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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Lately in my home state of Connecticut, it seems as though members of the legislature and the governor (Dannel Malloy) seem to be getting their way against the majority of their constituents.  Sure, we chose representative democracy or republic as opposed to running cities, states, and the nation as gigantic New England Town Meetings to avoid what Aristotle referred to as mob-ocracy and yes, our representatives are supposed to occasionally go against the will of the people as the masses don’t always get it right either and that many voices can be hard to control.  But lately, things are getting out of hand.

Sixty-five (65) percent of Connecticut’s citizens favor the death penalty for first-degree (premeditated) murder, killing a police officer in the line of duty, and for the most heinous crimes such as the Cheshire home invasion.  Yet, both houses of Connecticut’s general assembly voted for repealing the death penalty and Governor Malloy signed it into law.  The bill was written such that the eleven men currently on death row will not have their sentences commuted.  I have emailed State Senator Kane and Representative Labriola about putting this into referendum.  It is not easy but I believe if it did happen, it would be overturned.  Connecticut is still very much in debt and it will be very costly to keep murderers alive in prison for life.  The death penalty would be more economical if we would use it; the problem with the former law was the appeal process was unlimited and condemned [men] often remained on death row and died of natural causes before they were scheduled to be executed.  Senator Kane’s plan would limit appeals to seven years.

Liquor on Sunday was not all that popular among small business owners who will now have to work seven days a week to compete.  CVS did in small, privately owned pharmacies.  Home Depot did in small, privately owned hardware stores.  The liquor business was the last vestige of small business dominance in the Nutmeg State and it will now have difficulty surviving as this opens the floodgates for supermarkets to sell more imported beer traditionally only found in specialty package stores and the big chains like Al’s Warehouse will have the advantage as they have employees and can schedule them for five out of seven days with Saturday and Sunday being two of the five.  A majority of small liquor merchants stood strong against this and many of their customers backed them.  Yet, it looks like a foregone conclusion.

While a majority of Nutmeg Staters favor sensible spending cuts over raising taxes, Governor Malloy just doesn’t get it.  He is proposing eight new taxes including the possibility of requiring merchants to charge tax on the regular price even if it is sold at a discount.  Charging sales tax on property tax is being considered—that is a tax tax if you ask me—something is rotten in Demark.

I think our representatives must listen to their constituents more.  And forget that Twitter crap—they need to meet face to face the old fashioned way to show they are with us.

Time to focus on Romney vs. Obama in November.  Newt’s delegates will be released and most will now support Mitt Romney and number 1,144 will come long before Tampa in August.

For my fellow Republicans and fellow conservatives to pave the way for Mitt to defeat Obama in November, it is imperative that no third party candidates enter the race.  We cannot control someone like a Ralph Nader, or some unknown, but we can control our own.  The original seven who challenged Romney and had many a debate before the Iowa caucuses should sign a pact not to run an independent candidacy but to support Mitt Romney and guide him toward conservatism.

A vote for a third party conservative is a vote for Obama.  All one does is split the Republican and the conservative vote up the middle and Obama wins by default with a s little as 34% of the popular vote.  This means if his approval rating is less than 50%, he would not be able to effectively govern even if he does find his leadership groove, as it were.

Romney asked Newt Gingrich to be part of his team, clearly indicating the former speaker will not run as a third party.  Rick Santorum has to answer to his ailing daughter, a higher calling, and the others are either out of money or scrutinized (Herman Cain) beyond retribution.

Let’s look forward to some good debates between Romney and Obama late summer and early fall.  Romney will definitely talk the conservative talk; I just hope if elected, he will walk the walk too.  America is on a critical break point.  Let’s make it the land of opportunity God created it to be, limited government and enabling opportunity, not an endless list of entitlements.

With Rick Santorum out of the race, the Gingrich and Paul camps on both financial and delegate count life support, a presidential election between Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama is pretty much a foregone conclusion.  As I stated when I and The 7 Train chose to endorse Santorum, I did have a sub-header that I would support the G.O.P. nominee regardless.  I am ready to support Mitt Romney for president as the majority [of Republicans] have spoken.  Santorum no longer an option, I did vote for Mitt Romney in yesterday’s (4/24/2012) primary here in Connecticut.

Defeating Barrack Obama will not be a cake walk by any stretch of the imagination, but with the decline in Obama’s popularity worldwide, barring a national crisis close to Election Day handled favorably such that Obama can get credit regardless of his role, defeating the incumbent president may be the easier of the two main objectives.  The victory for conservatism is going to be more challenging.

