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Remember Austin Goolsbee? He used to be Chairman of Barry's White House Council of Economic Advisors. Yesterday he said opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline project are idiots. Well, actually Instapundit said "idiots." Goolsbee used the word "naive," but he was just being polite.
"It' a bit naive to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don't build that pipeline," said Goolsbee, speaking today in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada. "Eventually it's going to be built. It may go to the Pacific, it may go through Nebraska, but it's going to be built somewhere."
Right. The econuts only have a tenuous grasp on reality. One way or another Canada is going to sell that oil. If these guys succeed in stopping the pipeline it only proves once again that they're anti-American, not pro-environment.
You gotta love a straight shooter. Chris Christie to Barack Obama: "What the hell are we paying you for?"
What? You expected leadership from a Community Organizer?
Two stories out of Pennsylvania today, both related to greed and the Education Industrial Complex. First up, former Philadelphia schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who left with a nearly $1 million dollar severance package, has filed for unemployment benefits. Well sure, why not, right?
Then in the town of Neshaminy the teachers' union is tearing that community apart with outlandish demands and boorish behavior. They're working without a contract (since 2008) because the union can't come to terms with the economic reality faced by the school board.
The teachers union has responded with ugly tactics, including a threat to strike and a decision to "work to contract," which is a nice term for a general work slowdown. The community has reacted with anger toward the union's self-serving demands, and the Philadelphia suburb has been poisoned with an environment of anger and mistrust.
Union temper tantrums. Classy. Among other things they've picketed their own schools during school hours, passed out pro-union literature to incoming kindergarten students, and refused to help students after class or write letters of recommendation to colleges.
Because, you know, the teachers care about the children.
What are they fighting over? The district has offered an average 3% raise over the next three years, and asked the teachers to pay 10% of their health care insurance premiums. The union countered with 6% raises and no insurance contributions. Which is unrealistic, but they're intransigent, even though Neshaminy teachers are already the second highest-paid in the entire state.
The Neshaminy school board should take a tip from their counterparts in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Fire 'em all. Arlene Ackerman can show these louts how to sign up for unemployment benefits. And then they'll discover what it's like to pay for all of their health insurance.
Everybody wants to get their picture take with Santa, right? So how about a picture with Santa and a machine gun?
The Scottsdale Gun Club is inviting people to enjoy Santa and Machine Guns.
The family event allows people to take a holiday card picture with St. Nick -- and a high-powered fire arm.
They also get a chance to test out the machine guns.
Run, run, Rudolph!
You know, I feel another Christmas Carol parody coming on…
Dashing through the snow,
In an M1 Abrams tank!
O'er the mall we go,
but let's not break the bank!
Be sure your aim's astute,
and laser sights are bright.
Oh what fun it is to shoot
an M-16 tonight!
Jingle bells, shotgun shells,
I'm one bad-ass hombre!
Oh what fun it is to ride
in an armor plated sleigh!
If Hollywood ever remakes A Christmas Story that song is sure to become
an instant classic.
Just when you thought Barry couldn't be a bigger horse's ass he decides to screw up the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.
President Grinch will be in NYC tonight for a hoity-toity fund raiser. Next door to Rockefeller Center. Way to care about those little people there Chief.
Oh, you'd better watch out
You'd better not try
To go out tonight,
I'm tellin' you why!
Barack Obama's comin' to town!
He's makin' a list
Of streets he'll close
And donors he'll squeeze
For his re-election you know
Barack Obama's comin' to town!
You can't see the tree lighting!
His cops chase you away!
It's too bad if you've been good,
The DNC says you didn't pay!
Oh, and Moochelle too. She's hosting a different fund raiser. At the same time.
Yeah, it's definitely a Gridlock Alert day.
One rock at a time. That's how "activists" chip away at the foundations of our society. While the focus is on redefining marriage for same-sex unions, two New Jersey legislators are proposing elimination of the three day waiting period for a marriage license.
The goal? Instant wedding chapels alongside Atlantic City casinos. Because nothing caps off a weekend of drunken debauchery quite like saying "I do" in front of an Elvis impersonator. It works for Vegas, and by golly New Jersey wants some of that action. (Let me guess, in Jersey they'll use Bruce Springsteen impersonators?)
But wait, there's more! The main drawback to a Las Vegas wedding is the hassle of a Mexican divorce. Good news lovebirds, New Jersey's got you covered — the proposed legislation allows for annulments without cause within 30 days if either a husband or wife requests it.
Think of it as trial marriages. You know, to entice Kim Kardashian the next time she feels like joining the Husband of the Month Club. Try your spouse on for 30 days, and there's a Get Out Of Jail Free card inside every wedding cake!
'Til Death Do Us Part. Or 30 days. Whichever comes first.
So much for the Banns of Marriage. Remember those? Back when our society
believed in morals?
Caldwell's two new Councilmen-elect lied to you. It's all laid out in black and white by Diane Lilli for The Jersey Tomato Press.
Over the past few months, Caldwell residents have heard rumors and read campaign literature from 2 Democrats, Frank Rodgers and John Kelley, who successfully ran for council seats, stating the borough's surplus was being "depleted" by a Republican for "political gain". Their campaign literature, sitting before me, states: "This year as an incumbent up for re-election, he (Republican incumbent Joe Norton), voted to deplete the borough's cash reserves for political gain. Any prudent businessperson will tell you, "never deplete surplus". Any unforeseen emergency could wipe out remaining reserves and compromise our fiscal stability."
Liar, liar, pants on fire. Joe Norton did no such thing. Caldwell's cash reserves are healthy. Very healthy.
Is it true? No. After attending every meeting, including long, exhaustive budget meetings, for years here in the borough, this reporter can tell you: this is 100 percent false. The surplus in Caldwell is a healthy $430,000. This surplus is about 5-6 percent of the operating budget, which shows a robust and even rare surplus, since most towns in New Jersey and even the county are coming in at 2 percent or less.
Well whaddaya know. They lied. For political gain.
If they lied to us to get elected, how can we trust them once they're sworn in?
We can't. But then, you already knew that.
You know what really burns my shorts though? This:
Now that the election is over, it's time to review the surplus in Caldwell.
"Now that the election is over?" Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. You're a day late and a dollar short Diane. Thanks.
Would it have killed Ms. Lilli to actually commit journalism prior to the election? You know, when exposing these lies might have made a difference?
God forbid, proving Kelley and Rodgers wrong could have cut into the time she spent cavorting with the dirty denizens of Occupy Wall Street. For them, she's got sympathy and pixels; for a critical election issue which just might determine the future direction of our great town? Not so much.
In the days leading up to the election The Jersey Tomato Press covered a "fair trade book sale," another of Joe D's boondoggles at Turtle Back Zoo, where to dump your storm debris, and "Adopt A Pet Month." Riveting stuff to be sure.
Election coverage? Fuggedaboudit.
I assume her new masters at Baristanet had something to do with that. Prior to her merger with Montclair's granola-eating-Volvo-drivers-for-social-justice set she used to be a force for good in Caldwell, unafraid to take on Town Hall or anyone else.
Media bias? Yeah, it's everywhere. But hey, the truth is out now, so what's
the big deal, right? We gotta move forward. Onward and upward. With two
mendacious opportunists sniping at our flanks. The fun, it has just begun.
It's been said that the lottery is a tax on the mathematically challenged.
Well, in one more proof that God does indeed have a sense of humor, last month's record $254 million Powerball jackpot has been claimed. By three hedge fund managers from Greenwich, Connecticut.
The three men work as asset managers at a small firm called Bell Asset Management. They plan to form a new asset management company with their new windfall.
Math. It's what hedge fund dudes do. All day.
And now, an old joke:
The was this old guy named Abe. He lived a good life, always did the right thing, never sinned. Every day Abe went to Temple to pray. He wanted to retire in comfort so he asked God, "please let me win the lottery."
But each week someone else would win. Abe pleaded with God, "I'm a good man, I always do what You ask, why can't I win the lottery?"
Yet once again, Abe didn't win. "Why God? Why did *he* win? He's not a good man like me!" And he prayed and prayed and prayed.After another week Abe was back in Temple, all alone, despair etched on his face. "Please God, why do the unworthy win? I'm your faithful servent, what else can I do?"
Suddenly a loud voice boomed out from the Heavens.
Abe … Help me out … Buy a ticket!
Thank you, I'll be here all week.
Congratulations are in order, Bob Belvedere at The Camp of the Saints has crossed the one million hits threshold! No small feat, that.
Tori says, "Good show!"
AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, has filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to secure cost-cutting labor agreements with their unions. It's what GM and Chrysler should have done, except that Obama meddled to save their featherbedded union contracts.
In DNC political calculus, UAW > IAM + ALPA.
File this under "could be cool" — RIM will offer BlackBerry security features on Android and iPhone.
The company said on Tuesday that it will launch its new Mobile Fusion device management software in the first quarter, allowing corporate IT staff to set and monitor rules for passwords, apps and software on a range of devices, including Apple's iPad and iPhone, and smartphones using Google's Android operating system.
A way to unify BlackBerries with Android and iPhone? If it works, RIM could be relevant again.
Wanna tax you brain? Just a Conservative Girl posted 12 questions that she wishes liberals would answer honestly.
Don't hold your breath JACG. If liberals answered you honestly, they'd turn
With the impending retirement of Rep. Barney Frank the new ranking Democrat on the House Banking Committee will be Maxine Waters.
Lord, help us: Maxine makes Barney look like a pillar of virtue.
On the plus side, now she can arrange sweetheart bailout deals for her husband's bank right out in the open.
Fast Times at Hannah Montana High: Miley Cyrus Jokes About Smoking 'Too Much Weed' at 19th Birthday Party.
Cyrus stunned well-wishers at her 19th-birthday party, happily telling them she's a pot-loving "stoner."
"You know you're a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake."
It's too bad she never had a teacher like Mr. Hand.
Perhaps if she'd occupied his classroom she wouldn't be deluded into supporting Occupy Wall Street. Hey, when you think of "the one percent" it's easy to overlook multi-millionaire has-been Disney pop stars, right?
Is the newest X-Box code named C3PO? Microsoft"s future Kinect 2 device will reportedly lip read and measure emotions.
