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Monthly Archives: January 2012

I am a staunch supporter of the death penalty.  My home state of Connecticut has it and has just used it on the two murderers who committed the Cheshire Home Invasion of the Pettit family in 2007, leaving the mother and the two daughters dead; Stephen Hayes two years ago, and the other culprit, Joshua Komisarjevski a couple of weeks ago.  They took three lives and this is justice beyond a shadow of a doubt.  But Governor Daniel Malloy (D) wants to repeal it, making life in prison with no chance of ever being paroled the maximum sentence.  Big mistake; there is no way you are ever going to convince me Hayes and Komisarjevski deserve to live.

The argument is that the appeal process will drag out for decades and Dr. Pettit will not live to see the day they are executed.  Dr. Pettit will be involved in appeal cases for the rest of his natural life.  But the flaw is not in the death penalty, it is in the appeal process.  The technology exists to eliminate reasonable doubt enough to justify a much more abbreviated appeal process, especially in Hayes’s case where HE believed he should die for his crimes.  According to the law, that is the DEFINITION of insanity and therefore must go through the process.  As for reasonable doubt, if there were any, [they] would never have been convicted in the first place.

Although the death penalty will not eliminate murder from the face of the earth, I can assure you there will be a lot more murders without a death penalty.  It will never deter all, but it will deter most.   It even plays in a role in the more borderline cases where maybe death is too harsh.  If you have a death penalty, you can plea bargain for life in prison with no chance of parole.  Without a death penalty, you lose you margin of plea bargain and there is high probability a killer will live to get out of jail and kill again.  Remember the Willie Horton furlough in Boston in 1992 that played a huge role in costing Michael Dukakis (D) the presidential election that year?  Not that I wanted him as president, but even liberals took notice.

We need a death penalty with only one allowable appeal that takes place within a year of the sentencing and a quick execution if the appeal is denied.  Even the murderers would prefer quick execution than having their miserable lives prolonged in a 2 X 2 cage with twenty-three hours a day with one exercise hour.  Governor Malloy, I beg you, for the love of God, please back off your mission to repeal Connecticut’s death penalty

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In my home state of Connecticut, state statute 8-30g went into effect on July 1, 1990, which set quotas for towns in Connecticut to provide a minimum amount of housing affordable to median income earners.  Enforcement of this statute begins with leaving each municipality to decide how to comply, either utilizing existing houses or multiple-dwelling units, or to develop property as needed, until a point where if too much time of non-compliance elapses, when the state shall send the barbarians knocking on the door.  The quota is twenty to thirty percent and the median income varies as it is affected by inflation and the state of the global and local economies.

In my home town of Oxford, the town is contemplating a plan to develop three sites along the main drag, S.R. 67, as these homes must be located in areas of town that have both city water and city sewers.  The plan involves mainly two-family town houses with twenty percent being affordable to median income earners.  Opposition from a group known as KOG (Keep Oxford Green) is concerned about open space and would prefer single-family houses and not exhausting all three sites to preserve some green space.  Newly elected first selectman George Temple (R) opposes the plan, but is concerned about the town of Oxford losing its right to comply with 8-30g the way it sees fit as the barbarians are coming.

I am a big supporter of open space and green land; one thing I was involved in my last ten years living in the city of Norwalk down in Fairfield County was saving the Fodor Farm property from a proposed forty-seven house development on nine acres of land in an ultra-congested area with limited open space.  I was proud to work with the Brookside Neighborhood Association, the Land Trust Organization, and a various cast of characters in city hall including then Mayor Frank Esposito, who is related to my mother by marriage.  Today, Fodor Farm is considered historic and is an active organic vegetable farm set up for visitors.  Luckily, this was not an 8-30g issue.

I think the battle here in Oxford needs to be fought on a different battleground.  As I see it, 8-30g was enacted in 1990 as a final relic of the end of the baby boomer era; and although affordable housing for median incomes is important, I think quotas have to be revised for the post-baby boom era.  The collapse of the real estate market in early 2007 has led to a lot of foreclosures which has resulted in a lot of homes in rural districts to approach median income affordability.  The housing market will never make a full recovery, even in a booming economy with a fruitful job market.  The underlying cause is the fact that post baby boom generations are smaller in size and there are too many houses and not enough nuclear families to live in them.  If single-family homes drop in price to median income affordability, why would a median income earner want to buy a town house off a state high in a commercial overlay district?  This will turn these three developments into semi-ghost towns and their appearance will deteriorate over time.  A suburb in Cleveland, Ohio (CBSNews.com/60minutes) has resorted to tearing down run-down, unmaintained, empty houses to create more open land, more land per home, and reduce the supply and demand curve adversely affecting real estate.  It makes no sense; build homes while homes are being torn down.