It is very important that fellow Republicans and fellow conservatives work hard to influence Mr. Romney to show his conservative side, both as a candidate and if elected, as president.  For example, America cannot afford ObamaCare with a multi-trillion dollar deficit and could potentially bankrupt this nation.  Though Romney said he would repeal it, it will be difficult for him credibility-wise to go through with it since he is the architect for the prototype for ObamaCare when he was governor of Massachusetts.  And repeal is a relative term; he could repeal ObamaCare and then resurrect it under the new name RomneyCare.  This is not to say there is not a need to reform health care in this country, but it has to be done by passing statutes for private insurance companies to abide by; regulation, but the most limited regulation possible, there are even many liberals who admit when it comes to ObamaCare, we just can’t afford it right now.

A positive sign is Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been on the campaign trail with Obama.  He is the party’s first choice for vice president, a good conservative, and a very marketable Hispanic who can lure Hispanic votes away from Obama.  There was speculation as to would he accept if chosen, it looks now like he will albeit Mitt Romney will probably make no announcements as to number two until delegate number 1,144 crosses the plate.

Now the RNC and fellow Republicans must map out a conservative agenda to run on and to implement when moving in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Furthermore, make sure we get a good majority of senators and congressmen, not only a Republican majority, but a conservative majority—this is the recipe for taking back America and restoring the American Dream.  Now is the time for all good [men] to come to the aid of their party.  My party is the Republican party; let’s work together to ensure it is the congregation of true representation of conservatism.

I recently received an email from a co-worker and friend about domestic oil in satire form that brings up a very good point:

A lot of  folks can’t understand how we came   to  have an oil shortage here in our  country.
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Well, there’s a very simple  answer.
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Nobody bothered to check the oil.
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We  just didn’t know we were getting low.
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The reason for that  is purely geographical.
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ALASKA
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California
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Coastal Florida
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Coastal Louisiana
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Coastal Alabama
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Coastal Mississippi
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Coastal Texas
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North Dakota
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Wyoming
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Colorado
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Kansas
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Oklahoma
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Pennsylvania
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And
Texas
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Our dipsticks are located  in DC
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Any Questions?

NO? Didn’t think So.
Understood, some of the above areas are more environmentally sensitive than others.  You could probably eliminate Coastal Florida because we don’t want another [BP] disaster.  And the reason for alternative green energy development is to be more environmental sensitive—understood.  The problem is we need domestic oil for the time being to keep going and something has to power our laboratories while we develop the alternatives.  So we will have to tolerate some drilling; it’s medicine we have to take for now.

Also understand, many alternative energy sources have environmental consequences of their own.  Solar energy is relatively clean and will do well at the microscopic level—we are considering installing solar panels on the roof of our home in Oxford, Connecticut as means of supplemental energy to lower our utility bill and our lights can stay on during a power outage.  But at the macroscopic level, collectors large enough to function as power plants to power an entire [community] would require sacrificing land spanning ten football fields in length.  Recently, the Kleen Energy Corporation opened a natural gas power plant in Middletown, Connecticut, north and east of my locality and had a massive explosion.  The process of fracking to extract oil from shale rock has been known to contaminate drinking water.  Growing corn for ethanol and other energy usage is very clean, but the more corn America (and for that matter, the world) grows for fuel, the less available land there is to grow food and worldwide hunger becomes a issue (I say to that, stop growing tobacco and you’ll have plenty of corn for fuel and plenty of food, someday they will catch on).  We have to wait until we are in Heaven before we see the perfect solution anyway.

You can’t blame us Republicans for wanting to do a reasonable amount of drilling to have oil until we can reach some acceptable nirvana with respect to alternative energy and to bring the cost down so middle-class Americans don’t have to break the bank to fill the tank.  I do not, however, subscribe to the Newt Gingrich $2.50 a gallon plan he was trying to get votes in primaries for the nomination as a presidential candidate.  He did his homework determining where U.S. oil is located, but he also wants to release oil from the strategic reserves affecting the military’s supply.  If we use that up, and God forbid another 9-11-01 equivalent, we’re screwed.  $2.99 a gallon or low threes with reasonable drilling in the most environmental way possible is better than tapping into military reserves to lower prices temporarily.

