Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Evil Pays a Visit

By now the entire state is aware of the horrible triple murder last week in Cheshire which left a mother and her two daughters dead, and a very badly beaten father in mourning. The details are quite gruesome, and have left most of us outraged.

The act appears to have been a random. The mother and youngest daughter were spotted by two ex-con petty theft drug addict types at a Stop and Shop, were followed home, and at 3:00 in the morning, they broke in and committed their vile crimes.

Connecticut has not executed anyone since serial killer Michael Ross in 2005. But this case clearly deserves the death penalty, and thankfully, that is what is being sought.

There may be no punishment that fits the crime here... even if the state could somehow set these monsters naked in a room full of starving Rottweillers with their scrotums painted in gravy, the results would be too good for them.

None of these beasts served their full sentences for prior crimes. Granted, none of their prior crimes were considered "violent." But when someone serves 50% of their sentence, that isn't Truth in Sentencing, that's Half-Truth in Sentencing.

Also, implementing the death penalty takes far too long in this state. It seems Death Row inmates are likely to die of old age before they get executed. Even Michael Ross was executed only after he gave up his generation-long legal battle. Had he fought on, he would still be alive today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

$4 Million for Nothing

Connecticut's latest U.S. Senator to seek the Presidency, Christopher Dodd, has spent about $4 million in the last quarter to buoy his Quixotic bid. He still registers in Democratic preference polls somewhere between my mailman and former president Lyndon Johnson's corpse.

According to the Hartford Courant, Dodd spent $4.37 million in the 2nd quarter of 2007, while taking in $3.28 million. This compares interestingly to Hillary Clinton's intake of $27 million or Barack Hussein Obama's $33.1 million raised in the second quarter.

It's not that money necessarily speaks to the validity of one's message. But it can indicate the sort of reception the message is getting. Dodd is trying very hard right now to get noticed. His campaign claims that he is focusing on New Hampshire and Iowa. He has nine offices in Iowa, ran five television commercials there, and is polling under 1% there. He is also under 1% in New Hampshire.

In other words, he's going nowhere while missing plenty of votes in the U.S. Senate to get there.

Among the people who have thrown their money away on Dodd are former CT Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., and actor John Lithgow. If these guys want more bang for their buck, they might as well toss their cash in the street.

Monday, July 16, 2007

LARD: Connecticut's Obesity Problem

It’s summertime, and we all know why we go to the beach; get a little sun, swim in the surf, probably have a few drinks. We all know what we see when we get to the beach: Squealing children, back hair, men in tight bathing suits showing off too much of too little, and of course… fat people.

There are incredibly over-sized people everywhere, immodestly displaying the skin that covers the sizable portions of their girth. These people can be counted on to bring their overweight children to the beach with them, engage in no physical activity while there, apart from that involved in carrying massive amounts of junk food to consume while there.

On a recent trip to a beach, I witnessed one young woman who was so heavy she had about three feet of the fabric from her bikini bottoms jammed up her crack. It appeared that the bottoms had the word “LARD” scrawled across them. Appropriate, I thought. Then she bent over to grab a bag of Fritos, and it became obvious that the bottoms actually read “LIFEGUARD.” Nothing brings into focus the epidemic of obesity like a visit to the beach.

Obesity has been on a steady incline in Connecticut, like in most of the rest of the country, since the 1990’s. It is estimated that 37% of state residents are overweight, and 18% are obese. About 48% are reported to engage in almost no physical activity. In 1985, less than 10% of Connecticut’s population was considered obese.

According to the Connecticut Hospital Association, Connecticut is ranked with the fifth lowest prevalence of obesity in the nation. However, the increase of obesity from 1993-2002 of 64% outpaced the national average. This creates obvious health issues. Along with increased obesity comes increased cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure. This puts a giant strain on the healthcare industry. It is estimated that 9% of all healthcare spending is associated with obesity-related expenses.

The CT state legislature has, like other state legislatures, attempted to tackle the problem with bills that ban soda and snack sales in school. These are band-aids. The real root of the problem is at home. When obese parents who were never taught about nutrition and exercise pass on these habits to their children, you have an epidemic that perpetuates itself.

The state needs to educate parents and children in this area, or the obesity rate will continue to grow, and spill over like a flabby gut out of tight jeans into the next generation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Waterbury Candidates Online

This campaign season the three current major candidates for Mayor of Waterbury have campaign web pages. This is apparently the first time that has happened, and the Waterbury Republican-American asked me to review all three web pages.

Ghengis Conn of CTLP fame and I were both asked by Steve Gambini of the Republican-American to give our thoughts on the campaign web pages of these candidates. Our thoughts were published in the print version of the paper on Monday, July9th. Unfortunately, to access the article online you have to pay. The irony!

I am reprinting below my full comments to Mr. Gambini with regards to those sites. Please note that I did not give grooming tips, like the fact that Michael Jarjura should abandon his 'George Costanza' approach to fashion. If you are interested in Waterbury Politics, I encourage you to check these sites out.

Dennis Odle -
Odle's site has the most bells and whistles. He has updated and relevant information, provides an email alert service which gives you incentive to return to the site, and a place to contribute money and sign up to volunteer for him. Those are the critical things.

He is also attempting to do a blog on his site, which I think is a mistake... it's a nice attempt to be interactive, but he is trying to put too much on his site. I almost half expect to see a Dennis Odle video game for kids to play, or a digital coloring book of the monuments of Waterbury.

Tony D'Amelio-
I probably like the look of this site the most. It's not overly-busy, and the graphics are nice. His news section is also the best of the three candidates, and shows his record off. He has that critical internet contribution ability. He might want to consider adding the sign up capacity for email alerts, which are important and bring traffic back to you.

D'Amelio also showcases his family front and center on the first page, which I think is a great touch.

Michael Jarjura-
The worst by far, is the Jarjura site. Working your way through it is painful. It hasn't been updated since his write-in victory two years ago despite the fact that the new campaign season has begun. It has juvenile graphics, almost no relevant information (even if it were still 2005) and provides visitors with no ability to donate to the campaign over the Internet.

I have seen websites for church bingo nights that are more lively, informative, and exciting.

In summation, both Odle and D'Amelio have fairly decent sites. Odle could probably pare his down a bit, and D'Amelio could add some more things. But the pages are in their infancy and will hopefully develop with the campaign.

The Jarjura site is not in its infancy... it is postmortem from 2005, and he needs to fix that yesterday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Fourth of July

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

I hope all readers will have a tremendous Fourth of July holiday with their family and friends, and spend at least a little time reflecting on the sacrifices of those generations before us who have kept this nation free and independent since its founding in 1776.

I don't know how we can possibly get through a Fourth of July without another public service announcement from George Jepsen, crouched behind a blast shield wearing a kevlar vest warning us of the lethal dangers of sparklers, but I'm sure we'll manage.

Our nation is great, and will continue to be so.