Jeff Sessions?

Do you think that Jess Sessions would make a good Attorney General? That might be a tough pick to get confirmed, considering his history of racially-charged remarks. Ronald Reagan tried to appoint him as a Federal Judge when he was in office, but was shot down.

In and Out of Trump Tower…

With speculation amidst all the comings and goings on Trump Tower lately, the media is having a field day with President-Elect Trump and his transition team as they seek to establish suitable candidates for the many positions they must fill. I would remind the reader that past presidents have taken as much as 6 weeks or more to fill the key slots they must have ready to go by Inauguration Day. Many names have been floated for key positions and a couple are done deals, such as Steve Bannon (the one I question the most). That said, I’m pretty sure that there’s no candidate whose entire list I would necessarily agree with.

Everybody’s favorite film maker Michael Moore paid a visit to Trump Tower and made [what he knew would be] a failed attempt to see Mr. Trump. While I will give credit where credit is due to some of the points he has raised recently (such as Mr. Trump’s inevitable win and how the far-left has been out of touch with the average American voter), his visit was obviously designed to draw attention to himself. He asked the President-Elect  in a note to do [what he thinks] is the right thing and step aside to let the person the popular vote elected (Clinton) assume office. Sure. He is all about reforms and the party that is out of touch with the blue collar middle class voter — so he wants Trump to let Clinton take the reigns? Right. The ‘panderer in chief’ who would have little to no regard for the plight of the American family and would undoubtedly continue the catastrophic course the country has been on.

Look, I have never been a huge fan of Trump, but I think a Clinton victory might have been even worse. It is a shame the Libertarian party couldn’t actually produce a viable, informed person to run for the office. If ever there was a chance for  a third party candidate to gain traction, it was this year! At least we would have had a much clearer choice.

President Trump

I never though I would attach the word president to the name of Trump, yet this is what we have come to. Do I necessarily think it is a bad thing? Time will tell. As a principled conservative, I cannot say that Donald represents my thinking in its entirety, for sure. But perhaps enough. Certainly, Hillary does not conform to my moral/ethical standards at all. Not really much of a choice for me this year. The Republican party now has the majority in the House and Senate, as well as the presidency. Let’s see what they can get down in the next two years. One thing is for certain: the Democrats can be expected to regroup and come after them in full force. If they don’t get some things done that were promised to Trump’s supporters, their majority will be short-lived and he will be a one-term president. I realize I state the obvious. There is not much else I can say about the subject right now.

I will remind the readers of this blog who share my faith that Jesus is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords, no matter who humanity elects to power! There is certainly some comfort to take from that.

 

The Vinyl Phenomenon

The past couple of years have brought a renewed interest in a format many had considered long dead: the vinyl LP. While not really having died in the first place, it had taken a serious downturn and few albums were coming out in vinyl compared to the compact disc and now to MP3s and other digital formats.With a renewed interests and vinyl sales at a 28 year high, where do you go to look for those previous musical gems? Sure, you can order online from retailers such as Amazon and other similar venues, but what about browsing locally for some hard-to-find titles in good shape or perhaps some new rarities? Well I have some suggestions.

I am going to offer some recommendations as to where to shop for vinyl within driving distance in southeastern Connecticut. In Niantic, CT there is Tumbleweeds, which has been on Main Street in Niantic for 40 years, which I only recently discovered! My wife and I visited recently and I have the following thoughts on the place: great selection, sometimes expensive and they have a poor return policy for defective albums. The woman who runs the place told me they offer two days to return a record if there is a problem. I live in Norwich and sometimes it could be really hard for me to make the trip there within 2 days of purchase. I would think at least a week would be appropriate. Most eBay sellers have no trouble accepting returns within a week — not just 2 days max. Some people on Trip Advisor have written bad reviews about the place, particularly regarding price and the attitude of the owner/operator. I found her to be pleasant enough, though, and will return to peruse the large selection again. Another place I really like (and this one gets the nod as my favorite used record shop) is Mystic Disc in downtown Mystic, CT. Although very small in size, the place is crammed full of vinyl and the prices are reasonable for the quality. I find the owner Dan, who has been there for 30+ years, to be both knowledgeable and courteous. I can attest to the fact that he stands behind the records he sells, too. I have been doing business there for many years and plan to continue to do so. My third and final recommendation, if you are looking for some collectibles and “exclusives,” is Newbury Comics. A small chain of stores [I believe] based out of Massachusetts, they offer many exclusive new re-releases of older and newer albums in some crazy colors that are just fun to have. You can browse their stock in store in Warwick, R.I., Manchester, CT, and many MA and NH locations and online as well. They have a pretty decent inventory in their stores to look through. I know they have a couple of new exclusive releases of older holiday albums coming out that I am looking forward to getting.

Hopefully, this will give you some good starting places to get your hands on some great older and new vinyl! If you find a place worth knowing about, please email me at davew0958 @ gmail dot com.

