Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Survey...Another Last Place Finish

New Jersey comes in last place on a ranking of business friendly states. I guess that explains why Jon Corzine isn't touting his record in his re-election bid.

Of course, New York is the runner-up, with California getting honorable mention.

South Dakota has the most "business-friendly" tax system, and New Jersey has the least, according to the Tax Foundation's 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index released today. The Index measures the competitiveness of the 50 states' tax systems and ranks them accordingly based on the taxes that matter most to businesses and business investment: corporate income, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance taxes.

Over-regulation, high taxes and a ridiculously generous taxpayer funded pension system for public employees will tend to drive businesses away. This especially impacts small business where most of us are employed. Is it any wonder populations are fleeing...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recycling For Government Waste

Californians could soon be paying new deposits on half-gallon juice jugs, small juice boxes and soy drink containers -- and handing over twice as much as they already pay on some soda and water bottles -- because lawmakers have been raiding the state's recycling fund to help balance the budget.

Officeholders have yet to repay $451 million they've taken from the recycling fund since 2002 to cover the state's bills, siphoning away $100 million this year alone. Recycling and deposit redemptions, meanwhile, have risen amid the recession and the fund is now facing bankruptcy.

Excellent--more new tax money for the government to waste. When private enterprises overspend they are forced to make tough choices. Not true with the government. They just raise taxes. This one is particularly priceless.

Recycling advocates concede that the larger deposits won't pay for new programs. But they say extending deposits to more than 5 billion containers annually will curb the waste that ends up in landfills.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who shepherded the legislation, said it is necessary "to make the program whole and make sure that recycling continues."

"The money's been taken for other purposes," said Bob Achermann, executive director of the California/Nevada Soft Drink Assn. "It seems a bit disingenuous."

In the end, it's always the consumer who foots the bill.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Michelle Phillips - Stage Left

Michelle Phillips, the ex-wife of the late John Phillips, says her stepdaughter Mackenzie Phillips is lying about having an incestuous affair with her father.

Everyone knows that Papa John was a terrible father and role model, but this is beyond the pale, isn't it?

For what it's worth, Mackenzie’s half-sister and Michelle's daughter Chynna believes the story.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Repercussions, What Repercussions?

New York State Sen. Hiram Monserrate of Queens listens to his attorney Joe Tacopina outside Queens Criminal Court in the Queens borough of New York Monday. He is accused of attacking his girlfriend with a broken bottle during an argument in December and may lose his senate seat if convicted.

Again, "... [Monserrate] may lose his senate seat if convicted."

Not only will he not lose his NYS Senate seat, he'll be re-elected in landslide fashion. To quote Cindy Adams, "only in New York, kids, only in New York..."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paterson Defiant

A defiant Gov. Paterson Sunday said he still plans to run for a full four-year term next year despite a stunning White House request that the poll-challenged governor step aside.

How often does the President of the United States request that a state leader step aside? Can Paterson's situation get any worse?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

There Goes The Neighborhood

Squeaky Fromme moving to Upstate New York.

Surely it isn't to find work; job creation is a foreign term in these parts. Hmmm...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mel Torme

Scott at Powerline with a tribute

Torme wrote a very colorful autobiography before his death in 1999.

"Mel Torme is the only white man who sings with the soul of a black man."
-Ethel Waters

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alan L. Wisniewski - Project 2996 Tribute

It has been 8 years since the attacks of World Trade Center I and II, The Pentagon, Shanksville, American Airlines Flights 11 & 77, and United Airlines Flight 93 & 175.

We should never forget those who lost their lives to an act of terrorism simply because they enjoyed the freedoms of living in the greatest country in the world.

I worked in the South Tower on the 17th Floor and was able to evacuate before the tower fell. There were many who were not as fortunate.

Alan L. Wisniewski was an Associate Director at Sandler O'Neill, an investment banking firm located on the 104th floor of the South Tower. According to his wife Kathy, family meant everything to Alan.

From the site:

"The thing that was most important to him was his family," his wife said. Because of a 90-minute commute each evening, he did not return home until 8:30 p.m., when his youngest children were already asleep. So weekends were devoted to his wife and three children: Erica, 15, Jessica, 6, and Matthew, 4.

He loved to ride his bicycle long distances along the Shore.

An avid Notre Dame and Yankee fan, Mr. Wisniewski faithfully took his children to a Dad and Kids YMCA camp weekend in the Poconos each summer. He talked about computers at career day at his children's schools. He dressed up as a Ninja Turtle to entertain kids as part of a program that offered free fingerprinting to Howell's youth. He donated a week's vacation to a Blairstown camp for children with cancer.

From the guestbook:

Alan was my best friend and the most caring person I will ever know. Alan was a devoted father and had a tremendous faith in God. He will never be forgotten as he will always live in our loving memories and in our hearts.
Peter Piasentini,
Howell, New Jersey

We will never forget those who lost their lives eight years ago today. Their memory will be cherished by those who loved them and live forever in the lives that they touched.

A Better Place

Cry for me no more
the many tears of sadness
My time in this world was over
and it came for me to pass.

Bring the photos of old time
and see them not with tear-filled eyes
But with eyes of joy and laughter
and smile once more with me.

