn English NOT for our convenience but for their basic economic survival and so they can take their rightful places by our sides -- as equals.

This was a huge issue this past campaign. The Windham Republicans want English Immersion. It’s been wonderfully successful everywhere it’s been tried. Critics have become converts.

We have bi-lingual programs in Windham right now. We are not teaching them English under the sad misconception that we would be stealing their culture. They finally get around to starting it in 3rd or 4th grade.

First, we would not be doing any such thing. It’s something they need to know (nothing is more critical than the basic ability of speech!) in order to first do well enough on these "No Child Left Behind" tests to pass (Windham's schools are not only failing but we are contenders for last place) to keep our schools from being taken over by the state. Far more importantly however they need to know the English language so they can fulfill their potential as adults. That's what schools are for.

Second -- as was just came up in my Human Anatomy class -- little kids are not small adults who don't know anything.

Small children have amazing abilities adults lack. Its been known for a long time that brains at that stage of development are capable of learning multiple languages -- but only while they are little. It’s a biological FACT (not theory) that their developing brains have this wonderful gift but as they get older this is something they lose. That door closes just when the stupid adults make up their minds to finally teach them English as a second language. They make learning English unnecessarily difficult for all and impossible for some.

It’s a cruel irony that liberals in their mission to be more understanding and accommodating of people that are different make the mistake of sabotaging the futures of full fledged American citizens with kindness. I am convinced that while some are well meaning, others apparently want a permanent underclass they can look down upon and know exactly what harm they are doing.

One of the past Board of Ed chairman actually said tests are bad because they make kids feel bad about themselves when they don't do well on them.

It never ceases to amaze me how seriously these people are taken. I am told I am the crazy one. Remember Alice being hauled in front of the mad Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland ?

This is exactly like that.

This is basically what we said in the election in short form “Tests are Good! Welfare Bad!, English is Good!, Prison Bad!, Jobs Good!, Scrounging around for nickel deposit cans for a living Bad Bad Bad! College is Good!, Jobs are good!, Self sufficiently-Good!, Pride in yourself Good Good Good!"

Oh course with a message of hate like that we got clobbered.

You see Dad. We are mean.

-- John

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Good Morning America

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