Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breaking News - Sen. Edward Kennedy Dead

I was taught not to speak ill of the recently departed. So, I will not review Sen. Kennedy's life and career.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Breaking News - President Obama Doesn't Screw Something Up

I understand it is damning with faint praise, but with the current administration it is very noteworthy when they don't screw up. In this case it is really just a matter of keeping a Bush appointee on board for a second term.
Praising him as the man who shepherded the United States past the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced plans to keep Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in his job for another term.
Some criticized Bernanke's handling of things last year. Heck, some say we shouldn't even have a federal reserve. However, regardless of one's opinion of Bernanke it is obvious that he will provide more stability than anyone Obama was likely to appoint.

Considering the constant errors and mistakes of this administration (appointing various tax cheats, prosecuting CIA for efforts to combat terrorism while excusing Black Panther thugs intimidating voters, lying about tax cuts for 95% of Americans, initiating a boycott of a political opponent, attempts to push socialized medicine down our throats, etc, etc, etc.) I think it is important to applaud or at least let out a sigh of relief when they don't screw up.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Here is a pathetic story of how ridiculous the appeals process has become for death penalty cases. A local man was convicted of brutally killing a young woman in 1983 and received a death penalty sentence. That's 26 stink'n years ago! After dozens of frivolous appeals he is getting a new sentencing hearing. The reason for ordering a new hearing is some character witnesses didn't testify in person. How did these character witnesses know the murderer?
Simply put, during the earlier re-sentencing hearing, the judicial panel did not allow Davis to present testimony from prison employees about his good behavior in prison. Instead, the judges allowed written summaries of what the employees would say - but no testimony - before upholding the death sentence for Davis.
So, his missing character witnesses were prison guards who would explain how he was a model prisoner when he was in prison previously for murdering his wife back in 1970. BS!

Death penalty opponents argue that it isn't a deterrent. Well, if it takes 26 years to carry out the sentence then of course the deterrent effect is muted. Beyond that, if the death penalty was available and utilized for his first murder it definitely would have deterred him from committing his second murder.

Bottom line: There is an easy fix to this recurring problem. Once a trial is over give the lousy attorney's a week to submit valid grounds for appeal. The following week the victim's family hears the appeal. If the family rejects the appeal then carry out the sentence.

Is Pro-Bono Work Tantamount to Stealing?

CNBC just had a couple guests on to debate to merits of mandating pro-bono services by doctors. The left wing host (Mark Haines) and the socialist guest were in favor and the representative of the American Medical Association was opposed. Personally, I'm strongly opposed to any form of mandatory community service. Compulsory community service is picking up trash on the side of the highway awarded to those who commit a minor crime in lieu of jail time. However, beyond the fact that forced pro-bono work is basically punishing doctors without a crime being committed, there is a bigger overlooked aspect to pro-bono work. Truth is whether it is professionals (lawyers, doctors, etc) providing services free of charge to the indigent or corporations giving to charity it is a false type of charity. The CEO of a corporation gets all sorts of accolades for donating product or cash to a charity. Problem is it isn't his to give away. Just as politicians claiming to give $$$ to their constituents are lying it is the same with businesses. If lawyers or doctors do pro-bono work they pretend they are donating time. Reality is they just charge their other customers more to make up for lost wages. Why is a ten cent aspirin listed as costing several dollars on a hospital bill? To supplement the folks who show up in the emergency room for "free" treatment. There is no such thing as free. When people say free what they really mean is someone else pays besides the end user. Regardless of whether doctors and lawyers pad their bills to make up for pro-bono making it mandatory is clearly wrong. Slavery was outlawed in this country over one hundred years ago. When slavery was made illegal it wasn't just slavery for picking cotton or being a household servant.

