Archive for December 5th, 2005

Read This

This post on The Belgravia Dispatch, via Instapundit, is a good rebuttal of Maureen Dowd in itself but some of the comments are especially timely. Especially this and this.
I am sad that there are some who are so obsessed with being being against the war that they are actively rooting against the Coalition’s progress over there. Hell, I’d be happy to be wrong.

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In His Own Words

John Kerry, on Sunday’s Face the Nation (emphasis added):
Schieffer: Let me shift to another point of view, and it comes from another Democrat, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. He takes a very different view. He says basically we should stay because, he says, real progress is being made. He said this is a war between 27 million Iraqis’ freedom and 10,000 terrorists. He says we’re in a watershed transformation. What about that?

Kerry: Let me–I–first of all, there is so much more that unites Democrats than divides us. And Democrats have much more in common with each other than they do with George Bush’s policy right now. Now Joe Lieberman, I believe, also voted for the resolution which said the president needs to make more clear what he’s doing and set out benchmarks, and that the policy hasn’t been working. We all believe him when you say, ‘Stay the course.’ That’s the president’s policy, which hasn’t been changing, which is a policy of failure. I don’t agree with that. But I think what we need to do is recognize what we all agree on, which is you’ve got to begin to set benchmarks for accomplishment. You’ve got to begin to transfer authority to the Iraqis.

And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the–of–the historical customs, religious customs. Whether you like it or not–

Schieffer: Yeah.

Kerry: Iraqis should be doing that.

Hat tip to Tom Faranda’s Folly

I am so very very glad this man lost the 2004 election. The only thing worse than hearing this crap for 4 years is having it preside over the country. Egads.

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Leafguys1Things aren’t nearly as exciting around here as they are at Kip Esquire’s home. The height of excitement around the old homestead is the annual leaf sucker upper, which arrives every December to cleanse our curb sides of the fruit of Autumn. We had our first snowfall yesterday, so the guys at the DPW had a little extra work this morning.  I had the time to get the camera because the truck that tows the sucker upper was filled and they had to switch trucks right in front of my mansion compound estate north portico house. It’s quite an operation. A couple of guys are two houses ahead of the sucker upper like John the Baptist raking like hell to loosen the frozen leaves. Then, the main contingent comes up and directs the big hose thing and whoosh! Away go the leaves (and the dog poop and whatever else people don’t bother to clean up).
Leafguys2 You might notice that my neighbor across the street has a house that is roughly the same color as a pumpkin pie. It used to be yellow, and when they began to paint it this past summer I looked forward to something more pleasant. I had hoped that the color was primer; it wasn’t. Perhaps he wanted to get that Miami Vice feel for when the cold weather arrived. I’m told his wife chose the color. It has actually grown on me. It’s good to be a little different.
As you can see, the fellows that are on leaf sucker upper detail look like they are partying like it’s 1999. Or not. It’s 25 degrees out with a bit of a breeze, overcast, and everything has a nice sheen of ice on it. These guys were up at 3am and are most likely freezing their asses off. It’s like my friend’s dad used to say: stay in school.
Now Ralph (my friend’s dad) was quite a guy. He was a straight A student but never attended college, instead apprenticing as a butcher right out of high school. He ran a neighborhood grocery around the corner from Sing Sing Prison and I spent summers and breaks working counter at the place. You can’t get an education like that on any campus.
Every night at 11:30 the prison guard shift would let out and we’d have 30 tired and grumpy men waiting in line for beer, cigarettes and Italian combo wedges (you call it a hero, sub or a hoagie. Around here we call it a wedge). Why everyone couldn’t order a simpler sandwich is beyond me (the line would move faster if they did) but after a double shift inside the clink all you could do is ask if they wanted lettuce and tomato with it. When it got really crazy I recall looking over and seeing Ralph slicing up some hind quarter of a dead cow (he was a butcher, remember) and chuckle at me, saying "Phil. Stay in school." How we laughed.
That guy could be on the Titanic and still crack a joke. I recall once how his wife confronted him with a situation where there was absolutely no way to win. I forget the details, but it was domestic version of the last hours at the Alamo- Ralphy got a 57 in math, Aunt Hilda called and said Uncle Earl had a tumor, the refrigerator was broken and the Christmas turkey was in advanced decomposition, and the Chevy was urinating radiator fluid. She stood there looking at him , waiting to know what he intended to do about it. He took a long drag from his white owl, looked her right in the eye, and said the following:
We always had a job at the store waiting for us during summers and school breaks and we had a front row seat to this stuff. It was great. I asked Ralph why he never attended college (in between the shtick it was clear the man was brilliant). He explained it was not an option at the time. Few of his friends went, he didn’t have the money, and he went right to work. By the time it occurred to him he should go he was married and a father.
Ralph_1 (Ralph with his grandson Kevin and my son Luke.)
I could pepper you with Ralphisms and anecdotes about the Big Guy all day. After my father passed away when I was 25, in some ways he picked up some slack. No matter what time of day or year it was, whenever I was back home from Philly or New Orleans he’d love to eat breakfast with me and split the time between busting my chops and coaching me in life. Mostly, he chose to laugh about things that most people don’t laugh at. He never saw the use of being dramatic about adversity. He and Ann adored each other. He thought very highly of my brother Paul, who felt the same way about him.
We lost Ralph to lung cancer in early 2003. I was asked to eulogize him, which I thought was a high honor. I got plenty of praise for how I remembered him, but it was Ralph who supplied the material. The thing about a man like him is that the strangest things bring him (and his folksy wisdom) back- the smell of a cigar, a steak, or in the case of today, some DPW guys sucking up leaves. So, someday, in an early December, Luke will look out the window, see some guys raking our curb, and I’ll tell him to stay in school. He’ll wonder why I said such a peculiar thing, and I’ll tell him that I’m glad he asked.
Linked to the Political Teen and MacStansbury

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