The rumored support will allow developers to make use of an overhauled motion sensor and voice recognition unit. Euogamer reported on Monday that one development source indicates that the Kinect 2 will be powerful enough to lip read, detect when gamers angry and even determine which direction they are facing. Kinect 2 is also expected to support the tracking of pitch and volume of player voices and facial characteristics to better measure their emotions.
"Open The God-damned Pod Bay Door Hal!"
Ever wonder what happens to all that Gatorade™ football players drink during a game? Wonder no more!
Chargers kicker Nick Novak had a rough day Sunday.
Not only did Novak miss a 53-yard field goal attempt in overtime that would have given San Diego the win, but he was caught urinating on the sideline during the fourth quarter of the loss to the Broncos.
Matt Prater had just booted a 24-yarder for Denver with 1:34 remaining in regulation, which tied the game at 13. As the Chargers were preparing for a final drive in the hopes of getting into Novak's range, CBS cameras showed the Chargers kicker, at which point he was relieving himself by a water cooler as someone held up a towel to block him.
Novak, who was emotional after the loss, admitted that he was going to the bathroom, saying that a number of players do it throughout the course of a game. He said that he usually goes two or three times during a game.
When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!
But really, can you imagine being the guy who has to hold the towel? Or the
guy who scrubs the artificial turf after the game? They do scrub
the artificial turf, don't they? Otherwise, by the end of the season,
We've already seen that if you give your kids Nazi-inspired names the state will take them away from you.
"For their protection."
Now if your kid is "too fat," the state will whisk him away too!
An eight-year-old Ohio boy who weighs more than 200 pounds was taken from his family last month and placed in foster care after social workers said his mother was not doing enough to control his weight, The Plain Dealer reported.
The third grader is considered severely obese by the standards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, putting him at risk of developing diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
The boy was taken out of his home on Oct. 19, according to The Plain Dealer. He is currently in foster care, and his mother can see him once a week for two hours.
Cuyahoga County officials who were monitoring the child's health said the child's weight was caused by his environment and his mother was ignoring doctor's orders on food and exercise, the newspaper reported.
"This child's problem was so severe that we had to take custody," said Mary Louise Madigan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Family Services.
The state demands compliance — "doctor's orders!" And if you refuse, they steal your children.
Lawyers for his mother—a substitute elementary school teacher—believe the county overreached its mandate by arguing the boy's health is in imminent danger. The child does not yet suffer from obesity-related diseases, the newspaper said.
Of course he doesn't. This isn't about health; it's about instilling conformity. And fear. Your kid might be next. So you do what the nice lady says to do. And you think what the government tells you to think.
Because if you don't cause any trouble, nobody gets shipped off to Siberia.
Has anyone seen the Constitution lately? Because I remember reading about
this thing called "liberty." Or maybe I was dreaming.
Freedom. It's such an elusive concept, easily suborned by pretentious do-gooders out to impose their vision of utopia on the world around them.
On January 1st 2012 the 100 watt incandescent light bulb becomes extinct. It will be illegal to sell one within the borders of the United States of America.
They don't make people sick. And you can't get high from smoking one. There's nothing inside which can be used by a terrorist with jihad on his mind either.
Nope, the 100 watt light bulb's crime is far worse. Energy inefficiency. It uses "too much" electricity, at a time when our government is doing everything in its (considerable) power to curtail our ability to generate electricity.
It's for our own good of course. We must appease Phil Jones and the Prophets of Globull Warming. Or we'll all die. Or something.
Stock up, while you still can. Oh, and you may as well grab any 75, 60, or 40 watt bulbs you see too. Because the econuts are coming for them next, in 2013 and '14.
Who wants to guess what future "historians" will say about Thomas Edison?
No doubt something along the lines of, "Inventor of the disgraced incandescent
light bulb and destroyer of our climate!" They'll turn him into a
pariah like Columbus and force schoolchildren to "learn" about his treachery.
On Earth Day, naturally.
It was a nail-biter, but the Jets managed to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, even as Mark Sanchez did his best Browning Nagle impression yet. Playoffs? I wouldn't get my hopes up. Not when you barely manage to slip by Buffalo merely because they made more mistakes than you did.
Rex Ryan will say, "a win is a win." And because of that the screwups on special teams won't get the attention they deserve. Can we at least agree that a punt returner's job is to catch the damn ball? And if you can't do that reliably maybe you should try your hand at pumping gas.
How hard is it to remember the true meaning of Christmas? About as hard as it must be to say "Merry Christmas" instead of the odious "Happy Holidays." Professor Jacobson is Jewish and he writes:
In fact, it annoys me when people refuse to say it. And please say Happy Hanukkah to me, not Happy Time When You Light All Those Candles For Some Reason.
True story. The fellows who own my firm are all Jewish. One December I was off to some meeting or another and I hitched a ride with the CEO. Getting into his car I was surprised to hear Christmas carols playing on the radio. Not generic Christmas music like Jingle Bells, real honest-to-God religious Christmas hymns — O Little Town of Bethlehem and Silent Night
"I like Christmas music," he said. "It's beautiful."
Can't argue with that!
Apparently I'm not the only nut who cooked two turkeys this weekend. Da Tech Guy mentions "the second turkey is just about done" in his Thanksgiving travelogue post. I did both of mine outside on the rotisserie, with herbed butter slathered under the skin so they basted themselves.
Leftovers? Not as much as you might think. We love turkey!
UPDATE 28 Nov 2011 09:21:
Rule #1 of blogging — Publish. The. Post.
In my defense I was making turkey soup, it was late, the timer went off, I got sidetracked, and honestly thought I had actually published this post before I dragged my sorry butt off to bed last night.
Oops. Better late than never I guess!
It's the beginning of a new tradition. Small Business Saturday:
For shoppers, it might be like getting a new holiday.
As if Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't create enough of a shopping frenzy, there is growing hoopla for another day of sales and shopping especially dedicated to small business.
The campaign for smaller-sized retailers started last year when AmericanExpress began running television commercials reminding consumers to patronize neighborhood retailers. The commercials returned this year along with a blitz of publicity promoting neighborhood retailers, downtown boutiques and local shops.
It's a great idea. There are a lot of terrific little shops in downtown Caldwell. There's Smith & Co., an eclectic gift shop with many a whimsical offering on display. Sophie gets quite the chuckle out of her oddball plaques; the latest one says, "I used to care but now I take a pill for that." I can think of at least three folks on my gift list who deserve that one! Saplings boutique is the perfect spot to find just the right baby gift. There's a dress in the window at Puttin' on the Ritz that Sophie's had her eye on for quite a while now. Maybe Santa will figure out how to get it into his sleigh this year. And if you can't find something special at D. Marie Home you haven't really been trying.
Don't forget to pick up your Christmas ham at Vila Meats and the perfect bottle of wine at Shop Rite Liquors. Edible Arrangements can make up the custom gift basket for last-minute shoppers. And to finish off your day, stop by Rockin' Joe's for the best coffee in town. Or, if you need something stronger than coffee, Ringside Pub and Cloverleaf Tavern have got you covered.
And if anyone needs any hints for gifts headed in my direction (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) a gift certificate to Rose Mediterranean Restaurant is always the right size.
Small business. They're the engine of job growth and economic recovery.
Shop local. Shop Caldwell. Tell 'em Big Wy sent you.
Ebenezer Scrooge, please call your office: Collection Agencies Now Want Deadbeats Arrested.
As if life wasn't already tense enough for Americans who can't pay their debts, collection agencies are now taking advantage of archaic state laws to have some debtors arrested and sent to jail.
More than one-third of US states allow debtors to be arrested and jailed, says Jessica Silver-Greenberg in the Wall Street Journal.
Judges typically grant arrest warrants when the debtors have failed to show up for court dates or failed to make court-ordered payments.
The practice is especially popular in Illinois. Presumably the workhouses in that state are full.
Maybe one reason folks can't pay their debts is because there are no jobs?
When there is a conflict between jobs and public employee unions, or a conflict between jobs and the environmentalist lobby, jobs lose every time under this Administration.
Hot on the heels of nixing the Keystone XL pipeline project, Obama's EPA put the kibosh on oil shale drilling in Ohio.
No drilling means no new jobs, and no new jobs means no economic recovery for one of the states hardest hit by this recession.
And the econuts scored another anti-fracking "victory" this week when the governor of Delaware punted on a decision to open up Delaware River basin for natural gas extraction operations. NJ governor Chris Christie is also waffling on the project, ensuring it won't see the light of day any time soon.
It's almost like these guys don't want to create jobs.
I don't know why Jillian is smiling the week, not unless she hasn't seen the latest trifecta of bad economic news. And when I say "bad," I mean bad.
New unemployment claims, initially "worse than expected," were then revised upward. Durable goods orders are down again, meaning the final Q3 GDP will be revised even lower and Q4 GDP rebound hopes have been all but dashed. Consumer spending is also down as the savings rate creeps up. Folks are retrenching, hunkering down for the long, bleak winter ahead.
There's at least one Georgia company which isn't buying Obama's promise to focus on job creation. Bill Looman, a former US Marine, posted signs on his company's trucks — "New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone."
Then in what's gotta be the most chilling aspect of Dear Leader's reign of terror yet, Mr. Looman was subsequently investigated by the Secret Service as as potential threat to National Security. Really.
Do you know where else the government harassed employers who refused to hire workers? The Soviet Union. And of course, Red China and Castro's Cuba too. Role models all, for dyed-in-the-wool Marxist Barack Hussein Obama.
What will you do when the government assigns a Zampolit to your office?
Finally for today, ask yourself this: Aer you better off than you were
4 Trillion Dollars Ago? Because according to the Congressional Budget
Office Barry's "Stimulus" had
virtually no meaningful effect on growth and employment despite its massive
price tag. So what does he propose doing? More of the same! Which
of course has
worked out so well for the Europeans…
Nothing says Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men quite like attacking your fellow shoppers with pepper spray.
A woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
Her family must be so proud.
Ah, whaddya expect when her president issues a Thanksgiving proclamation which fails to mention God? Soup kitchens, yes. God, no. If that's not a metaphor for Barry's presidency, I don't know what is.
Somehow we managed to get through Thanksgiving dinner without mentioning a single Planned Parenthood pro-abortion talking point.
I wonder if any taxpayer funds went to a New York Planned Parenthood's web page teaching people how to advocate for abortion at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Can you imagine, sitting down to what you think is going to be pleasant holiday meal and hearing this garbage?