Know that I am in a better place
one without disease
without hatred and without death
This kingdom I now call home.

I wait here for you
When your time comes to pass
to ease the transition
from the old to the new.

Cry for me no more
Remember only the laughter
For I am in another realm
And I wait to see you again.

God Bless You Alan, and God Bless America!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cape Cod Shark Sightings Close Chatham and Orleans Beaches

In Chatham:

Swimming has been prohibited at all Chatham oceanside beaches for the remainder of Labor Day weekend because of several great white sharks spotted off Monomoy Island, Harbor Master Stuart Smith said yesterday.

Gregory Skomal, a senior biologist and shark expert with the state Division of Marine Fisheries, said he spotted four great white sharks off Chatham's coast yesterday. That prompted beach officials at North Beach, Lighthouse Beach, South Beach and Hardings Beach in Chatham and Nauset Beach in Orleans to raise the red "no swimming" signs, much to the disappointment of beachgoers trying to enjoy the last big weekend of summer.

Kevin Tomany was taking pictures of his 14-year-old son surfing at Nauset Beach in Orleans yesterday morning when his 300-millimeter lens focused on something else entirely.

He said a sudden commotion in the water about 300 to 400 yards offshore turned out to be a shark. He was able to see, through his telephoto lens, half a shark protrude briefly from the water. It wasn't the back end, either.

"I saw jaws," he said.

Tomany, an orthopedic surgeon with a summer home in East Harwich, showed the photo to the beach patrol officials on Nauset Beach. He said they downloaded the image to send it to Skomal for identification. "I don't think there is any reason to panic," Tomany said. "It was clearly far away from any swimmers."

Tomany took his shark photo at about 11 a.m. The beach patrol officials saw no reason to close the beaches at that time. But hours later in the early afternoon, they decided to shut down the beach because more sharks were in the area, he said.

"The police came and got us all out of the water," Tomany said.

What Would Winston Say?

More revelations concerning the release of Lockerbie terrorist Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi:

Medical evidence that helped Megrahi, 57, to be released was paid for by the Libyan government, which encouraged three doctors to say he had only three months to live.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


One of the best scenes in the film Casablanca is the scene where the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, is sung over the German song Watch on the Rhine. In the film, Victor Lazlo, played by Paul Henreid asks the band to play La Marseillaise and Rick (Humphrey Bogart) gives them a nod of approval.

Closeups are of the principle characters: Bogart, Henreid and Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa). The singer with the guitar, played by Mexican actress Corinna Mura, was uncredited in the film. Rick's jilted girlfriend, Yvonne, is shown with tears in her eyes and shouting "Vive la France!" at the end of the song. Yvonne was played by French actress Madeleine Lebeau who fled Paris with her Jewish husband in 1940, reaching the gateway city of Lisbon and eventually getting into the United States with temporary Canadian passports after being stuck in Mexico.

Before Casablanca, Lebeau had a small part in the Olivia de Havilland, Charles Boyer and Paulette Goddard 1941 film, Hold Back the Dawn, coincidentally about refugees trapped in Mexico trying to get into the United States during World War II.

And, of course, Claude Rains, as the Vichy Captain Louis Renault, steals almost every scene that he is in.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Hypocrite in the State House?

A Westport lawmaker who voted to hike the state sales and alcohol taxes was spotted brazenly piling booze in his car - adorned with his State House license plate - in the parking lot of a tax-free New Hampshire liquor store, the Herald has learned.

Mike Cimini, owner of Yankee Spirits liquor stores in Sturbridge, Attleboro and Swansea, said he’s lost about 10 percent of his business since the booze tax went into effect Aug. 1.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable that a Massachusetts state representative would be that hypocritical, let alone be that bold to actually drive his car with political plates to a New Hampshire liquor store,” said Cimini, noting Rodrigues represents communities close to his stores. “He’s up in New Hampshire to avoid the very taxes he approved.”

Christian Bale, Method Actor

Photos have surfaced of a gaunt Christian Bale on the set of The Fighter, in which he portrays a real-life boxer turned drug addict.

Remember what Robert Mitchum said about method actors?

These kids only want to talk about acting method and motivation; in my day all we talked about was screwing and overtime.


Move Along, Nothing to See

Reports of a possible attack by a juvenile white shark on a swimmer off Carlsbad have surfaced on the Internet but should not be cause for alarm.

Unless you happen to be the person attacked...

Is The Jury Is Still Out?

Investigators nicknamed Jack Louis Sporich, a 74-year-old retired engineer, the Pied Piper of pedophiles. He was classified as one of California's most dangerous sex offenders.

In the 90s, Sporich served 9 years in a California prison. Prosecutors allege he molested more than 500 young boys since the 1960s. He was released from the Atascadero State Hospital in 2004 after juries disagreed on whether he would reoffend.

70th Anniversary of the Beginning of World War II - ETO

Polish Calvary vs. German Tanks

Or, is it a myth?

Call me crazy, but I'm siding with the Poles on this one.

“This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by eleven o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you that no such understanding has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.”
- Neville Chamberlain

We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
-Winston Churchill

All About Ronnie

R.I.P. Chris Connor

Happy Belated Birthday Lester Young

From All About Jazz

He called her Lady Day and she called him Pres...

Devoted legislators debate vital issues (snicker)