Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How do you keep the weight off around the holidays?

Wouldn't you know it everyone gave me snacks.  Oh yeah that Greek drink Ouzo 12, slept like a baby and dreamed all night and didn't want to get out of bed this morning to go to work.  I think the pitfall of many a diet is the holidays.  You have to partake, to not partake is depressing and not very social but the way I maintain is to go on a nice long walk on the morning of the holiday itself, don't eat much if anything before the main meal later on in the day and then when that's all digested do a brisk exercise routine in my room.  Won't knock off any pounds but hopefully you won't gain any.  So now the trick is is I gotta ration out the rest of my snacks in such a way so even if I don't lose I don't put it back on either.  Got a little Ouzo left, yeah baby!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Newtown Speech - Obama and Faith

The President's address last night at the interfaith prayer vigil in Newtown CT was by turns excellent, moving, inspiring, powerful, poignant and even theologically advanced.  As a conservative at odds with the president most of the time it seems these days it was still possible to have a certain amount of pride yesterday evening.  The flourishing of faith in small towns like Newtown is heartening to see even in the wake of such an unspeakable tragedy and only the most secular liberal would have been uncomfortable last night.  Folks there aren't damning God to the heavens or asking the immemorial question where was He?  I've never been to the quaint bucolic town of Newtown myself but have visited quite often the surrounding communities many times on day trips.  New Milford up Super-7 where they recently redid some of the main drag and there's their berry farm in the springtime, Stew Leonard's at Danbury a really great food experience, the Danbury Mall of course off 84 and Dick's Sporting Goods a new addition, New Fairfield and Candlewood Lake/Squantz Pond, the winding roads of's become one of my favorite places to spend the better part of a day and there's just something about the name Aunt Hack Road a side road off of 6 in Danbury.  When you like a certain geographical area you develop almost a mystical connection to it speaking of which every now and then I'd go to the Marian Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes just off of Rte. 202 downaways on 25 which actually right here at this main intersection you see signs there directing you to Newtown.  This shrine is a beautiful little place to go with a nice grotto with candles and religious statues and of course the Stations of the Cross on a gentle hill with a large dark wooden cross of Christ at the apex and then lo and behold you're almost in somebody's backyard.  All of this section of upper Connecticut is quite country with the exception of Main Street in the City of Danbury which even though there's a definite touch of squalor here there's something nice about it too and then there's the nearby town of Bethel with a quite large literal supermarket of wine and spirits.  I guess I'm one of the few conservatives who liked Obama's speech last night judging by what Hannity was saying just now on my drive over to the library.  I watched a good part of the memorial with a couple fellow conservatives and even they seemed to be softening and they're no fans of the administration.  I'm saving alot more for the Comments Section but I really think it was a defining moment on the eve of his second term. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Obama Priorities - the Rich but what about the prevalence of guns in society?

It was one of those nonissues during the campaign and Romney didn't have much to say on the matter either.  I'm talking of course about guns and not the well-to-do on which there were plenty of thoughts.  I'm kinda more concerned lately with the threat posed by guns in society and not so much on those individuals/families/entities making more than $250,000/yr. not paying their fair share.  There was lately a shootup in some mall in Portland, OR.  Before that there was of course the Batman/Movie Theater Massacre in Aurora CO.  There was most recently some weird guy who shot and killed three Brooklyn shopkeepers and he said the CIA put him up to it and then just the other day the brazen Midtown Hitman attack in broad daylight in NYC this in probably one of the most heavily surveilled cities in the world today.  Just today at about 9:30 in the morning a 20-yr. old gunman opened fire on a couple of first-grade classrooms in an elementary school in bucolic Newtown CT killing 26 people including 20 children.  The gunman is now deceased but he was armed with three firearms and wore a bulletproof vest.  Historically it ranks as the second deadliest massacre after VA Tech and Newtown is quite close to the Danbury Mall so there are alot of open questions about the gunman's motivations/psychology here and why he chose a helpless group of first-graders instead of the usual throng of Christmas shoppers. 

My position on guns and gun control is rather complex and I've enough to say on the matter to piss off both sides.  I'm not against all gun control measures, would probably support many of them but also recognize their limited effectiveness.  Liberals talk as if this is the magical solution, would that this were so.  Put simply only honest law-abiding people obey laws, criminals don't that's why they're known as criminals in the first place.  Pass all the gun control measures you want and criminals will still get ahold of guns and continue to maim and kill, that's basic existential reality.  I could fill a whole blogpage with my thoughts on the subject and they ramble in all political directions at times but bottom line is Obama seems to care more about the wealthy these days and the apparent threat they pose to the country.  I wish he were just as concerned about the prevalence of guns in our society but we can't have that discussion right now because of the Fiscal Cliff.  Obama if he were a more mature and reasoned leader, not still running a campaign could have helped put all that behind us and on to more pressing matters like, say Guns in Our Society and I'd like to hear President Obama's response on the tragedy in Newtown CT and also what his mouthpiece Jay Carney has to say I mean if they have the time since the wealthy are taking up so much of their attention lately.  There will be the usual obligatory pro-forma statements of course but you would think they would at least question some of their own political obsessions/fixations of late, sober up.  The poor will always be with us and so will the wealthy and there will always be time for those discussions but the dead remain the dead.