Here's a taste:
Planned Parenthood also encourages people to push abortions of disabled unborn children on their Thanksgiving guests, by telling them, "We can try to imagine the heartbreak of a family when they get the news that a test has shown there is something wrong with their baby."
There are no words. There's nothing I can say. The face of evil is cloaked in "compassion."
My heart aches.
I try to end these daily ramblings on a frivolous note. Not today. Sorry. I will
say that I am immensely thankful for my family and friends and for the blessings
that God has bestowed upon us. It's a beautiful day outside, I'm gonna go rake
From a friend on Facebook:
I commend to everyone the following document. Written in another age but so real to us this year and every year...
State of Connecticut
By His Excellency WILBUR L. CROSS, Governor:
Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year. In observance of this custom, I appoint Thursday, the twenty-sixth of November, as a day of
for the blessings that have been our common lot and have placed our beloved State with the favored regions of earth -- for all the creature comforts: the yield of the soil that has fed us and the richer yield from labor of every kind that has sustained our lives -- and for all those things, as dear as breath to the body, that quicken man's faith in his manhood, that nourish and strengthen his spirit to do the great work still before him: for the brotherly word and act; for honor held above price; for steadfast courage and zeal in the long, long search after truth; for liberty and for justice freely granted by each to his fellow and so as freely enjoyed; and for the crowning glory and mercy of peace upon our land; -- that we may humbly take heart of these blessings as we gather once again with solemn and festive rites to keep our Harvest Home.
Given under my hand and seal of the State at the Capitol, in Hartford, this twelfth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirty six and of the independence of the United State the one hundred and sixty-first.
Wilbur L. Cross
By His Excellency's Command:
C. John Satti
Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good!
Somewhat in the same vein, Dan Collins offers some tips for a memorable Thanksgiving.
My 2 favs:
Try adding some green beans to your Funyuns.
Always refer to the turkey as Mr. President.
The Daley Gator remembers the funniest moment in sitcom history: The WKRP Turkey Drop.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without football, right? Look for the Lions to upset the Pack (Sorry, Lance!), the 'Boys to crush the Fish, and the Niners to clinch the NFC West with a victory over the Ravens.
Pundette reminds us (and by golly some of us need a lot of reminding!) to count our blessings. Life, it doesn't suck, contrary to what you might read here on occasion.
Hau'oli La Ho'omakika'i! (Happy Thanksgiving in Hawaiian)
Picked up the turkey from the butcher this morning, along with 7 lbs of necks and wings to make stock. I'll start that tonight and the house will smell like Thanksgiving. Yee-hah!
Yet it wouldn't be the holiday season without at least one story featuring Scrooge McBureaucrat and Government Gone Wild. A Cape Cod fisherman snared an 881 lb tuna yesterday, only to have it snatched away by armed agents of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Paperwork violations, they said.
A pox on their houses, may their bureaucratic Thanksgiving turkeys be burned to a crisp, and I hope Santa puts coal in their stockings. Our government is out of control, and the Pilgrims wouldn't hesitate to flee modern-day Massachusetts for a land where Liberty remains paramount. Is there such a land here on God's green earth? I don't know of one, do you?
This just in: those canned green beans can kill you.
Add the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) to your list of holiday worries.
BPA has been found in canned products commonly used in Thanksgiving dinners, according to a new report by the nonprofit Breast Cancer Fund. Research studies have shown that BPA could increase the risks of getting breast and prostate cancer and other diseases.
The organization tested four cans of each of the following: Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, Campbell's Turkey Gravy, Carnation Evaporated Milk, Green Giant Cut Green Beans, Libby's Pumpkin and Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn, Cream Style.
And whatever you do, don't deep-fry that turkey! The Department of Homeland Security (yup, when they're not busy catching terrorists, they're looking out for your safety!) issued a warning about the dangers of overfilling the deep fryer.
At a bureaucrat's Thanksgiving table there's peril in every bite!
Let's not forget to give thanks for more of that Smart Diplomacy that Barry keeps telling us about. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says his country will target U.S. ballistic missile sites if America goes through with plans to ramp up pressure on Iran. Hey Hillary, where's that reset button?
The Watchweir howls mournfully:
Anne McCaffrey went between for the last time. R.I.P.
I know I'm gonna take some heat, but good God man, what was Ron Paul thinking?
The Taliban only wants to fight us "over there?" Well sure dude, if you don't count those 4 hijacked airplanes and two demolished buildings. Other than that there's, oh I don't know, only a coupla dozen Islamic nutjobs who've brought jihad to within pissing distance of my front porch. That's "over there," if you're Ron Paul.
To the sane though, it's out there, which is where he belongs. Compared to Ron Paul even Jon Huntsman looks credible.
And were my ears deceiving me or did Mitt Romney sound positively hawkish tonight? What's up with that? Is it an act?
When Newt came out for Amnesty Mitt didn't say "boo." Jump on Rick Perry, Mitt did, for the same stance, but Newtie gets a pass?
I actually thought that Perry had the best response to the illegal alien issue. Secure the border, then decide who stays and who goes. An unsecure border is an incentive, and it sends the wrong message.
To Herman Cain I say with all honesty, the answer to every question is not "weigh the options." Take a stand Herm; any stand, and defend it. We've already got a Weathervane in Chief, and look how well that's worked out.
I honestly can't remember anything that Santorum or Bachmann said. Which seems
like par for the course. They're excess baggage, and it's time they hit the
lecture circuit. Do us a favor and bring Huntsman with you. Thanks.
My FiOS is fixed! Michael the Verizon Dude showed up a few minutes after 8 AM and promptly found the problem — bugs in my ONT. Yes, actual bugs nesting inside the box and apparently eating the wiring. Ewww.
He swapped it out and now all is well.
Hey, how about that Super Committee! Officially, they "failed."
Was it gridlock? Or partisanship? Perhaps a little of both?
Nah, I'm going with cowardice. We have the best Congress money can buy, and money can't buy statesmanship.
It's no wonder Smitty nicknamed them the Stupor Committee. They planned to fail.
Government mandates, they never stop coming. Next up from the bureaucratic busybodies? Home sprinker systems. Everybody in New Jersey will have to get one. Because, you know, if it saves just one life it's totally worth the astronomical cost.
You know what would save way more than one life? Banning abortion. Curiously, none of the bureaucrats want to talk about that.
My wife got a new phone — the Droid Razr™ by Motorola. It's pretty cool. But she couldn't get her Yahoo! mail to work with it no matter what she tried. Gmail worked fine. (Natch!) She called Verizon and the customer service guy sent her a Yahoo! app to try. And it works! He even called her back to make sure she was happy. How's that for #win?
Now I'm jealous, because I've got an old AT&T BlackBerry and AT&T doesn't offer very many of the cool new Droids. There's the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, which just came out and (finally!) does 4G LTE, but it doesn't have a real keyboard like the BlackBerry. Am I crazy to still want a real tactile keyboard?
Yeah, I know, I'm just crazy in general. It's part of my charm. And
it's why you keep coming back! You are coming back, aren't you? Because I'm
feeling lonely. Lately it seems like if it wasn't for the spambots I wouldn't
get any blog comments at all. Is there anybody out there? Just smile if you
can hear me…
Woman of the People Michelle Obama donned her rattiest designer overalls and ventured out among the bitter-clingers in NASCAR-land, spreading her message of Hope. And Change. And Socialism.
Many of the fans had the temerity to boo her obvious campaign appearance on behalf of Dear Leader.
Michelle Antoinette was reported to have exclaimed, "Let them eat my dust!" as she beat feet back to the safety of a nearby vegan bistro. Aides said she dined on a delightful melange of free-range arugula and Tibetan goat cheese while waiting for Valerie Jarrett to issue a press release chastising the unwashed yahoos who dared to disrespect Her Royal Highness.
And in an apparently unrelated development, I'm hearing reports that 70 hotel rooms in Gstaad were just booked by the White House travel office.
Here in New Jersey the long arm of the nanny state reached out to snatch a newborn baby from his mother's arms, hours after he was born. Hons Campbell was taken into protective custody by state DYFS officials because his three older siblings have Nazi-inspired names. The older children are already in foster care, after a Shop Rite bakery refused to decorate a birthday cake with the name Adolph Hitler Campbell and reported the parents to authorities.
You know what the parents' mistake was? They didn't name their kids Che Guevara Campbell or Mao Tse Tung Campbell. Then the state would give them a parade.
I now pronounce you Congressman and Donor: Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) spent more than $9,000 of campaign funds on a European wedding for a key political donor.
Andrews said the expense was legitimate because the wedding was for a donor and volunteer adviser, allowing him to consider it a political event. Citing privacy concerns, he declined to identify the adviser, who he said helps his campaign with opposition research.
Re-elect Rob Andrews, he'll pay for your wedding!
From the not-so-friendly skies: flight attendants will now be coming through the cabins to serve beverages and collect all your spare change so we can buy gas.
Hundreds of passengers traveling from India to Britain were stranded for six hours in Vienna when their Comtel Air flight stopped for fuel on Tuesday. The charter service asked them to kick in more than $31,000 to fund the rest of the flight to Birmingham, England.
The situation may represent a new low in customer care in an era when flyers are seeing long lines, long waits and few perks. Britain's Channel 4 news broadcast video showing a Comtel cabin crew member telling passengers: "We need some money to pay the fuel, to pay the airport, to pay everything we need. If you want to go to Birmingham, you have to pay."
Wow, that's a far cry from the Orient Express.
Next time, don't take the bus either.
Passengers say it was a travel nightmare. A Greyhound bus bound for St. Louis was stranded all night at a truck-stop after the driver got off the bus and never came back.
Remember when travel used to be fun?
Remember when the phone company used to be reliable? My FiOS went down last week. "Swapja" from Verizon said the problem was with my router, so he sent me a new one via UPS. I plugged it in over the weekend and much to my amazement it worked. For most of Saturday anyway. Then it started dropping packets faster than Braylon Edwards could drop a Mark Sanchez pass.
So, after spending more than half an hour on the phone with them this morning (OK, now I want you to unplug your phones and reset the router, again...) they're sending a guy out to take a looksee, sometime tomorrow.
And that's why there was no Sunday WyBlogging.
I survived! I walked, but I completed the whole 5K. Our neighborhood held their First Annual Cedars Turkey Trot this morning, to benefit the Caldwell Food Pantry. The entry "fee" was a donation of non-perishable food. Four big bins got filled, to hopefully make life a little easier for some less-fortunate residents of our town.