Another point is the goal is to purchase as little oil from Arabia as possible; but not a reduction to zero.  America buying oil from OPEC and Arab nations is the only thing that prevents a Jihad from organizing and the Arab world torching Israel.  Some form of appeasement is necessary in this sensitive area.  The real issue in Arabia is with China buying up so much Arab oil (part of why we have to pay more in the U.S. today) is that the mid-east will ultimately go the way of Texas as oil wells start drying up.  Availability will become just as much an issue as price.  Just think, domestic oil and a gradual transition to alternatives, China could be forced to buy from us!  Perhaps this is another step in taking back America!

While cleaning out the garage, I found something dating back to my schoolboy days—a mini ten-page report I did for my ninth grade Civics class back in 1978.  As I reach the half-century mark in age, I realize it is uncanny that I could have written something this sophistication, especially with strong thesis conviction in just ten pages typed on an old Remington portable typewriter at the beginning of my adolescence.  I used a book titled Politics: The American Way, co-written by John O. Newman and former governor and senator from Connecticut, the late Abraham Ribicoff, my father’s wisdom, the late Alan E. Schoenhaus, who for over twenty-five years covered state and national political news for the Bridgeport Post, when it was privately owned by a Bridgeport family that was unusually particular about the content of the news-hole (not seen in newspapers today), and my unusually politically informed background as a youngster stemming from the fact that my grandfather, the late Stanley H. Stroffolino, Republican State Senator in Connecticut and pharmacist and owner of Stanley’s Drug Store (established in the 1930s when he graduated Columbia University School of Pharmacy until his passing in 1974; back then a state legislator had to have a second career as it was not the high-paying profession it was today and in Connecticut, the legislature only met in odd-numbered years), and the high level of political conversation that took place in the household with parents, grandparents, and other relatives on both sides of my family.  The Newman-Ribicoff book was written in 1967 and when I wrote this in 1978, the Republican Party was still suffering the aftermath of Nixon and Watergate—it took The Great Ronald Reagan to bring it back in a big way.  Some of the information is outdated, but as I was reading through it after all these years, I found a prophesy that actually did happen.

While the report starts with the beginning of the American political system when the objective was for people to run for president without party affiliation, I made reference to George Washington’s farewell address where he warned the of the baneful effects of the spirit of parties [sic] generality.  The fear of a farmer’s party, a businessmen’s party, a skid-row bum’s party, a socialist or communist party, etc. would have forced the American voter to align him or herself with the party and not the person.  On the other hand, with the electorate system we use in this country, if we were more like France with many parties or individuals running for the nation’s highest office in the same year, it would be impossible for any one candidate to ever get a 51% majority and with multiple parties, interests, and philosophies in Congress, it would make it impossible for him to effectively govern.  The result was the evolution of party specificity consolidated to only two major political parties, setting up a mandate by virtue of the laws of mathematics (aided by the electoral college) that the winner would be guaranteed that 51%

It began with the Whigs and Federalists, the Whigs carried over from the British as they were the anti-Tory force who were more liberal and in the end, did not oppose [the colonies] from declaring their independence, the Federalists evolved from The Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison who wrote of the flaw in the loose and powerless nature of the Articles of Confederation and the need for, as stated in our Constitution’s preamble: in order to form a more perfect union…

The Whigs disbanded after failures they cited in the War of 1812 and the Federalists saw new opposition in the Anti-Federalists, who would label themselves Democrats, from the root word for democracy, as this group felt the federal system was diverting the American people from the real meaning of living in a democracy—as Lincoln would say later, government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  In 1856, with the election of James Buchanan, and the pre-civil war migration to a party of the North (anti-slavery) and a party of the South (slavery status-quo), the Federalists became the Democratic-Republican party, emphasizing the importance of a republic or representative democracy and not an oversized New England Town Meeting and as rebuttal to Jefferson Davis’s desire for a confederacy, prototyped after the failed Articles of Confederation.  The Democratic-Republicans shortened their name to simply Republican.  Though the history books cite the Democratic Party as the oldest political party in America, the Republican Party is the party that stuck with the basic principles of the Federalists and The Federalist Papers, and that is why it is nickname is the Grand Old Party, or G.O.P.

As the industrial revolution transformed this country and drastically changed the distribution of wealth in this country, working class and poor Americans flocked to the Democrats and the wealthy and business owners flocked to the Republicans.  My maternal grandfather, Stanley Stroffolino, was a fiscal conservative but did not always agree with Republican views on social issues as he observed first hand in the neighborhood in South Norwalk where the pharmacy was located, the plight of the urban (actually, suburban) poor.  Likewise, I had family and friends that who worked for a company they did not own but were not completely on board with the Democrats tax and spend economics (who likes paying taxes).  But in those days, your political party was more or less your birthright; working class Democrat and business owner Republican.