Sorry for rambling, however Haines really set me off with his haughty "why don't they do it for free?" attitude. Does he expect CNBC to pay him? Or does he show up one day a week for free and call it pro-bono? Between this stuff and his being a dishonest shill for the attempt to nationalize health care and call it "reform," Haines is encouraging people to change the channel.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bob Novak - RIP

Longtime Washington political columnist and television commentator, Bob Novak died today after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Novak was an unapologetic conservative, but as an interviewer he was equally tough on a guest regardless of their political leanings. Unlike many current television interviewers, he treated all his guests respectfully and did not show animosity towards those with different points of view. In fact, he had been quoted as saying "he rarely disliked those with whom he appeared combative -- one significant exception was then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, whom the columnist called a populist demagogue and "habitual liar."

An interesting side note regarding Novak is he was baptized Catholic in his late 60's. It isn't often that you hear of someone embracing a religion that late in life. Good for him.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What Happened 40 Years Ago This Weekend?

In the news there has been a lot of talk about the anniversary of Woodstock. What was Woodstock and why is it worth celebrating it's anniversary? Woodstock was a 4 day open air concert that degenerated into a drugged and drunken, muddy orgy. Here is something to keep in mind while elderly hippies are reminiscing, over those same four days some eight thousand miles away 109 of our soldiers lost their lives fighting in Vietnam.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Thoughts and Links

Here is a creepy story that shows that even in death they won't leave you alone:
For sale: eternity with Marilyn Monroe Elsie Poncher wants to sell the crypt, now occupied by her husband, above the actress to help pay off her Beverly Hills mortgage. Her starting price on EBay: $500,000.

If you haven't read "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin I highly encourage you do so. Gave a greater appreciation of Abraham Lincoln's political acumen.

Michael Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Good move. The worst thing for Vick would have been signing with a team that would want him to start right away. The Eagles have Donovan McNabb and won't rush Vick. Heck, they may not even play him much at all. I'm not a fan of dog fighting and wouldn't allow Vick to watch my dog, but I have no problem with the league reinstating him and a team signing him. He was convicted of a crime and served his sentence. I didn't want the Browns to sign him because I never thought he was a great QB and I'm pretty sure his skills declined while in prison.

Last week while on jury duty, I had two different people after hearing my last name (Keane) asked me during breaks if I was related to a Bob Keene. To the first one to ask I responded that I had a brother Bob but he lives in the Cleveland area and I doubted that's who he meant. That guy said no. The one he was thinking of lived in Fairfield (a Cincinnati suburb) and when I asked how that Bob spelled his last name he said K-e-e-n-e and he went on to say that poor guy looked just like me. That afternoon a woman juror asked a similar question and echoed the earlier claim that Bob Keene looked like me she went further and said our voices are similar as well. Odd. She did say he is a good plumber so maybe I'll give him a call when we get around to remodeling the guest bathroom.

Today's funny headline: "Health Care Stirs Up Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, Customers Boycott Organic Grocery Store." Huh? Nutty people pay higher prices at Whole Foods stores and now they are threatening to boycott over concern that the company CEO isn't nutty enough since he isn't supporting the ridiculous health care "reform" plans being floated by congress and the Obama administration. Guy should know better. When you cater to that crowd there are some things you shouldn't say. Things like . . . you believe we actually landed on the moon or that communism or socialism are bad economic theories won't go over well with the vegan & organic food crowd.

Do you use Verizon for your cellular service? Better review your monthly bill. Apparently, they are padding the bill with extra charges. Sounds like they are only stealing a few bucks a month. However, if they have tens of millions of customers those few bucks a month add up. I have a feeling a class action lawsuit may be forthcoming.

A little potential good news: Mass. likely to lose seat in US House.

Isn't a life sentence supposed to last until the life is over? Manson follower 'Squeaky' Fromme out of prison. After the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy as well as attempts on the lives of Roosevelt, Ford, Reagan, and others it is important that we make it very clear that attempts on the president's life equal the end of your own life or freedom.