Let us all be thankful for what we have, not just now but throughout the entire year.
While I'm waxing philosophical, my current Facebook status:
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime
in your life."
— Winston Churchill
Today is the 148th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Apparently the Occupods have "adapted" it for their movement. I think their version needs work. A lot of work.
But what are the odds an OccupyMomsBasement protester is interested in work? Or perhaps they would like to Occupy Bagram?
Blogger Mark Levy also found inspiration in President Lincoln's words.
Two score and seven years ago, our libertarian forefather, brought forth on this continent, a new truth, concerning liberty, which is based on the proposition that all men are created equal.
He said "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
Now we are engaged in a great civil war of ideas, of individual liberty versus slavery to the state, of free markets versus corporate welfare, of the God-given right to equal opportunity versus the unearned entitlement of equal outcomes, of capitalism versus communism. We are testing whether our nation, conceived and dedicated to the sovereign rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, can long endure.
Read the whole thing. And contrast it with the deranged ramblings of your local Occupod.
In the words of that great American, John Wayne:
"Life is tough, it's tougher when you're stupid."
Hoops for HopenChange? Locked-out NBA players will stage the first annual "Obama Classic" to raise money for Barry's re-election. Because they've got a Basketball Jones for four more years of socialism, class warfare, and nanny-state nuttiness.
They are the 99 percent. Just ask them.
Finally for today, in the EU there is no proof that water prevents dehydration. No proof. None. It's now illegal to claim otherwise.
And these are the same bozos who insist that Globull Warming is Real Science.
How's this for a grim statistic:
- In 2008 49% of Americans lived paycheck-to-paycheck.
- Today 61% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck...if they have jobs, that is.
- Personal bankruptcy rose 32% just from 2008 to 2009.
What was that you were saying about Hope and Change?
So, assuming you're not living paycheck-to-paycheck, Thanksgiving dinner is gonna cost you 13% more than last year.
I didn't get a 13% raise. Did you?
But I think I've finally found out why the Obama Economic Miracle fizzled before it left the starting gate. Actually, Joe Biden spilled the beans: the first guy we called for economic advice was Jon Corzine.
Jon Corzine? What, Bernie Madoff wasn't available and Mark Rich wouldn't take Eric Holder's call?
The EPA is still diligently doing their part to stifle the recovery. This week it's new fuel economy regulations which will add thousands of dollars to the price of a new car. But don't worry, you probably couldn't afford a new car anyway, right?
Meanwhile ObamaCare doesn't want to be left out of the economic collapse. The new excise tax on medical device manufacturers which goes into effect next year means most companies will have to cut jobs. They're already making plans to do just that.
Stryker, the Kalamazoo-based maker of artificial hips and knees, will cut 5% of its global workforce by the end of next year to reduce costs in the face of new fees on device makers required by the U.S. health care law.
In other job-killing news, Electrolux is closing their North American factories. Weak demand for their products, spurred by the fact that most of are living paycheck-to-paycheck, is cited as the reason.
"All I want for Chrismas is a new vacuum cleaner" doesn't quite have that ring to it, now does it?
Well, that's it for this week. Tune in next Friday for another installment of my Weekly Obama Jobs Report, now with Jillian Barberie!
Um, Jillian? Try to look busy, ok? Thanks.
Joe Norton and Doug Piazza lost by only 5 votes on November 8th.
Now they're asking for an official recount.
Last week, Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing and Piazza visited the Hall of Records in Newark to personally watch as the board of elections officially opened the provisional ballots. During the official, formal procedure, each commissioner reviewed the ballots for provisional votes before the results were read aloud.
And, in a surprise visit, former [Democrat] Caldwell Mayor Sue Gartland happened to stop in during the proceedings in Newark.
The provisionals offered more votes for each candidate, and also some that were thrown out, with the end result still showing only 4 or 5 votes between Piazza, Norton and Democrat winner John Kelley.
Five votes out of 830, that's close. My guess is the recount will focus on the provisional and absentee ballots and any subjective criteria which were used in admitting or throwing out votes.
"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide
— Josef Stalin
Now, I'm not accusing anyone of anything.
But just as an observation, we've had some interesting vote counters here in Essex County. One could say that the Democrats down in Newark don't always play by the rules. And an all Republican Caldwell Council (for the first time in forever) is a pretty big black eye on their freewheeling patronage machine.
Recount! You know, just to be sure.
Twice in one week the Jets defense let an opposing team march down the field and score at the end of the fourth quarter. Oh well, there's always next season. When you're a Jets fan, next season is all you've got.
So the Occupy Wall Street goons thought it would be a good idea to block kids from getting to school.
Some grade school students were forced to walk a gauntlet of screaming "Occupy Wall Street" protesters just to get to school on Thursday.
In the middle of thousands of protestors yelling and chanting — some kicking and screaming — CBS 2's Emily Smith found little school kids trying to get to class. Nervous parents led them through the barriers on Wall Street. The NYPD helped funnel the children, anything to ease their fears while some protestors chanted "follow those kids!"
Follow those kids? Well why not? I would have led the protesters right down the hall to kindergarten. Because that's where they belong. Except, you know, kindergarteners don't poop in the street.
"These guys are terrorists, yelling at little kids," one father said.
Of course they are.
If al Qaeda had threatened to shut down the New York Stock Exchange, invade the subways, and block the bridges, NYPD and Homeland Security would (rightly) call it terrorism.
Round 'em all up and send 'em off to #OccupyGitmo.
Mister we could use a man like Rudy Giuliani again.
Remember the Halloween snowstorm? It was caused by Global Warming. No, really. The U.N. says so, and God knows they're never wrong about anything.
The Patriotic Millionaires are back! And they're singing a variation of the same old song — Please tax you, Please tax me, and definitely tax that guy behind the tree.
Uh, thanks. We'll let you guys know where to send your check.
Paypal has a new Facebook app called Send Money. It's peer-to-peer payments through your network of Facebook friends that makes it simple, fast, and easy to send money to anyone, anytime.
So when the Nigerian scammers hijack your Facebook ID they can siphon off all the money in your bank account too!
You do know how ridiculously easy it is to hijack your Facebook ID, don't you?
Vice President Joe Biden convened another meeting of his Government Accountability and Transparency Board. Behind closed doors, with no press. Your government transparency is clear as mud.
Wish me luck kids. I'm running with Sophie in tomorrow's first annual Cedars Turkey Trot. It's not quite a 5K, and most of us will be walking, albeit briskly. It's for a good cause — the Caldwell Food Pantry. Thing is though, Sophie's been training, because her school is sponsoring a proper 5K "Reindeer Run" next month.
I told her she's gotta give the old man a head start.
Smitty praises Maxine Waters? Yes, honesty really is the best policy, and "Maxine of Headroom" is refreshingly honest.
When asked to comment Wednesday about the deaths and crimes that have occurred around Occupy protests being held across the country, Rep. Maxine Waters said "that's life and it happens."
The General Welfare Clause should not equate to concern for a given individual. It's positively Constitutional of her to acknowledge that. Maybe there's hope for the old gal yet.
You go, Maxine. This #Occupy comment marks what I sincerely hope is a Road to Damascus moment. I'm Syria-s. Say hello to Bashar al-Assad when you arrive. It's OK if you stay.
"That's life and it happens." I think somebody should put that on a T shirt. Get one free with every student loan!
It's the end of an era. I knew it was inevitable when the stores started opening at midnight for Black Friday. This year, Black Friday starts on Thursday. Walmart and Toys R' Us will open their doors at 10 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Truly, nothing is sacred anymore. Can't we have one day — one freakin' day! — set aside for family time? Are our lives so devoid of meaning that shopping is the only cure?
Orthodox Jews don't celebrate Thanksgiving? Not in Lakewood, NJ. Their private day schools are open on Thanksgiving Day, and that means the school bus drivers have to work.
Thanksgiving is a regular school day for most kids in the Ocean County town where some 18,000 children attend more than 70 private Orthodox Jewish schools.
State law requires the district to bus both public and private school students.
Oh but it's nothing personal, the Orthodox community "appreciates the meaning of Thanksgiving but don't close school for it."
"We're not trying to be cruel or keep people away from their families," said Rabbi Moshe Weisberg. "In Jewish school tradition, we don't celebrate holidays by taking off from school — even Chanukah most schools have school."
They have school on holidays, except when the "holiday" is one of their holidays.
But Jewish religious holidays like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana have restrictions that require schools to close, he said. Sukkot — another fall holiday — provides a longer, midterm break.
Good luck getting the Orthodox dudes to work on their holidays! But the bus drivers gotta cater to them, because it's the law.
And the law is an ass.
Remember How a Bill Becomes A Law? No? This picture should jog your memory!
Government Motors, the taxpayers get hosed, again.
The Treasury Department has increased the estimate of the losses incurred by United States taxpayers in the bailout of the auto industry. They didn't increase it just a little bit, either. According to Detroit News it went from $14.33 billion to a whopping $23.6 billion.
That's because they can't give GM stock away. It's sinking faster than Barack Obama's credibility. And since the taxpayers' "investment" is pegged to GM's share price we're well and truly screwed.
But the important thing is, the UAW's benefits are completely protected!
I want to hire the New York Lotto guy to make this announcement: The National Debt is now Fifteen Trillion Dollars, that's fifteen Trillion dollars!
All we need is an Obama and a dream. Hey, you never know.
To the victors go the platitudes. The winners of Caldwell's township council race wrote a Letter to the Editor, and published it in The Patch.
Dear Caldwell Residents,
We thank you for your interest in the recent race for Caldwell council. The results of the election closely mirrored the political diversity of our town. The margin of victory was narrow, but this balance in vote is the very "balance" we need on our council and one which will provide a voice to the diversity in our town.
"Balance?" Please define "balance." As in, how do you "balance" the fact that the incumbents whom you smeared at every opportunity during the campaign succeeded in enacting a zero tax increase municipal budget for the first time in the history of Caldwell?
Is it the traditional way that Democrats "balance" their approach to taxes, by raising them?
Of course it is.
Oh, and two white guys claiming "diversity?" Only a Democrat could say that with a straight face.
Thank you, also, to Mr. Norton and Mr. Piazza for the hard work, sacrifices and passion you have shown for our town of Caldwell.
