Mrs Apostate and I had our second date at a restaurant in Newport, RI. In those days, circa 1988, the Ocean State seemed like a great place to live, work, and visit. But there was a worm at the core. My, how times change...
These days, the Ocean State is the seagull in the strip mine dug by state and local public unions and their political cronies:
[T]he state could never afford the beautiful utopia it was crafting, and so politicians and union leaders chose the path of systemic deceit. Taxpayers weren’t told what the bill for the system would be; public service workers weren’t told that the pension guarantees they’d been sold were worthless because taxpayers would not and could not foot the bill.
The future does not look bright...
[WaPo] In Rhode Island, as those investments have failed to live up to predictions, the yearly burden being borne by state and local governments is growing and is beginning to crowd out public services in ways that experts say could soon take hold in other parts of the country...
The increase in government contributions to the pension system between 2012 and 2013 would be enough to fund a dozen state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Management, the Department of Health and the public defender’s office, the treasurer’s office has said.
Naturally, union officials stamp their feet and sing "lalalalala" whenever someone proposes anything except more of the same. Michael Downey, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, had this to say:
They are going to fix this for Rhode Island on the backs of people who have worked their entire lives.
Allow me to rephrase that, Sir: they are going to fix this problem on the backs of the people who caused the problem - union members and leaders. Thanks to your farsighted leadership, many of your members are going to be signing up to work part-time as Wal-Mart greeters instead of enjoying the secure retirement you told them you were negotiating.
This is how it's probably going to play out:
[Pension reform] is likely to result in reduced benefits for 51,000 public workers and retirees. Officials are pondering lowering retirement payments, replacing part of the guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-type accounts, and sharply reducing generous cost-of-living increases enjoyed by retirees.
Can you say "Greece", Mr Downey?
Citizens of California and Illinois, look sharp! Because the Rhode Island meltdown is coming your way.
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Before you watch, I want to point out that leaving out West Virginia as a coal-producing state is like leaving out California as fruit- and nut-producing powerhouse. Having said that, listen and get ready for power shortages:
Transcript, via NewsBusters:
Let me sort of describe my overall policy.
What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.
I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.
Here's Deborah Johns, mother of Marine Sgt. William Johns (to whom Casey Sheehan - yes, that Casey Sheehan - was delivering supplies when he was killed), on Obama:
Obama: Not Always Faithful
There's a lot more about Deborah Johns, Lloyd Marcus (from the Baltimore housing projects), Mark Williams, and the Stop Obama Tour over at El Marco's blog. Now git on over there and take a look.
Pope Benedict XVI wants every parish in the West to offer believers the Mass in the Tridentine or Gregorian Rite, the Latin-language liturgy used until the 1960s by every Catholic church in the world.
The Vatican is now writing to seminaries to ask that student priests be required to learn the rite, which, in widescale liturgical changes following the modernising church council Vatican II (1962-5), was largely replaced by Mass in the vernacular.
The Pope wishes every parish to offer both rites for Sunday Mass, an eminent Vatican Cardinal announced in London on Saturday. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, said: “The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.”
I can't wait! This may be pay-per-view territory, folks.
Moonbats! Arise and break your shackles!!
Denver police are stocking up on guns that fire a pepper spray-like substance instead of bullets - a less-lethal weapon used to disperse crowds - in advance of the Democratic National Convention.
The department recently ordered 88 Mark IV launchers and projectiles at a cost "in the low six figures," the company that makes the weapons stated in a news release Monday.
The request was for delivery in advance of the DNC, according to Louisville- based Security With Advanced Technology Inc.
The convention, scheduled for Aug. 25 to 28 at the Pepsi Center, is expected to draw thousands of protesters to sites throughout Denver...
Some organizers of protest groups believe police are buying extended-range Tasers and weapons that incapacitate people with high-intensity sound.
The Mark IV weapons the city ordered recently fire plastic balls filled with powder that's "like a combination of cayenne pepper and baby powder," the manufacturer said.
Don't take this lying down (unless you need a little jail time for your personal protestor creds).
Mayor Hickenlooper is a fascist!
Here's a possible anthem:
Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard, comments on negotiating with Iran and the likely prospects of success with John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton (with a headscarf) as negotiators.