Your thoughts? (and don't be surprised if I might agree with you at times).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Generic political commentary - the msm framing the narrative on the fiscal cliff

The disappointing commentary of Mark Shields -- he's the liberal commentator on the weekly roundup on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer with neoconservative David Brooks allegedly providing some type of counterpoint and this happens every Friday evening.  Leaving aside the fact that I'm not clubbing, a sure sign of age I do quite often get their takes on the week's political news and events.  So usually what happens is I'm sitting there and I'm slowly getting depressed and agitated, vaguely restless, irritated and I haven't even sipped from my nightly goblet yet.  It's not that the commentary is creepy or off-center and one of the few other options is the Filth known as 2 1/2 Men so I stick with it.  It's your standard fare, quite mainstream, safe even and Shields looks all serious with his folksy jowls but I'm like when's it gonna happen? it's gonna happen if not this week then the next but it's gotta happen.  No not when is Shields gonna drop the word "dick", Vampire Diaries already does that but WHEN is Shields gonna criticize President Obama even a mild anti-?  Now I know he's a liberal but he has gotten marks in the past for being a more honest and centrist kind of lib but take the current hot topic of the fiscal cliff.  Actually there is no other topic (Sandy, been there/done that).  Now I get it that one way to look at it is that Republicans according to most opinion polls will take the heavy blame if we fall off by insisting that the top 2% can't be taxed any higher than they already are and so taxes go up on the rest of us in the vast middle class -- ooooooh populism and pitchforks!  OK I get that, I'm not stupid but what Shields should be saying (also) is WHY is Obama still pursuing this class-warfare game??? the campaign's over, Romney was defeated and then taken out to lunch and so then what also happens is Brooks more often than not kinda goes along with Shields because he always has his acute neocon antennae attuned to the prevailing political zeitgeist.  Not too long ago Brooks was the one who first made the helpful suggestion that Repubs be willing to close loopholes and deductions instead of raising marginal rates on the wealthy and everyone kinda thought that was the way to go but Obama would have none of it.  Obama is now almost overtly Marxist but Shields will never be accused of saying anything ballsy or radical or even mildly controversial.  It's always safe plain yogurt, ya gotta go underground for the unpasteurized Stilton.  It's the old familiar framework, actually the media are in a rut but the story goes the Dems are somehow wiser and more right and the Repubs are wrong.  Tax Cuts along with Obesity is now the New Evil.  In the cosmology of the msm Grover Norquist is the Devil, at least Beelzebub never mind that Obama and the Dems have no intention whatsoever of cutting or reforming entitlements, of giving Boehner and his side a few crumbs and scraps off the table.  Obama is somehow getting tagged with the populist label but is ginning up hatred for the rich part of the definition of populism? not as I understand it.  The new jobs #'s are out and 146,000 new jobs were added for November and the unemployment rate dipped to 7.7% the lowest it's been since Dec. '08.  Of course alot of this has to do with lots of jobless folks still dropping out of the marketplace permanently and I think Obama kind of actually encourages a kind of semipermanent dependent circle-jerking culture/malaised social class but don't count on Shields to point any of this out or even his sidekick.  My #1 Rule for Blogging -- my commentary is my own.  The day it becomes generic I'm retiring:)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The dilution of Christmas

I say it has been diluted.  Take Business XYZ, let's say it's a major food/convenience chain that has been closed for Christmas since they've been in business.  In fact it's the only day out of the entire calendar year that they're closed but let's say they just made the announcement that going forward they're gonna be open most of the day and some will have to work.  OK leaving aside the corporate rudeness of the act, folks have probably already made some type of plans can't it wait a year? it is explained in the clearest pc terms though that the reason we're doing this is there are also Jewish people out there, Muslims etc. as if we weren't aware of that most basic of societal facts.  I say it's been diluted.  Were Jews and Muslims out complaining why is Business XYZ closed on Christmas? probably not, let's be honest.  Government offices are still closed for this day, post offices don't deliver mail and try going to the bank.  Of course public libraries are closed and often they're closed early on the day before and maybe even closed the day after.  Now bear in mind these are all pretty secular institutions and they're all closed and nobody beats the American Library Association for sheer pc'ness.  Oh about "Happy Holidays" which some around here are probably gonna bring up, I'm not against it myself per se and say it to customers out of personal habit but there's a difference between that and having to say it.  I HATE pc for the mere reason that it's pc and its main reason for existence seems to be that some folks might be potentially offended by this or that.  Often they're not offended, I'm not offended by Chanukah but getting back to Business XYZ are they gonna make such a ringing profit on being open that day that it justifies itself? probably not as most folks just wanna lay back that day.  I think Christmas has become a generic enough holiday where only the Scroogiest of people are offended.  It makes us think about charity and our fellow man and we give, it cuts across all political boundaries and spectrums and what is wrong with a little rest now and then by getting off the corporate gerbil wheel for a day and reflecting?  It's time we take Christmas back and I don't even think Moussa would be offended.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

How does Jay Carney do it day in and day out?

I know he used to be a member of the media and probably swings liberal himself but still.  There's been other presidential spokesmen who have quit for reasons known only to them but is he really that into this gig?  I mean Hillary doesn't look like she's having any fun, she looks bored and tired half the time and she's trekking the globe and she's leaving.  It's like at work when you have a bad manager and we've all had them but there's always one who's his right-hand man who gets offended at the slightest critique>>>"oh no no no he knows what he's doing" and the two really dig each other but to everyone else it makes no sense.  The BS Spokesman, a job I could never do.