So now you take the High Road? Bully for you.
Many thoughts and ideas were discussed during this race, and as a result, one goal that will most certainly be a priority for us during our term will be to energize the citizens of Caldwell to actively participate in designing solutions to the issues we collectively face as a community.
Translation: We got nuthin'. No ideas, no plans, no clue. So to the folks who voted for us, the joke's on you. We hope you'll step up, so we don't have to!
Listen up fellas. When Real Leaders run for office, they've already done the heavy lifting associated with "designing solutions to the issues we face." That's why they run positive campaigns, unlike the mudfest you two turkeys unleashed.
Whether politically or socially, the residents of Caldwell need to get involved and our hope is to seek out those who will step out of their comfort zone and participate with the rest of us in building a place to live in New Jersey that is second to none.
/s/ Frank Rodgers and John Kelley, Caldwell
You know, I've re-read that last paragraph 3 times now, and I still can't figure out what it means. Because we've already got "a place to live in New Jersey that is second to none." Joe Norton and Doug Piazza (and Mayor Dassing and Council President Murray and Councilmen Coyle, Hauser, and O'Donnell) worked their butts off to make it that way. They had to, because your fellow Democrats did a spectacular job of running Caldwell into the ground back when they were in charge. Surely you guys remember how Town Hall used to operate? It was only a few years ago. Then again, most of the important corrections were made during football season and you probably weren't paying attention.
So here's my advice to you. Don't screw this up.
And the only "balance" we need is in the budget, without raising taxes.
UPDATE 29 Nov 2011 21:45:
And we appear to have our answer.
The NYC Sanitation guys cleaning out Zuccotti Park ought to get hazard pay. And be sure their shots are all up to date. What a cesspool of filth!
"I pick up garbage [for a living], and these were some of the worst smells I've ever experienced," one worker grumbled to The Post.
Disease was rampant among the Occupods:
Mayor Bloomberg finally decided to wipe Zuccotti Park clean after learning about a rancid outbreak of scabies, lice and lung ailments among protesters.
Yeah, they're just like the Tea Party. Uh huh.
But now that Zuccotti Park is clean again, they're back! Well, a few of them anyway.
Only a few dozen protesters wrapped in ponchos were sitting in the park early Wednesday morning, chanting the occasional protest slogan as police looked on.
No tents. No Tarps. And no sleeping bags. Sorry slackers, you'll have to face the elements like a man. Or you could, you know, get a job. I hear McDonalds is hiring. Yes, I want fries with that.
So, is Bill Maher the most excrable human being who ever lived?
Yes. Next question!
In approval ratings / opinion poll news, Chris Christie is up, Congress is at an all-time low. And America wants ObamaCare repealed. Maybe that's because the voters disapprove of Dear Leader by a margin of 61 to 36 percent.
Euros to Israel: Please don't bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. More "sanctions" are just the ticket, honest! (Just ask Moonbat Hero Elizabeth Warren…) So when Israel inevitably does what Barry and the Eurotrash don't have the balls to do, will she get a Sternly Worded Letter in response? Because those letters, they're real effective.
Your feel-good story of the day: Remember that tough old coot in Virginia who refused to lower Old Glory?
Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Col. Van T. Barfoot: 1.
Cranial-Rectal Impacted Homeowners' Association Busybodies: 0.
I'm guessing, "No, it's not."
A cast member of the gay reality TV show "A-List Dallas" tells The Daily Caller that he was punched to the ground and bloodied Friday night by someone vandalizing his car because he 's a gay conservative associated with commentator Ann Coulter.
Taylor Garrett, a Republican consultant in Texas who stars in the reality series on the channel LOGO TV, said in an interview that he was attacked outside a birthday party in Dallas after finding a vandal scratching "F—k Coulter" on the side of his car.
Photos provided by Garrett to TheDC show the phrase about Coulter keyed in large letters across his car. Other photos show Garrett with a bloody ear and blood covering his white shirt.
Nope, no hate crime! Even though it wasn't the first time Garrett had been targeted by apparent "homosexual activists." Because he's probably doing it to himself, for publicity or something.
Because tolerance only flows one way.
Garrett said he decided to join the show because he wanted to show that there are gay "conservative, Republican, Christians" out there. But he said he has been "destroyed by the gay community" for his views and he's doubtful he'll return for another season after this.
"I would've thought people would have been a little more tolerant considering that our community advocates for tolerance, but it has been nothing but mean spirited attacks, especially after the Ann Coulter scene," he said.
The point of having lunch with Coulter, he said, is to show people that "just because you don't support gay marriage doesn't make you a bigot, doesn't mean you hate gay people, it just means you disagree on gay issues."
Of course that's what it means. Opposition to gay marriage is de facto proof of bigotry. Just ask the sometimes commenters who show up here whenever I post anything which they label anti-gay. I filter the more vile responses because this blog is PG-13. But trust me, these guys are twisted, and their hatred is both vitriolic and unsettling. Get help fellas, OK?
"The left has turned on anyone that might not agree with gay marriage, they have demonized them," he said.
New Jersey's high taxes drive out the state's wealthiest residents, slowing economic growth, according to report issued Monday by the Christie administration's chief economist.
The new report is the latest attempt to understand the migration patterns of one of New Jersey's studied and debated species: the wealthy.
"Our analysis of the New Jersey 2004 'millionaires tax' suggests that, over time, migration effects could offset a meaningful share of the revenue boost," chief economist Charles Steindel wrote.
Steindel argues that Democratic Gov. James E. McGreevey's millionaire's tax in 2004 caused 20,000 taxpayers and $2.5 billion in gross income to leave the state.
Steindel also released the results of a survey of subscribers to the state's online newsletter, which includes financial advisers to high-wealth clients. More than half of the respondents said their clients had recently left or expressed interest in leaving, Steindel said.
Three-fourths of those who expressed interest in leaving have annual incomes over $100,000.
Go ahead, tax the rich. But what are you going to do when there aren't any
rich people left?
Well it's about bloody time. Early this morning NYPD cleared out the disease-ridden smelly slackers from Zuccotti Park. Back to #OccupyMomsBasement!
I think though, the cops shoulda deloused and quarantined the whole lot before turning them loose. Can you imagine the pandemic that could be brewing among the Occupods?
Iowahawk brings Teh Funny:
Wall Street grabbings
And trying to avoid the hobo stabbings
Read the whole thing, you'll be glad you did.
Dear America, You're all a bunch of lazy sods. Signed, President Golfpants.
The hookers were unavailable for comment.
Then there's this — Hugh's got Words You'll Never Hear. My favorite:
"Here's the missing money" -- Jon Corzine
Lately my traffic stats are in the dumper and I'm not sure why. Do I suck? Are you guys bored with me? Is this thing on?
Meanwhile, Lance is livin' large and he's got the Kelsi Reich pics to prove it.
Also on the blogging front, Disqus (the comments doohickey) stopped picking
up all your tweets and retweets. That's why every post since 01-Nov says "0
Reactions." Now I know some good folks are tweeting my stuff, I can
see it in my timeline. The "support" dudes at Disqus don't seem to care. It's
a free service so I can't really complain, but it is annoying.
Life is tough when you're a Jets fan. That's all I'm gonna say about last night's game.
How can Rex Ryan and Co. get to the Super Bowl now? Buy a ticket!
Last week Eli and the Giants creamed the Pats; this week the Pats whacked the Jets, and the 49ers showed Eli who's boss. Hey, maybe the Niners will give Green Bay a run for their money…
On the home front I spent the weekend swapping out screens for storm windows. Big heavy wooden storm windows. Now my back is killing me. Getting old sucks.
I think Pat had a better weekend than me, she went with her husband to a Fasching. That's German for "carnival" and judging by her pictures it looks like she had a lot of fun. On the other hand, Technorati said nobody linked her last week (Welcome to my world Pat). There's more to life than blogging, and she's already looking forward to the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival next weekend.
Reluctant Rebel is celebrating 25,000 hits. Good show!
Conservative Hideout 2.0 has a new home! (Er, then should it be Conservative Hideout 3.0?) Head on over and check out the updated site.
Another day, another flags in school controversy. This time it's closer to home in East Windsor, NJ. Eighth grader Torri Albrecht wore a Confederate flag sweatshirt to class. She was promptly suspended by Vice Principal Jermaine Blount. Next time wear a Cuban or North Korean flag Torri; they'll give you a parade.
Gun control for thee but not for me: Anti-Gun N.C. State Senator Shoots Intruder.
Long time Anti-Gun Advocate State Senator R.C. Soles, 74, shot one of two intruders at his home just outside Tabor City, N.C. about 5 p.m. Sunday, the prosecutor for the politician's home county said.
Of course he did. He's one of the elite (and a Democrat, natch!); it's only us bitter clingers who can't be trusted to own firearms. Mike Bloomberg would be proud.
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave? Not hardly. In New Jersey it's illegal to buy or possess raw (unpasteurized) milk. There's a move afoot to change that. Got Liberty?
It seems only fitting, this being Veterans Day, that the Senate has enacted a tax break for hiring veterans. Anything that can make a returning service member's transition back to civilian life just a little bit easier is A-OK in my book. C'mon John Boehner, get this one passed in the House. It's the right thing to do, even if it was Obama's idea.
Not that anything else Obama is doing is on the up and up. His latest ploy? Having his henchmen on the NLRB put the "fun" into Funemployment.
New documents obtained by Judicial Watch show acting National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Lafe Solomon joking that the NLRB's suit against Boeing would kill jobs in South Carolina. Commenting on a Planet Labor article whose headline suggests Boeing might not be able to open its new plant in South Carolina because of antiunion behavior,T Solomon writes:
The article gave me a new idea. You go to geneva and I get a job with airbus. We screwed up the US economy and now we can tackle Europe.
Jillian's not laughing about that. And neither should we. It's disgraceful, but pretty much what we've come to expect from the Obamunists. I'll bet that starving families are a real hoot over at the Department of Agriculture too.
But wait, there's more. When Lafe Solomon isn't auditioning for a gig on Saturday Night Live, he'll be a one man NLRB dictatorship. There are two vacant seats, and the lone Republican is fed up with the agency's anti-business activism. If Brian Hayes resigns in disgust the NLRB won't have a quorum, and thus couldn't conduct business.