To provide a little context, CNN shows us the mindset of the people we would be negotiating with...
Congressman Roy Blunt put together these data to highlight the differences between House Republicans and House Democrats on energy policy:
House Republicans: 91% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 78% Opposed
Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported
House Democrats: 83% Opposed
Refinery Increased Capacity
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 96% Opposed
91% of House Republicans have historically voted to increase the production of American-made oil and gas.
86% of House Democrats have historically voted against increasing the production of American-made oil and gas.
Drill here. Drill now. Click the ad on the top right and sign the petition...
(MailOnline, June 7) When three masked men were caught on the roof of an ancient church that had been stripped of lead worth £100,000, villagers felt their prayers had been answered.
Police arrived in time to catch the trio - in balaclavas and masks - red-handed.
Lead had been taken off and rolled up nearby ready to be taken away.
But to the astonishment of residents they only got a caution [warning] because officers decided they may just have been admiring the view...
[A neighborhood resident] said: 'The police arrived and the men came down and in effect gave themselves up.
'It seemed they had been caught red-handed. Lead had been removed and rolled up ready to be carried off.
'But the police said lead was not the kind of material you could get fingerprints from and they did not have enough evidence to take them to court because they could not link the men to the lead. I felt totally vulnerable. The law seems to be on the side of the criminals.'
And UK politicians wonder why crime rates are soaring...
The video below shows the maximum security unit at Guantanamo.
If you've never been inside a prison, I can tell you that Guantanamo is a very nice one. In comparison, the Max unit at West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP, Henning, TN) is a much less inviting space. The military obviously built the Cadillac version of a maximum security prison.
When visiting a prison, whether it's going into the Max unit in a state penitentiary or the max unit in Guantanamo, it's important to keep in mind that the men in there are extremely dangerous guys. It amuses me when people like Norman Mailer and Ramsey Clark wax rhapsodic about the virtues of the most uncontrollably violent, vicious human beings on the planet. Men who manage to murder and/or mutilate other men even while incarcerated with unending supervision.
Western prisons are, to my eye, one of the most visible signs of the basic humanitarianism of Western civilization and a beacon of undying hope that even the most depraved and incorrigible among us may, at some point, be redeemed. And a few are redeemed, I'm happy to say.
But for the unredeemed, I'll be willing to bet that any inmate on the Max unit of WTSP would be delighted to trade places with a man at Guantanamo.
Che Guevara was famous his t-shirt marketing acumen and for having the steely courage to execute handcuffed peons. Sadly, he was killed in an exchange of gunfire while begging for his life.
But a new successor may have emerged on the Left side of the stage: Talis German.
Talis courageously attacked a wheelchair-bound teen who was openly cheering Laura Bush, the Queen of Diamonds in the dreaded and menacing Bushitlerhalliburton junta. Philip Messing of the New York Postreports:
A man heckling First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna outside the 92nd Street Y was arrested after he punched a wheelchair-bound girl whose parents has told him to shut up, authorities said yesterday. German Talis, 22, was shouting obscenities at the Bushes, who were leaving the building Tuesday, when he crossed paths with Wendy and John Lovetro and their daughter Maureen, 18, who has cerebral palsy.
Well, Talis, that's a good start. It's not on the level of fearlessly shooting blindfolded and bound peasants, but you're showing promise. If you're going to make it to the Bigs, though, you're going to have to (a) strut your stuff in the t-shirt marketing department and (b) buy a large-caliber semiautomatic for the next disabled right-winger you meet.
The Democrat Party bills itself as the Party of the People. Yeah, right.
Adopting a proportional voting system for the primaries was a stupid mistake, because the Democrats have Balkanized their own party. Proportional voting sounds like a great idea. Much like Marxism sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well on planets where the political participants aren't clones.
So now, the nominee of the Party of the People is going to be chosen by the Party nomenklatura. Podhoretz predicts that the "politicians with the most valuable votes in America" (i.e., the "super"delegates) are going to milk this situation for all the political indulgences they can get.
But here's the bottom line for the selection of a Presidential candidate of the Party of the People:
A thousand or so people are going to decide this primary.
This whole thing deserves its own Monty Python movie.