One part of the mini-report my father helped me with was on page 8 as it wrapped up when I wrote about a proposal, for lack of a better term, for the two parties to realign based on liberal versus conservative philosophy.  For poor and middle class who believed in conservative viewpoints to switch to the G.O.P., and for people my father referred to as Limousine Liberals to go with the Dems.  More or less, as the century and millennium switched over, that is exactly what happened.  The election of Ronald Reagan and 1980 and re-election in 1984 turned out to be the ultimate antidote for the pestilence called Watergate for the Republican Party in America the success of Reganomics took us out of recession and got America working again and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Iron Curtain, and Communism at the end of his presidency shifted the minds of men and women from income bracket to political philosophy.  As the century and millennium turned, the Dixi-crat faction of the Democrat party, more conservative than Northern Republicans, disbanded and the old dixi-crats became Republicans.  A 1978 prophesy came to be.  As I covered the race for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, Rick Santorum comes from very humble beginnings as the son of a coal miner and Mitt Romney, if elected would be the wealthiest man ever to get elected president.  Who is more conservative?  Confirms the shift from income to philosophy I stated.  Santorum’s decision to do the Godly thing and be with his ailing daughter instead of on the campaign trail is what precluded this race from continuing and I still believe Santorum would have pulled it off creating a liberal versus conservative battle in November.

What is important is the alignment continue as status quo, or if necessary, align some other way, but for alignment in any form not be broken.  Too many of my fellow Republicans have broken away from the basis on who to vote: instead of voting on the basis of conservatism, voting on which candidate is most-likely to beat Barrack Obama.  Sure, I have major differences with President Obama’s politics, but he is a good decent family man outside the realm of politics and the disturbing part of it is the notion that the Republicans should run another liberal against him just for the sake of taking home the silver cup.  Philosophically, we will be at status quo regardless whether we elect Obama or Romney in 2012.  If this philosophical alignment I speak of is going to work, we must as people base our decision on who to vote for on how we stand on the issues.  This is the most fundamental definition of Republic or Representative Democracy; how the majority stands on issues and electing the candidate who best represents our stand on most issues.

 

I have talked about the resurrection of the American Dream and the creation of empowerment zones that exemplify the true definition, not the pseudonym for welfare zone, but real empowerment comparable to the Homestead Act where farmers got free land provided they operated profitable farms and paid their taxes.  Well, truth be told, we have to balance the budget first, even when government investing is a good idea, you still cannot spend what you don’t have.  The next president of the United States may not be able to implement any such thing even if he or she believes in it and voters should elect the right man for the time (what I liked about Santorum).  But I would like to discuss another issue that was brought up at several of the Republican debates at the heart of primary season, foreign aid, and a remedy for the future.

The candidates discussed whether or not that money allocated for aid for any and all foreign countries should be reset to zero.  Former candidate Governor Rick Perry followed up with the remark even Israel.  Well, this would be rather problematic with respect to America’s accord with Israel when the Israeli state was established in 1948.  So foreign aid should be must be greater than zero to Israel and possibly exception taken in a few others.  But this is not to say a virtual zero cannot be achieved.  Do politicians not know algebra?  Zero is not the lowest number in the universe—what about all numbers with the little minus signs in front of them?  Truth be told, we are both the nation with the largest deficit, in the vicinity of $14 Trillion, AND we are the largest debtor nation.  While countries like Israel need foreign aid greater than zero, some countries who owe us should be reset not to zero, but to balance due, please remit!  Cannot do much with a nation like Greece who filed for bankruptcy, but there are others we should start calling for our debt.  Then America can play the role of the credit counselor and work out reasonable payment plans and forgiveness of part of the nations’ respective debts owed to America over the long haul.  Even if we allow many nations to short sell us, we can still make a huge dent in our deficit.

Then what?  America balances its budget and creates a small surplus.  You cannot just bring everything you took away back—America will go right back into debt.  And with the effect of inflation, possibly a larger deficit with less effort.  If we cannot restore third rail entities such as Social Security and Medicare, we certainly cannot go back to lending foreign countries large sums of money, or disburse excessive aid money.  What about that third wheel?  Can’t give away aid money.  Can’t lend.  What does that leave?  Venture capital; investing in a foreign country’s economic success, the way stock traders invest in a business’s success.