So what does Obama do about that? Does he appoint someone to the two vacant seats? Hell no! He annoints Lafe Solomon with "full authority over court litigation matters that otherwise would require Board authorization and full authority to certify the results of any secret ballot election conducted under the National Emergency provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act."
That's not a Czar; that's a dictator.
Checks and Balances? Not in this administration!
I already mentioned it this week, but it's worth repeating. If Barry hadn't sold out to the econuts we could be ramping for 20,000 new jobs building the Keystone XL pipeline. Instead those jobs, if they materialize at all, will probably go to Canada.
Canadian government officials are already planning to help build a competing pipeline from Alberta's oil fields to new West Coast ports near Vancouver. The likely destination point is the port of Kitimat in British Columbia.
Canadians, doing the jobs Obama won't let Americans do!
Oh, you know what else the Senate is tinkering with this week? Internet taxes. Again. This time two Republicans have signed on to the idiocy of taxing the net. Because we're not taxed enough already you know.
Could someone please ask Paul Ryan to whack Mike Enzi and Lamar Alexander with a wet noodle? Thanks.
Finally for today, Obama fund raiser and DNC bundler extraordinaire Jon Corzine's implosion at MF Global laid another egg today. Pink slips went out to all 1,066 of his employees as the court-appointed trustee moved to liquidate the firm.
Guess that's one more chunk of the 1% who won't be voting to re-elect
President Goldman Sachs.
Growing up I always enjoyed seeing how Snoopy would celebrate Veterans Day. Usually some variation of his World War I flying ace alter ego would sidle up to a comely French lass, and then of course quaff a few root beers with Bill Mauldin.
Curse you Red Baron!
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the fighting came to an end.
We still remember.
Zilla teaches her children to thank a veteran every chance they get.
If you've got some spare cash, $11 dollars could mean the difference between life and death for a service member in Afghanistan.
Freedom isn't free.
Donald Douglas is supporting Cooking With The Troops.
And Quite Rightly salutes the veterans who take care of their wounded brethren.
Multiculturalism and Political Correctness induce brain rot. How else to explain a California school district's ability to ban the display of American Flags because students of hispanic descent might be offended by them?
Yesterday a federal judge upheld the ban, effectively negating the First Amendment. In examining the court's decision, Eugene Volokh opines on the legal justifications:
Yet while the judge might have been right in his decision, the situation in the school seems very bad. When we're at the point that students can't safely display the American flag in an American school, because of a fear that other students will attack them for it — on May 5 or on any other day — and the school feels unable to prevent such attacks (by punishing the threateners and the attackers, and by teaching students tolerance for other students' speech), something is badly wrong.
I disagree with Professor Volokh. Nothing is wrong; everything is going according to plan. The multiculturalists fully intend to denigrate the revered symbols of our American heritage. Having taken over our public schools they set about enforcing speech codes which emphasize victimology above all else. Tolerance only goes one way.
Riddle me this Batman. If students wore rainbow flag T-shirts to school, and other students heckled and / or threatened them, would the school district order the T-shirts to be removed? Would a judge uphold such a ban?
Oh you silly boy! You can't ask questions like that! It might expose the
hypocrisy of our elite educrats!
So much for a commitment to getting Americans working again. Via some nameless, faceless bureaucrat in the State Department, the Obama Administration has put the Keystone XL pipeline project on hold.
The State Department has ordered the developer of a pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to Texas to reroute it from environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska, possibly delaying a final U.S. decision until after the 2012 election.
Rerouting means all new environmental reviews, which take years. And of course it gives the econuts more time to derail the project via the courts.
Or TransCanada Corp can say enough is enough, we gave America their chance, build their pipeline to Vancouver, and sell the oil to the Chinese.
I know what I'd do if I was them.
Obama isn't serious about reducing our dependence on Mideast oil. Because building this pipeline is a sure-fire way to do just that. The sooner, the better.
And he damn sure isn't serious about "alternative energy," whatever that happens to mean this week. Throwing loan guarantees at friends of Joe Biden is, alas, not an energy strategy.
So now we have
$4 a gallon gas, soon to be $5, or more. Thanks Barry!
Chicken Little has nothing on these guys:
The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be "lost for ever", according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this "lock-in" effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world's foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years , the results are likely to be disastrous.
Oh no, not another disaster!
"The door is closing," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. "I am very worried — if we don't change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever."
But, what about Door Number 2? Is it "closed forever" too?
Really. Has any doomsday prophecy from these Globull Warming nuts ever panned out? Wait, I know what you're gonna say — But Chris, this time is different!
OK then, why is their "solution" — we have to freeze in the dark — always the same?
I (involuntarily) did that for five days. Trust me, you won't like it.
Yet, despite intensifying warnings from scientists over the past two decades, the new infrastructure even now being built is constructed along the same lines as the old, which means that there is a "lock-in" effect — high-carbon infrastructure built today or in the next five years will contribute as much to the stock of emissions in the atmosphere as previous generations.
We're all doomed. Might as well give up already.
The "lock-in" effect is the single most important factor increasing the danger of runaway climate change, according to the IEA in its annual World Energy Outlook, published on Wednesday.
Must. Resist. Making. Runaway!, Runaway! Joke.
Climate scientists estimate that global warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels marks the limit of safety, beyond which climate change becomes catastrophic and irreversible. Though such estimates are necessarily imprecise, warming of as little as 1.5C could cause dangerous rises in sea levels and a higher risk of extreme weather — the limit of 2C is now inscribed in international accords, including the partial agreement signed at Copenhagen in 2009.
Sure, their estimates are "imprecise," but trust them anyway. They're scientists! They have International Accords! Signed by Important People! At lavish conferences! Where the champagne flows faster than the bullshit. And nobody ever suggests that they themselves should freeze in the dark. Because really, then who'd eat the caviar?
Another factor likely to increase emissions is the decision by some governments to abandon nuclear energy, following the Fukushima disaster. "The shift away from nuclear worsens the situation," said Birol. If countries turn away from nuclear energy, the result could be an increase in emissions.
We gotta get our energy from somewhere. And the whole windmill thing is
still pretty iffy. So I wish these econuts would make up their minds
about nuclear power. Oh who am I kidding; only Iran is entitled to nuclear
power, us Evil Americans might use it to infringe on the rights of
gay Canadian penguins.
They did it — Republicans swept the mayorality and all 3 open council seats in Old Bridge, NJ. They now hold a 6 - 3 majority, and control the purse strings too.
They made history, and I'd like to think it was my
$16 that sealed the deal.
I guess once you got yourselves your very own private park you didn't feel the need to stand behind the guys who made it happen? I asked Tom O'Donnell if the town could rescind their purchase of the Faloni property, he said "no," because it's a done deal.
So my suggestion to him was this — Put a ginormous cell phone tower in the middle of it. With a big honking red light on top, to warn unsuspecting normal people they're approaching the epicenter of the Cedars Vortex of Electile Dysfunction. Because you guys are one ungrateful bunch of wankers.
Norton and Piazza lost the Cedars by 35 votes and that cost them the election. So let me ask you. Do you guys really think that Kelley and Rodgers are going to pave your streets? Hah! All Kelley cares about is removing Stop Signs. Because he can't drive 25. Will your kids be safer when those stop signs on Brookside come down? Good luck getting Rodgers to do anything during football season. He'll be an hour away in Hackettstown, and his mind won't be on your problems.
And speaking of focusing on sports instead of stuff that matters, I'd like to reserve a special place in Hell for John Miller and the leaders of the Caldwell Lacrosse Club. Their use of a tax-exempt organization's email list to electioneer on behalf of Kelley and Rodgers is disgraceful. Curiously last year, Miller was Mr. Sanctimonious when my wife sent a similar email to the lacrosse mailing list on behalf of Doug Piazza. He wrote back in a huff: "We need to limit the E-mail distribution list for the lacrosse club to lacrosse business or to inform the parents of situations that impact the lacrosse club."
Yeah, how's that rule working out for you now John? Maybe you were really upset because Tammy was endorsing a Republican? We all know how partisanship works Chief, and your true colors are showing.
Has everyone already forgotten the Jemas - Gartland - Ruane years? The fiscal mismanagement? The blatant cronyism? The utter ineptitude? Because that's what you guys voted for when you pushed the lever for Kelley and Rodgers. The entire old-time Democrat machine, the one that ran Caldwell into the ground for decades, was dancing in the streets at last night's victory party. And why not, they're baaaack...!
On March 1, 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant ("graduate assistant") who was then 28 years old, entered the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus on a Friday night near the beginning of Spring Break.
The graduate assistant, who was familiar with Sandusky, was going to put some newly purchased sneakers in his locker and get some recruiting tapes to watch. It was about 9:30 p.m. As the graduate assistant entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and showers on. He then heard slapping sounds. He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put the sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.
The graduate assistant went to his office and called his father, reporting to him what he had seen. His father told the graduate assistant to leave the building and come to his home. The graduate assistant and his father decided that the graduate assistant had to report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno ("Paterno"), head football coach of Penn State. The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno and went to Paterno's home, where he reported what he had seen.
Where were the adults? A 28 year old "man" sees a ten year old boy being raped, and he runs away to call his daddy? He can't yell "stop!", or rescue the kid? I'd say daddy failed that guy long before he blew his chance to act like a man.
Have we as a nation forgotten how to stand up for what is right? Do we even know what is right anymore?
Or have we become desensitized to child sex? We now have popular prime-time television programs celebrating teen intercourse, so long as "it's all handled very delicately and is incredibly moving."
Gleeks you MUST tune in for next week's episode of Glee, called "The First Time." It's without a doubt one of Glee's best installments ever and features two popular couples on the show having sex for the first time.
The couples losing their virginity? Finn and Rachel and…Kurt and Blaine! Yep, the couple — who was featured on the cover of EW's Gay Teens on TV issue — finally decide to take the next step in their relationship. It's all handled very delicately and is incredibly moving. I can't think of another network series that's taken a teenage gay relationship so far or been so progressive.
Teenage gay sex, it's progressive! Just ask Jerry Sandusky or Joe
I had planned to do my election endorsement posts last week, but PSE&G decided I didn't need electricty for five days so I'm a little behind on stuff like Real Work, and yard cleanup.
In our all-important Caldwell Council race, re-electing Joe Norton and Doug Piazza is the obvious choice. Kelley and Rodgers are now resorting to lies and innuendo because they don't actually have a positive message for the citizens. Don't believe the crap they're spewing. Zero is zero. Saying a zero percent tax rate increase is somehow a "tax hike" requires logic only a Democrat could understand.
