Category Archives: Politics

Freedom Cookies

By the time you read this, these cookies will be on their way to Afghanistan.

I baked them on Memorial Day for my son Alex who is serving in an infantry company in the western part of the country, a place that appears to be mostly flat and brown. I’m also sending a bocce set.

It was great to see so many people lining the streets of Albany for the Memorial Day parade. I think the biggest cheer went up for the guys who’d served in Vietnam. It seems that their number is beginning to dwindle, like the Korea and World War II vets before them.

My father, just a teenager when he joined the Navy during WW II, taught me the importance of Memorial Day, that before the picnics and parties, first we remember. As citizens, that’s our responsibility.

I’d like to challenge all Americans to remember every day that we’re at war.

To most people the war is far off and abstract, something that doesn’t mean anything in their lives. That’s understandable — but to those who have an opinion on everything and complain endlessly about our country, I’d suggest you spend five minutes a day reading about Afghanistan. I won’t try to tell you what to think, just to think.

The Dog Vote

Dogs can not vote, but that doesn’t stop me from speculating about their politics.

I tend to think of our dogs as libertarians: they oppose any sort of regulation or interference in their personal business. They don’t want anything impinging on their freedom to be dogs, but like many libertarians, they are also full of contradictions. For example, the dogs tend to be in favor of programs that benefit them directly — handouts, if you will — which is just human nature. Or dog nature, I guess.

And I do know this about my dogs: they would never vote for Mitt Romney. Not after hearing the story of Romney strapping his dog to the roof of a car to make a 12 hour vacation trip, like Clark Griswold with an Irish Setter. Just Google Romney dog for the ugly details.

To my dogs this is a sort of a canine Chappaquiddick, absolute proof that Romney can not be trusted to serve.

Don’t get me started on the cats. They are all about receiving services while not contributing much to the household. Not to get into any tired old sterotypes, but they are clearly the entitlement class — and certainly Democrats.

G’day Mate

Here’s former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke pounding a beer at a recent cricket match:

Hawke is something of a legend when it comes to drinking beer, and once held the world record for drinking a yard of ale — in eleven seconds.

This brings us to the Granite State of New Hampshire, where voters must ask themselves this question: do we want a leader who won’t drink even one beer, much less 2.5 pints of beer in eleven seconds?

Yes, that’s a terribly superficial and absurd way to judge Mitt Romney, whose Mormon beliefs forbid him from imbibing — but what about this campaign season has not been terribly superficial and absurd?

I rest my case.

You, Sir, Are Not a Conservative

I steer clear of writing about politics. Sure, I’ve got opinions, but you know what they say about opinions.

However, there is one thing that I can’t shut up about. For the last several weeks I’ve listened to talk radio hosts blather about New York’s push for same sex marriage. They claim that “conservatives” should be against allowing these couples to marry.

That couldn’t be more wrong. True conservatives are against government interference in out lives, and have disdain for laws that prohibit things like abortion, gun ownership, recreational drug use, and yes, same sex marriage. When did America get political conservatism get muddled up with social conservatism?

But hey, who cares what some idiot on talk radio thinks? It’s just interesting that the same people who want big government out of our lives want big government to decide who can have a family.

My Dad Gets Sh*t Done

You can’t really argue with this. Got my vote, Mr. Adler.

Any Witch Way You Can

The chickens of a Romanian witch? Perhaps!

Everybody complains about taxes, so when someone actually does something about it, that’s big news.

Witches in Romania, outraged over a plan to put a 16% tax on their earnings, cast a spell this week on lawmakers. They cooked up a vile brew of catpoop and dead dog, chanted some incantations, and cast the poisonous mandrake root into the Danube.

The politicians take this stuff seriously. Most of Romania has one foot in the 19th century and another in the 21st, with satellite dishes on the roof and outhouses in the backyard.Walk through a village in Transylvania and you’d believe there’s something to the witch thing.

Can a witch’s spell lower taxes? Insert the Christine O’Donnell joke here.

Me? I’m not very superstitious, but if I were, this would have been a week full of mysterious signs.

First I found a man’s keys in the street. They had fallen through a hole in his pocket. Then there was the sad incident with the dog. And yesterday I came across a small flock of ducks in the Price Chopper parking lot. I herded them to a grassy area so they wouldn’t be run over. They promptly waddled back into the parking lot.

In earlier times, these unrelated events  would have been seen as portents of… something. What does it all mean? I’d pay the Romanian witch tax to find out.

Election Day Wisdom

Once upon a time, shortly before election day, the marketing director of a local TV station went into the newsroom.

In his hand was the script for the election night promo — but this was no ordinary promo. Yes, it spoke of the TV station’s superior skill, experience, and prowess in providing election coverage, but it also told viewers they should get out and vote.

The eager young man brought his script to the veteran news anchor, a man known far and wide as the most seasoned and respected journalist on local television. He looked at the copy.

“I’m not reading this,” he grumbled. “If people are too stupid to vote without us telling them to do it, they shouldn’t be voting at all.”

How true.

The Politics of Dog Poop

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Senate candidate Joe Sestak likens the mess in Washington to dog poop:

Now that’s somebody I could really get behind — especially if it’s real dog poop in the bags.

This commercial says Sestak’s a guy who’s going to do something about all the sh*t going on in Washington. Nevermind that he spent the last four years serving in the House; that’s the sort of stuff that ruins a good metaphor.

Sestak’s spot may hit the mark, but I’ve gotta confess, one has to wonder about Belle. I don’t share my dog Maddy’s contempt for fluffy white pooches, but, well… it just may not send the right message.

This is not to say that your dog is a reflection on your character. Just because I wouldn’t want to be seen walking that thing around my neighborhood doesn’t make it bad.

And isn’t it unfair to judge a man by his dog? What are you going to do next, get down on Carl Paladino over his pit bull?

Joe Bruno is No John Sweeney

(Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Who among us will ever forget the sight of Joe Bruno striding across State Street to have dinner at Jack’s after his sentencing yesterday? He is the embodiment of arrogance and entitlement.

Say what you will about John Sweeney, but at least he had the guts to stand up in court and take his licks.

It takes a man to admit he did something wrong, and for all his tough guy posturing, Joe Bruno doesn’t have the stuff. Up until yesterday, it seemed hard-hearted to send an old man to prison. Not anymore.