Keep this tidbit in mind whenever you here people citing stats about hate crimes and racism, etc.
NEW ORLEANS — An African-American man from Mississippi admits posing as a white supremacist to send a death threat across state lines by Facebook. The U.S. Attorney's Office says 20-year-old Dyron L. Hart of Poplarville pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to making a threat in November 2008. Hart admitted creating a name and using a white supremacists' photo to pose as a white man who planned to kill blacks because Barack Obama had been elected president.
This is not an isolated case. There have been several instances of self-inflicted "hate crimes" used to make a political point.

Lastly, there is finally a little good news regarding the ridiculous attempts to screw up our health care system.
During a brief question-and-answer session with reporters after the event, Boswell recounted a recent meeting involving Obama and the so-called "Blue Dog Democrats" (Boswell's a Blue Dog). The subject matter: health care reform. Boswell claims Obama said he's willing to be a one-term president if that's what it takes to get health care and energy reform.
Cool. I'm willing for him to be a one term president too. Heck, ten months ago I was willing for him to be a no term president.

The stock market has been on a roll since around March. Be very careful. No market moves in a straight line. Even if you believe it is heading higher eventually (as I do), the market needs a catalyst to propel it higher. Second quarter earnings season is about over. Next big dose of news will be third quarter earnings which will start being reported in October. Third and fourth quarters should be good for many companies as comparisons to last year should (obviously) be favorable. If we see a dip look for opportunities.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rifqa Bary - A Case of Conflicting Values

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An Ohio girl ran away to Orlando because she said her family threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity.

Remove the religious aspects and other angles of the story and the case of Rifqa Bary seems pretty clear cut. A minor ran away from home, has now been found and should be returned to her family. However, dig deeper and the case is not what it seemed at first. A few facts are not in dispute: She is a minor and she did run away from home. Some allegations are disputed: She was raised a Muslim and her father has threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. She claims her father made the threat and her father denies making the threat. Normally, I'd say a runaway child should be returned to their family. Normally, I'd take the claims of a child with a grain of salt. However, this is not a normal situation. Yes, she is a minor, but she is 17 years old (older than I was when I left home) meaning she won't be a minor much longer. I don't know when her birthday is, but she will reach 18 sometime in the next 12 months. Teenagers are exceptionally emotional and do stretch the truth at times. Problem with that assumption is there have been more than a few cases of honor killings of women by male relatives among Muslims. Bottom line: The risk of harm is too great to force her return to the family. At some point safety has to trump parental rights.

Labels: , ,

RIP - Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice Kennedy Shriver who passed away this morning spent the last 50 years on the periphery of U.S. politics. Three of her brothers were U.S. senators and each of them ran for president (winning in 1960, and failing to secure the nomination in 1968, and 1980). Her husband, Sargent Shriver was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1972. Her son-in-law is the current governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I normally would be unable to find anything positive to say about anyone from the Kennedy clan. However, Eunice Kennedy Shriver is clearly an exception to the rule. Despite all the relatives in politics, Mrs. Shriver was best known for her strong support of the disabled. She helped start the Special Olympics in 1968 and remained very active with promoting the program. Also, she pushed unsuccessfully against the Democratic party's evil stance on abortion and was a member of Feminists for Life, the Susan B. Anthony List and Democrats for Life of America. In 1972 her husband was the LAST Democrat on a national ticket who was not pro-infanticide. Sadly, her husband has been suffering from Alzheimers disease for years.

Rest in Peace.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

RIP - Captain Scott Speicher

In Iraq, Marines recently found remains of a body that has since been identified as being Navy pilot Scott Speicher who crashed during the first Gulf War in 1991. Captain Speicher had been officially designated as Missing in Action or Missing/Captured. False rumors and misinformation led investigators to believe he was being held by the Hussein regime. I can only imagine the anguish his family has endured over the years as their hopes were raised and then dashed. I hope this news, while not what they wanted to find out, will at least give them some measure of closure.

Rest in Peace - Captain Speicher.

Labels: ,


View My Stats