The District 4 Freeholder race is between Democrat machine candidate Lenny Luciano and Republican Joseph Chiusolo. Lenny is Joe D's hand-picked water boy. Joe Chiusolo is Deputy Mayor in Cedar Grove and a proven fighter for the taxpayer. So if you like how Joe D keeps spending our tax dollars on boondoggles at Turtle Back Zoo, vote for Lenny. Otherwise join me and elect Joe Chiusolo as District 4 Freeholder.
This might finally be the year when State Senator Dick Codey, our former Acting-Governor-In-Waiting-For-Life, is put out to pasture. Dick never met a tax he couldn't raise or a problem he couldn't "solve" with some new bloated government program. Tea Party Republican Bill Eames deserves our support. Elect Bill Eames NJ State Senator from District 27. One of his key policy initiatives is to remove the NJ State Supreme Court from all education funding decisions. That alone should be reason enough to choose Eames over Codey, because Codey sanctifies the sainted Abbott Districts at every opportunity.
Codey's two henchmen in the Assembly, Mila Jasey and John McKeon, are also running for re-election. Neither of them has done thing one for Caldwell and I can't see any reason to support them. I've met Republican challenger Lee Holtzman. He seems like my kind of guy! His running mate is Chatham Mayor Nicole Hagner. Let's end the Codey dynasty and send Holtzman and Hagner to Trenton.
There's one Public Question this go-round: Ray Lesniak's crusade to legalize sports betting in New Jersey. Because what the spendthrifts in Trenton need is another source of revenue. Haven't we gambled enough on Rutgers football? A hundred million for their fancy new stadium; now there's a wise use of our tax dollars! Letting Joe Sixpack blow his paycheck on the over-under seems unwise to me. There's enough gambling in New Jersey. Vote "no."
So there you have it, the WyBlog endorsements for November 2011. Get out and
There's an election Tuesday. Yeah, it's an off-year but it's still important. Some folks are asking me, "are you still supporting Norton and Piazza?" Still? As in, there might have been a moment when I wasn't supporting them?
Let me be perfectly clear — I am 100% behind the re-election of Joe Norton and Doug Piazza to the Caldwell Council. I believe they are two of the finest people to ever serve the citizens of our town. You may have noticed the letter I sent to The Progress this week. Every word of that letter is true.
Not a Popularity Contest
Over the past three years, the residents of Caldwell have put in place elected officials that have taken the town by storm. They have inserted their professional experiences into our day to day operations and have delivered what they have promised just three short years ago. This year we were one of the only towns, if not the only town in the State of New Jersey, that had a 0% tax increase without reducing one service.
Many politicians talk about doing this, but hardly any deliver.
Joe Norton, over the past 3 years, and Doug Piazza, for the last year, have played a pivotal role in accomplishing this task.
They have made their re-election platform very clear and they have proven themselves capable to continue on the task of making Caldwell a town we can all be proud to call home. We are very lucky to have this current administration with Joe and Doug so involved. I ask that you vote for Joe Norton and Doug Piazza on November 8th and have them re-elected as Councilman of the Borough of Caldwell.
/s/ Chris Wysocki
Don't let your frustration with PSE&G cloud your judgment. Joe and Doug were out there, day and night, doing their best in an impossible situation. This storm was epic and it caught everyone off guard. Let's not toss aside their years of steadfast and selfless service because of an Act of God.
Remember, when it comes to our town, John Kelley and Frank Rodgers have made vague promises. Joe Norton and Doug Piazza have delivered concrete results.
The choice is clear — re-elect Norton and Piazza.
I really can't believe people picked those two bozos over Joe and Doug.
Well the poll results are in. And you guys really do like the weekly Obama jobs report! Who knew? Of course judging by the winning selection, you'd like it even more if Jillian Barberie was presenting it instead of me.
Not that Jillian's gonna find you a job. On the other hand, Barry ain't gonna find you one either.
You know what's funny?. Dudes from the Chicago Board of Trade dumped McDonald's employment applications on the Occupy Chicago bozos. The whingers weren't amused.
I don't care who you are; that's funny!
And if you're looking for a job, Occupy Wall Street is not on your side. In fact their ongoing smelly temper tantrums have really impacted the small businesses around Zuccotti Park. The Milk Street Cafe just laid off 21 employees. Hey, when you're making an omelet you gotta break a few eggs, right? It's not like the protesters are pretending to help the little guy or anything…
Unemployment remains at or above 9%. If anyone ever believed those White House charts showing how wonderful Porkulus would be for our economy they'd have to sputter in embarassment. Fortunately for Obama and his henchmen though, they have no shame.
Meanwhile, the Fed has quietly lowered their forecast for economic growth. Turns out things aren't as rosy as Paul Krugman would have us believe. Really.
It's amazing what you can get away with if you're a Friend of Barry. Obama-Friendly GE Building Aircraft Factory in Right-to-Work Alabama; Curiously, Unlike Boeing, NLRB Utterly Silent. Will Nancy Pelosi call on GE to shut down or unionize? Don't count on it.
Veering off topic, but sticking with Alabama, I hope they beat LSU tomorrow.
It would make Jillian happy.
The people running Girl Scouts USA have lost their minds. Get this. A boy can join the Girl Scouts, if he "identifies as a girl."
A 7-year-old Denver boy's desire to join the Girl Scouts -- and the organization's reversal of an initial denial citing his "boy parts" -- has put a spotlight on the Scouts' little-known policy of supporting "transgender kids."
The story of little Bobby Montoya came to light earlier this week, when his mom told a Denver TV station that Bobby's request to join his older sister in the venerable all-girl organization was denied.
"I said, 'Well, what's the big deal,'" Bobby's mother, Felisha Archuleta, told KUSA. "She said, 'It doesn't matter how he looks. He has boy parts, and he can't be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don't allow that [and] I don't want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor.'"
But the local troop leader was apparently unaware of current policies within the organization.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado released a statement this week stating that they are an "inclusive organization" and that little Bobby will be allowed to join if he wants to.
"We accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout," according to the statement.
It takes a special kind of idiot to believe this nonsense.
"Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them," the statement continued.
You're born with boy parts or girl parts. It's not hard to look down and decide which parts you've got. Deal with it. The whole "transgender" foolishness is a manufactured cult of victimology, egged on by deep-thinkers with too much free time and too little common sense.
The troop leader's confusion may have arisen when Archuleta kept referring to Bobby as a boy when trying to sign the child up.
There's "confusion" alright. But it isn't little Bobby or his mom who's confused; it's me. Why are the Girl Scouts pursuing an obviously extreme agenda here? The boy wanted to be with his big sister. Sometimes he can't. End of story.
Except liberal nutjobs with an agenda seized on his innocent request and used it to broadcast their willingness to turn the Girl Scouts into a freak show.
Alas it's just another example of how Girl Scouts USA has been hijacked by radical feminist moonbats. Meanwhile the Boy Scouts have clarity of thinking. If you're a boy, you're in. Unless you dress in women's clothing, then you're probably better off joining the circus or launching a career on Broadway.
What if Bobby was 17? Girl Scouts had better not try to enroll him in my daughter's troop. Because there's a name for guys who'd try that stunt and it's not "transgender." It's horndog. The Girl Scouts are supposed to protect our girls, not expose them to potential sexual predators.
Oh, who am I kidding. These days Girl Scouts USA offers merit badges in sluttiness.
My reaction to the headline in the London Daily Mail was quite negative: "Forget baking and first aid, now Girl Scouts can earn badges for style, beauty and happiness." What? Are Girl Scouts giving up on helping others in the pursuit of fashion, looks and pleasure?
I am sorry but what happened to the Girl Scout Promise: "On my honor, I will try: to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law"?
Girl Scouts USA abandoned God years ago. Now they sell lesbian baby-killing militant feminism along with the Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos. And at $4 bucks a box the local troops do all the heavy lifting during cookie season only to be rewarded with a measly 70 cents. That cute little kid at your door gets 17½ cents on the dollar; the rest of the money goes to the feminuts and their fellow travelers at Planned Parenthood.
Fortunately there are still pockets of sanity among local Girl Scout troops. My daughter's troop meets in the church basement, opens and closes each meeting with a prayer, and is fully involved in community service (of the non-court-ordered kind). This month they're making Thanksgiving food baskets, buying the supplies with their meager proceeds from last year's cookie sale.
Because what we want to teach them is service to others and self-sacrifice,
not "me, me, me."
One lesson I learned? I gotta work on my Sarcasm Skillz. Far too many people took my "tennis courts" post seriously. I thought the absurdity of labeling tennis courts as "critical infrastructure" would be obvious; apparently not.
Look, I was expressing frustration, general frustration, and the big bright target on the edge of Grover Cleveland Park was too inviting to to pass up. Don't take it personally guys; trust me, the song wasn't about you.
OK, so now that the lights are on and we're all warm and toasty again, what was really going on? And what, if anything, can we learn from all this?
Lesson #1: Communication is key.
Everybody failed at communication. Quick question; how do you know PSE&G is lying? Their lips are moving. The PSE&G call center reps are probably doing a thankless job. But that doesn't excuse their rudeness and their utter unwillingness to even try to find out any meaningful information.
On the other hand, the linemen (the guys on the bucket trucks) couldn't have been nicer. They were obviously bone tired, but still chipper and willing to give us real estimates of what would be repaired, and when. Put them on the list of winners, especially if you count all the overtime they racked up.
The media failed at communicating too. Oh sure they wrote stuff, sometimes. But most of it was useless. Coverage in The Caldwells Patch was particularly sparse. They bill themselves as hyper-local and up-to-the-minute so I would have expected to see lists of street closures and at least a daily rundown of which streets / neighborhoods were still without power. Nope. Joe D's Howl-O-Ween nonsense at Turtle Back Zoo got more pixels in the Patch than anyone's blackout saga. Our other online paper, The Jersey Tomato Press, didn't do much better. They claim to have a Caldwell edition, but 80% of the info they printed pertained to Montclair.
I didn't check The Regress; I suppose Rita Annan-Brady did her usual bang-up job of covering whatever busload of hippies from Caldwell College went to sight-see at Occupy Wall Street this week and thus completely missed the fact that we had a snowstorm at all. Or not. You never can tell with her whether it'll be an activism week or a news week over there, so I stopped caring.