The Norwich Bulletin

Last winter I chose to take the Norwich Bulletin up on their offer for a low cost year of unlimited digital access and a regular delivery of the Sunday paper. My wife loves the Sunday paper and especially enjoys clipping coupons and planning our weekly grocery shopping based on who has what and for how much. The value was very good at $20 for a year of Sunday papers and 24/7 access to the e paper. Or so I thought.

I had previously subscribed to the paper with daily delivery, but finally canceled when I often would not get the paper as agreed to. I would get a story about late trucks or an empty promise that someone would bring me a paper (which has never once come to fruition). Such problems have started happening again. There has been more than one occasion in recent times where the front porch held no Sunday paper for us and all a phone call did was waste my time with more stories of late trucks and promises for a delivery that never [not once] happened. For the record, we did find a note in the last paper we received that offered no apology, but did provide the carrier’s name and address so we could send him tips directly and bypass the Hartford Courant — which is now supposedly in charge of delivery services and will keep some or all of his gratuity.

I don’t understand how newspapers — which are at best struggling to be relevant in the information age we live in, can afford to lose customers over poor service? I know that when our subscription ends, I will not be renewing it. I can’t rely on it being delivered. Even at the full price, I would be getting it — if I could count on it. In fact, if these issues had not been so numerous over the past few years, I would still get it delivered 7 days a week. It is a shame such a basic service can’t be fulfilled as advertised. At least that is my personal history with it.

State To Loan NPU $13.5 Million

The State is going to provide Norwich $13.5 million in low interest loans to upgrade its water treatment plant. There are two things that are a little hard to understand about this: I thought that Connecticut is basically broke and has to make all kinds of drastic cuts — yet it has 13,500,000 to loan to Norwich? I have this feeling we are not the only town receiving “low interest” loans. Secondly, what about the exorbitant water/sewer rates that we residents are currently paying? I have watched my water and sewer bills balloon n the past 5 years since I have had the pleasure of living in Norwich. Can I expect even higher rates since we seem to have to borrow all this money? If so, where is it supposed to come from? Just askin’…

Norwich Budget

I read this morning that the City Council passed a budget for this fiscal year that contains serious cuts to make up for the losses due to declining revenue from state and local sources. The vote was close: 5-4. Democrats were against the cuts (what a surprise) and one Republican sided with them. My question to those who oppose the cuts is this: what is your alternative? Raise taxes again? Watch more people leave the city and see even more of a revenue decrease?

I hate to see positions eliminated, especially in the current economic climate in this state which isn’t conducive to the idea of finding anther job right away. I’m sure we need the case worker whose position is being eliminated. I hate to see cuts to such vital institutions as the Otis library. But what is the alternative? If the money isn’t there, it isn’t there. I hate to see police driving cars that need to be replaced and going short when one of them takes a much-deserved vacation.

I would love to hear alternatives to the cuts that are happening. I love to hear some new ideas to lure jobs back to our fair city.

Your thoughts?

The Crazy Political Scene

At first, I was thinking about doing a blog post on the ever-increasing water and sewer bills in Norwich, but have since changed my mind and will focus on the current political climate in regard to the presidential race.

Did anybody bother to watch the interview between Chris Wallace and the President yesterday, airing on Fox News Sunday? I did, mostly because I was feeling under the weather and happened to remember that it was going to be aired. When Obama was asked about his Supreme Court nominee Judge Garland, he made it clear he will stick with him ‘until the end.’ Personally, I like him and think the senate should put aside this insane political quibbling and give him a hearing. I don’t care about the Democrat’s behavior in the past — whatever they did or didn’t do should not become precedent for both parties going forward. Let’s be better than that.

On to the Republicans… they started out with 17 candidates and now we are basically down to two (sorry, Kasich): Cruz and Trump. Not much of a choice, in my opinion. I will say that I would be more comfortable with a Cruz presidency than a Trump one. In fact, my values are much more closely aligned with those put forth by Senator Cruz. My problem is that he is not well liked and I fear another 4+ years of no accomplishments by congress. I don’t feel all that confident that he can beat Hillary in the fall. Not at all. In regard to Trump, I don’t see his base growing much beyond the emotionally-driven cadre of support he has now — who don’t seem too concerned about his lack of concrete for plans moving forward. His outrageous statements and childish behavior are so far from presidential it is nothing short of pathetic. I have to say I would probably vote for him before I would ever support Hillary, for the sake of one important issue: the fate of unborn children. I really hope it does not come to that.

Your thoughts?

Pray For Our Country

I find it amazing how one man (Trump) can stir up so much emotion and racial tension by even the thought of his presence in any given town. I’m watching what is going on in Chicago on TV with great amazement. Of course, in my opinion, this sort of tension began with one President Obama. I had so hoped for unification back in 2008 when he was elected to the highest office in the land and it seems like all we have received is more strife and racial division.

I pray this division can be healed. And soon.