Sure George Washington would have cringed as he recommended isolationism with no permanent alliances with any foreign country.  But two-hundred thirty-three-six years later, we are a worldwide economy.  American soil is too limited in natural resources now a day to go back to the days of the Father of our Country albeit the wisdom of Mr. Washington shall never be taken in vein.  Once the budget is balanced or if a balanced budget is just around the corner,the president, when he or she attends the next G-20 Summit, should suggest the creation of a Worldwide Bourse to allow America and any other strong financial nation to invest in a developing nation, such as the middle-Eastern nation recently sowing seeds of democracy.  Interesting word—bourse.  The Bourse in pre-twentieth century Great Britain was one of the world’s first major trading exchanges; mainly commodities such as corn and wheat, as corporate stock did not really exist in those days.  A Worldwide Bourse would allow strong financial countries to invest in developing countries and there would be no need for American or anyone else for that matter to loan them money at the risk of not being paid back or giving away foreign aid like money grows on trees.

Like I said, America has to balance its budget first, but it is a strong thought for the future.  Not only economically, but larger investments can be made for those developing nations choosing to be democracies, and America (or any other democracy) would have the option not to invest a penny in a nation that insists on tyrannical rule putting its people through tyranny and oppression.  This is in no way a substitute for putting a stop to outsourcing and manufacturing in America, but the investment will trickle down to the reconstruction of the American Dream with respect to resources we need that our own soil can no longer provide.  Let’s have a plan for this bourse that we can vault for now, but unleash in a big way in due time, in God’s time.

Death Penalty Repeal

It happened last Friday the 13th (4/13/2012).  The unthinkable happened.  In the aftermath of the conclusion of the Cheshire Home Invasion trials where both Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were sentenced to death for their most heinous crimes against the Pettit family, both houses of the general assembly passed unthinkable bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, making life in prison with no chance of parole the maximum sentence.  Governor Malloy is going to sign it into law this coming Friday, April 20th.  They passed the legislation terming it proactive though I think it a stretch of the definition of that word.  What it means is that both Hayes and Komisarjesky can still be executed as that was the law of the land at the time of their sentences.

OK, water is wet, isn’t it?  Mobil is the detergent gasoline (early 1970s slogan before the merger with Exxon); all gasoline with the exception of white gas typically for marine applications contains detergent.  We already have something in the Constitution called the ex post facto clause that says just that: if they pass a law in North Dakota on Monday, April 23rd that says you cannot ride a bicycle on Sundays and you rode you bicycle near the Bismarck state capitol building last Sunday, April 22nd, you cannot be arrested and charged with anything because the law of the land did not prohibit it at the time.  How does the legislature’s pro-activity add any teeth to the repeal?  Part of the problem with Connecticut’s death penalty law of the very recent past is that the appeal process was unlimited.  It took twenty years to execute serial killer Michael Ross and it looks like he will be the last man to get that lethal injection in the Nutmeg State.  Proactive, ex post facto, what’s the difference?  The appeal process was unlimited then, now that the law is off the books, I doubt anyone is even going to try, the powers that be will just let the appeal process fester; poor Dr. Pettit.  Hayes and Komisarjesky will always have access to visits by their family members.  Dr. Pettit has to wait until St. Peter calls before he will be reunited with his wife and daughters—doesn’t sound like justice to me.

State Senator Robert Kane, who represents my district in Oxford, CT was a staunch supporter of maintaining the status quo and having a death penalty for the most heinous crimes; and he wanted to limit the appeal process to seven years.  That is how you give teeth to capital punishment—USE your death penalty.  Connecticut should be more like Florida and Texas; it WILL deter crime if the global implantation process is engineered properly.  If one has been convicted of first degree (premeditated) murder or for killing a police officer in the line of duty by a jury of his or her peers, that’s enough— seven years, is plenty of time to overcome errors and discrepancies.  Especially with the high tech crime prevention computers and forensic techniques of the twenty-first century.

Remember, to make it in a limited government arena with opportunities replacing entitlements, the added freedom with government being limited magnifies our responsibility level tenfold.  We have to punish our bad guys (and gals).  The Bible does say an eye for an eye.  That also means a life for life; I am not suggesting using the death penalty in any crime that does not involve loss of life.  I am tempted to suggest it for rape, but if the penalty for rape is exactly the same for murder, the rapist is more likely to kill [his] victim.

Anyhow, it was a fatal mistake for Connecticut.  It will cost more to keep them in prison until they die a natural death than if you had a death penalty, streamlined the appeal process, and used it.  And what about Treyvon Marton in Florida?  Had Treyvon been killed by a Connecticut-ite, there would be even less chance for justice.  I hope future governors, state senators, and state representatives will reconsider this someday.