I fully understand the Oxford (and I am sure there are other Connecticut small towns in the same predicament) looking for a compromise plan that will comply with 8-30g and as much as supporting the IHOZ (Incentive Housing Overlay Zone) will always be against my better judgment and breaks my heart, in fairness it may be a better alternative than letting the state decide how Oxford should comply; if we are stuck with 8-30g as is.  But before the town does anything rash and makes a fatal mistake, let’s take it to the state and ask the General Assembly to devise a bill to revise 8-30g for the twenty-first century.  I believe once the case is stated, most of Hartford will see it our way clear the way for a twenty-first century solution.

I was watching the Florida debate last night (January 26) which for the most part a Gingrich-Romney showdown with Ron Paul providing the humor and Rick Santorum still providing a conservative solution America could work with. But the highlight of the debate was when the issue of the space program arose and the talk about a moon colony. Those of you born after 1964 won’t remember, in the summer of 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren set foot on the moon during the Apollo-11 mission. Five more Apollo moon missions would follow. I was there, I was seven years old (born 1962) and I stayed up late to watch Neil Armstrong say “One small step for me, one giant step for mankind” and set foot on the moon’s surface. The summer of sixty-nine was good for me, the Mets won the World Series and men walked on the moon. Fellow Americans, we have been to the moon. We have learned just about all there is to know about the moon, more than just it is not made of green cheese (HA HA HA)! We have a $14-Trillion deficit to pay off and the last thing we need to do is go deeper in debt to repeat 1969. I fully understand the debate and upcoming primary is in the Sunshine State FLA, the home of Cape Canaveral, and where NASA is big business. But we cannot afford this. Before the year 2050, we shall see a manned mission to Mars. But first, we must pay down the debt, and by then, NASA, destined to be the Amtrak of outer space travel, will step aside and a private sector company will take over the space program via a government contract creating, you guessed it, private sector jobs!

Today is Sunday, January 22, 2012 and I have just finished watching Face the Nation on CBS.  Host Bob Schieffer had presidential hopeful and South Carolina primary winner Newt Gingrich as his guest for the first half of the show.  Schieffer asked Gingrich’s questions about the debate, about differences between him and Mitt Romney, and about the personal life related question CNN’s John King used to open the debate last Thursday.  The unstinting conclusion is that Newt Gingrich won the primary on the debate floor.

As the interview closed, Schieffer reminded his guests and audience that next week’s show (Sunday, January 29 10:30 a – 11:30 a ET) would be a full hour in length and asked Mr. Gingrich if he could get Mitt Romney to appear on the program, would you [Mr. Gingrich] be willing to debate Mr. Romney for the hour?  Gingrich said he would check with the RNC but would be very interested.  Shieffer said he would put the call into the RNC and to the Romney Camp.

I believe Mitt will agree and with the one hour format of a Sunday morning political forum show, it will be Lincoln-Douglas style or very close where Schieffer will ask one global question and each will in turn deliver an oral essay stating and defending their positions with follow up at the end.  It may involve more than one question, but the harbinger is Schieffer open the show, ask the question or questions, and let Romney and Gingrich run the show until it is time for Mr. Shieffer to tell everyone “we are out of time.”  Let the games begin!

Rick Santorum wins Iowa, after the fact.  Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire.  And Newt Gingrich wins in South Carolina.  An unprecedented turn of events where three different candidates win the first three kickoff primaries, the Romney express is not derailed but obstructions on the tracks have appeared.

What surprised me the most is Evangelicals in South Carolina choosing Gingrich over Santorum.  One thing I like about Rick Santorum is his Godliness and family values profile.  Even Independents and moderate Democrats admit he is trustworthy.  Gingrich has baggage and has not lived the Godliest life, and yet he was religion’s choice.  The Nikki Haley (South Carolina’s Tea Party Governor) endorsement was based on Mitt Romney being the candidate most likely to beat Barrack Obama in the general, yet the people went with Newt.