Town Hall also dropped the ball on communications. Last night I discussed the issue at length with Mayor Dassing. She'd heard of my frustration and she reached out to me shortly after power had been restored. And thus we lead into lesson number 2.
Lesson #2: Everything that can fail, will.
Why didn't Town Hall do a better job of communicating? Well, it boils down to how they communicate. There's Channel 35, the local government cable TV channel on Comcast. And there's the township web site and Facebook page. Can you guess where the only access to all three of those communication mechanisms is? Town Hall. Can you guess what single point of failure all 3 of them use to send out updates? Comcast internet service.
The power was out at Town Hall. So the servers which can update the web page were down. They've got a generator, but it's 50 years old and not wired up to power the servers.
But even if it was, Comcast internet (and TV) was down too. Thanks to the antiquated IT setup at Town Hall it's not possible to grab a laptop and drive on over to Starbucks to update the web page. And with cable TV offline putting info on Channel 35 would be pointless. I suppose they could have used the Facebook page but maybe nobody thought of that. It was kinda hectic over there.
Incidentally, that Comcast internet line is also used for fire department dispatch via email and text message. That's why we kept hearing the old air horn going off day and night. It was the one backup system that worked.
We do have an Emergency Management Department, don't we? Sure we do! Maybe they could handle communications. Maybe they could, but they had their hands full too. Caldwell's Emergency Management Coordinator is the Fire Chief. He was pretty busy, what with all the electrical fires sparking up all over town. His lieutenants are all members of the Fire Department too. I'm thinking a little diversity would be nice.
And so we have Lesson Number Three.
Lesson #3: Everybody needs a plan.
When Hurricane Irene was on her way the Mayor and Council had ample warning. They formulated an action plan ahead of time and assigned responsibilities. But according to Mayor Dassing Caldwell doesn't have a generic emergency / disaster recovery plan.
Which was painfully obvious because no IT guy worth this salt would have put his whole infrastructure on one server in one building behind one internet connection without a Plan B at the ready. Caldwell has no Plan B. When that Comcast line goes down their only alternative is carrier pigeons.
"Hey," I said. "I create disaster recovery plans for a living. Maybe I can help." Mayor Dassing thought that was a splendid idea. She's going to form a committee to completely review every aspect of municipal disaster response. I asked if I could be on that committee; she said, "yes."
Me and my big mouth…
No, seriously, I think I can bring some good ideas to the table. Sophie's school uses some kind of email blast app that worked great all through the storm. Every parent knew when school was closed, when it was open, and which extracurricular activities were canceled or postponed. It's opt-in so all the town has to do is publicize the web page for signing up and the app takes care of the rest.
Caldwell - West Caldwell public schools use a similar app. And Mayor Dassing even tried to get Dr. Gerardi to send out a message on her behalf. No dice, said the educrat, it would eat up his "minutes." You'd think the Superintendent of Schools would want an "Ann Dassing Owes Me A Favor" chit in his pocket. Ah, what the hell do I know? The Board of Education and our Township Council have a long history of not cooperating. Nice to see that nothing's changed on the BOE end.
As I explained to Mayor Dassing, the advent of smartphones has made email the most reliable communications medium around. Remember, the internet is designed to route around failure. It's got built-in redundancy. With app servers in "the cloud" just about every email message gets through. My neighbor Josh maintains the Cedars Block Party email list. He used that to disseminate what little storm info he had. And soon we had quite the lively discussion going.
Lesson #4: Learn from your mistakes.
So by now you get the idea. It's time to move forward, without recriminations.
What we need to do is learn from this event and resolve to ensure
that things go smoother next time. We have to identify the critical services
(and servers) the town can't live without. Then find a way to duplicate
or replace them on an interim basis the next time Mother Nature (or the
Iranians) throw us a curve ball.
Ah, the simple joy of waking up in a warm house, with a light in the bathroom.
The power came back on last night! Yay!
FiOS took a little while longer. The battery had to charge first. Why did Verizon forget everything that Ma Bell used to know? Way back when, before computers and cell phones and high-speed internet, the phone company could deliver -48VDC and a dial tone come hell or high water to pretty much any location on Planet Earth. Now they can't keep our phones working for more than 8 hours after the power goes out because their fancy fiber optic gizmos rely on a small rechargeable battery that lives in the basement.
I think somebody, somewhere calls that "progress."
You wanna know who my first incoming call was from? PSE&G. I shit you not. It was a robo-call: "We apologize for the prolonged power outage in your area. Please be aware that repairs are taking longer than anticipated. We hope to have your power back on in the next several days."
Thought #1: Um, thanks.
Thought #2: I have FiOS, if my power was still out I wouldn't have been able to hear your message.
At about 6:30 PM last night some streets near mine got power! There was a fleet of PSE&G trucks parked, engines idling, right down the block from me. I dared to dream of warmth.
And then, they drove away.
That's right, "working around the clock" means "we knock off at 7 PM."
Critical infrastructure — our town tennis courts — are lit up like Yankee Stadium. I'm still freezing in the dark.
The neighbors, we talk. And we've discovered that PSE&G is lying to us.
If you call, the rep says your power has been restored. Or, she says there is no report of an outage in your area. Yeah, right. Because nobody has reported it yet, four days after it went out. And if she says we really do have power maybe we'll believe her instead of our own lying eyes.
Oh but they've released a statement, which the media gleefully laps up without an ounce of skepticism.
PSE&G reports that it is making steady progress restoring service to the more than 570,000 customers impacted by Saturday's storm. In a notice dated Nov. 1 at 9:30 p.m., PSE&G announced that about 67,000 customers were still without power.
So, PSE&G will admit that some people still don't have power!
The utility has restored service to 83 percent of customers impacted.
Which orifice did The Two Ralphs pull that number out of?
I wonder if PSE&G is counting my neighborhood in their "83 percent." Must be, when we called they said we have power. Yeah because the thermometer in my bedroom that reads 42 degrees, maybe it's in Celsius and I'm really not shivering in the dark all night long.
The company expects to meet the state's goal of having at least 95 percent of its customers restored by Thursday.
This morning, there isn't a truck in sight.
All around me the lights are back on.
One block over, the township tennis courts, always a popular spot with the country club set, are lit up like Yankee Stadium.
We're still freezing in the dark.
Thanks Mayor Dassing. Your lights are on.
Thanks Councilmen Norton and Piazza. You're running for re-election. I got your fund raising emails. But those updates on what the town is doing to help my neighborhood? I must have missed them.
I'll tell you what the town is doing. Nothing, that's what.
Sleep tight. The Cedars voting bloc is not impressed.
Some Democrats never learn — sooner or later you always run out of other people's money.
A federal official says MF Global, the securities firm led by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, admitted to using clients' money as its financial troubles mounted.
An MF Global executive admitted that to federal regulators in a phone call early Monday after regulators discovered money missing from clients' accounts, according to an official familiar with the conversation.
MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, faced a cash crunch following multibillion-dollar bets on European sovereign debt.
An announcement late Monday by the CFTC and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said that there was money missing from "customer futures segregated accounts" held by MF Global, a broker-dealer and futures trader.
Shades of Bernie Madoff, eh? Corzine was a little low on cash, and hey look!, there's a whole lotta cash over there! So, if you invested your money with Jon Corzine you might want to consider a fallback position, because your money is gone.
Normal people call what Corzine did "stealing." And then those people go to jail. But Jon Corzine ain't normal people; he's a Democrat, and a Friend of Barry. A Big Friend of Barry. The most he'll face are some nebulous "civil penalties."
Government rules require securities firms to keep clients' money and company money in separate accounts. Violating them could result in civil penalties.
And, if Barry manages to get re-elected, it might result in Corzine being
named Secretary of the Treasury. Then Jon can really cash in. But will he ever
make his investors whole? Don't count on it.
Another freezing night, 32 outside, 42 inside. I could see my breath when I woke up. Around my neighborhood the downed trees are exactly where the snow left them on Saturday. Nobody has even tried to move them or cut them up. There are no utility crews, PSEG says they're "working," but maybe that's on Planet Fantasy. Their trucks must be equipped with Romulan cloaking devices because nobody I know has seen one.
Local DPW and town officials are AWOL too. We can usually count on seeing DPW chief Mario Bifalco puttering around in his white pickup in between beer runs but lately he's been the invisible man. Back in the summer after Hurricane Irene there was a steady stream of politicians walking around reassuring us that things were going to be alright. Where are Mayor Dassing and her councilmen now that we're freezing in the dark? There are no bulletins in The Patch and the town website's Big News is the leaf collection schedule.
Here's a hint guys, it's a little late for that. When it comes to disseminating information you knuckleheads get an "F."
And where's the Red Cross during this emergency? No shelters are available, and there are no places to go to get warm, unless you count Ringside Pub.
Yes, I Occupied Ringside, along with a whole lot of other guys to watch football and eat wings. Thanks Bob, for letting us charge our phones.
Other than that though, it really is every man for himself this time. Nobody gives a rat's ass about us. Barry ain't comin' to Caldwell to shake hands and pick up sticks.
You wanna know what's really rich? My PSEG bill came in the mail yesterday. Yup, with the power out, with trees down as far as the eye could see, they sent a meter reader to my house. And then a clerk hit print on his PC and the mailman brought me an invoice for electricity PSEG is incapable of reliably delivering. If I don't pay they'll turn me off; hey maybe I should try that! Then they'll have to send someone out and it's not like I'll be losing something I've come to rely on.
This is the third time in less than a year that we've had a multi-day power outage. And at four days and counting it's now the longest outage too. Congratulations CEO Ralph LaRossa, you've consistently managed to lower the bar, even to a point beneath my meager expectations. Go tilt at a few more windmills and tout your Smart Grid technology. From where I sit it's all worthless. Seventy-six million bucks for fancy electic meters? Maybe you shoulda spent some of that money on tree trimming.
Chris Christie says to be patient. Easy for you to say Chief. You've got power. And heat. You aren't throwing away hundreds of dollars worth of food from your refrigerator. Again. You didn't listen to your daughter cry for an hour because Halloween was canceled. You aren't huddled under blankets in front of a fireplace debating whether or not you can make it to the bathroom and back before your toes succumb to frostbite.
To all you lame-ass self-important poobahs: thanks for nothing.