I believe it is because debate moderator John King of CNN woke a sleeping giant with the first question directed at Speaker Gingrich regarding the ABC interview of Newt’s first wife telling tales of the unholy side of the former speaker of the house.  The speaker replied that he was “shocked and appalled” that [CNN] would begin a presidential debate that way, and lambasted the liberal media for defending the Democrats and President Barrack Obama.

The bottom line is we go to the Sunshine State (FLA) with a three man race (and Ron Paul still in the shadow).  Will Floridian Evangelicals follow in the footsteps of their Carolinian counterparts and go with Newt, or stick to the logical Rick Santorum?  Is the Tea Party concentration strong enough in Florida to outnumber transplanted New Yorkers who tend to be more liberal and would choose Mitt?  Has Newt equaled or surpassed Mitt in terms of Obama Beatability?  Well folks, the race goes on!

 

Well, the Romney Express was forced to make an unscheduled stop with the recent developments of Rick Santorum awarded victory in Iowa after the absentee ballots were counted.   With Rick Perry dropping out, we are down to four (Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul).

Another debate last night still shows Romney as a frontrunner, but the express is not rolling at full speed.  Mitt Romney is wealthy and successful.  He should never apologize for that; there are two types of Americans, those who are wealthy and successful and those who aspire to be.  Mitt’s tragic flaw is he has difficulty expressing his ideas to the middle class, the so-called ninety-nine and comes across as insensitive to the have-nots.  No one should force him to disclose his tax returns (when running for office, his father released twelve years worth), but why not, if it will help.  Of course it is going to show a large income with loopholes showing a lower than expected tax rate, but if guys like us want to achieve that kind of wealth, we would want someone who can lead by example.  You can argue for changing to the flat tax for which I am a staunch supporter, but you have to live with the way things are until the change is implemented.  If he were not a rich man, would he be able to run for president?

Gingrich was lambasted right off the top with respect to the ABC News interview with his ex-wife and lost his temper with moderator John King (CNN) for starting the debate that way.  One’s personal life should never be a factor in choosing our leaders, but in a free society, it is impossible to ensure no one will.  As much as I was not thrilled with that first question, it was better for the moderator ask it up front and absorb the negativity than for someone in the audience or on Twitter to bring it up without control over tact.

Ron Paul is Ron Paul.  Once again, light a candle for Rick Santorum.  I see him as the twenty-first century Ronald Reagan and should be given a chance.  He needs to be more assertive at debates, especially now that his three opponents are of significantly higher profile.  When he speaks, he should use the words I and me less often and show he believes what he believes as it benefits others.  Romney and Gingrich have greater financial resources to stay in the race longer.  The clock is ticking for Rick Santorum.  I can only speculate that South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s choice to endorse Romney in spite of the fact that she is a tea bagger was largely based on Mitt’s performance in Iowa and New Hampshire and that if the correction in Iowa came earlier, she would have gone a different direction.

SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act and is intended to protect intellectual property and copyrighted material on web sites.  Advertising, search engine linkage, and IP blocks are included in the methods of enforcement.

I stand with the Republican candidates for president and ALG (Americans for Limited Government) on this all the way.  SOPA and its sister act PIPA (Protect I.P. Act—all web sites have an internal address on the internet called the IP) are serious infringements to our First Amendment rights, in particular Free Speech.

The Internet is a public place and when one chooses to use the Internet as one’s media to transmit information, there is an understanding that one wants to be heard in the public domain.  Sure, we are not perfect.  Some things should not be online, such as pornography and cyber bullying, but restricting free speech is not the answer; this is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  A federal statute requiring such sites to be password protected will suffice and concerned parents of small children should set their content advisor accordingly.

One of my readers in Toronto is very concerned about cyber bullying and I still stand by her cause to eliminate it.  But not by restricting free speech.  Simply make it a crime and go after the individual and have the courts issue a cease and desist; if it continues, consider fines and jail sentences.  I am sure any victims of cyber bullying would not want their free speech restricted as they would like the opportunity to use this same media to post something and fight back at some point.

Keep disclosure on sites like Facebook to a minimum.  It is a great tool to find old friends, family members, and acquaintances, but it is not necessary to put your private info on display.