Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Grandfather Died Today

I got some sad news that my last living grandparent died today. He was 105 and lived in Jerusalem. My grandfather was born in Salonika, Greece, in 1903 and immigrated to what is now Israel in 1913. (At that time the area was still ruled by the Ottoman Empire.) He was a tailor by trade and mended clothes well into his old age. He was deeply religious and prayed daily, even as a centenarian.

Since he lived overseas, I did not get a chance to see him very often, something I regret. He was always happy when we were able to visit, though. He was not able to be at my wedding, but I was able to bring my wife over to Israel to meet him. Unfortunately, my children will never get that chance.

Please say a prayer for Ovadiah ben Avraham v'Simha. May his memory be for a blessing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Military Being Disenfranchised in Fairfax County -- UPDATED

Hat tip: Ace of Spades

The Newport News Daily Press reports that Fairfax County is rejecting the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. The registrar says he is only following the law. These military absentee ballots are used when members of the armed services who are posted overseas are not sure if the State absentee ballots will make it to them on time.

According to the article:

Fairfax general registrar Rokey Suleman said Thursday that he has had to reject some of the ballots because of a Virginia law passed in 2002. That law — then called Senate Bill 113, sponsored by then state Sen. Bill Bolling — requires that when an overseas citizen wants to request an absentee ballot and cast a vote with the same paperwork, it requires not only a witness signature but also the current address of the witness.

The McCain campaign said there's not even a space for the witness to list an address. Suleman agreed; he said the federal document was changed in recent years and the space for the witness address was removed. But the Virginia law hasn't changed.

Here's an interesting comment from the registrar:

"I can't ignore the law," Suleman said. "I think it stinks."

No, what stinks is Gerry Connolly's Fairfax County. For some reason, other jurisdictions don't seem to have a problem here. Is it just coincidence that 68% of the military favor John McCain over Barack Obama?

UPDATE: There may be a resolution to this issue. (Hat tip: The Corner) This still shows that the Fairfax Democrats tried to disenfranchise our military. Shame on them!

Thanks also to all the bloggers who carried this story. My apologies to those who posted on the subject before I did (like UCV), and I didn't catch it right away.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Union Dues Hard at Work

The latest Education Intelligence Agency Communiqué has an interesting item about how the teachers’ unions spend their members (often forced) dues money. It seems that without any major collective bargaining issues or ballot issues directly related to education, the union has a little more money than they know what to do with. But do you think the unions would ever return a surplus to its members? Naaaaah! As EIA writes:

But what happens if there are few or no major education-related issues or initiatives to battle, especially in a presidential election year, and your fund keeps filling up? Continually rolling it over eventually leads to delegates questioning whether that dues assessment is needed at that level. Even after accounting for a prudent reserve, the union has money to burn in 2008, and there is no shortage of people with ideas about how to spend it.

So the union's horizons broaden. Since there are no imminent threats, the union spends money on stamping out possible future threats (ConCons). There are 12 initiatives on California's ballot, none of which have the remotest relationship to public education. But the 800 or so members of the CTA State Council are mostly good liberals, their allies are all on the No on Prop 8 side, and the union's GLBT Caucus is powerful and influential. The result is a total of $1.25 million to protect gay marriage. If Prop 8 had been on the ballot in November 2005, along with Gov. Schwarzenegger's education initiatives, CTA would not have spent a dime on it.

The Sacramento ABC affiliate has more on this issue.

[Note to the reader: California Prop 8 is a ballot initiative to add a State Constitutional Amendment to support traditional one-man, one-woman marriage.]

So let’s remember this as Mark Warner, Gerry Connolly, Judy Feder, Jim Moran, and, of course, Barack Obama favor compelling workers to join unions and pay dues to support such causes. Not exactly Virginia (or American) values, eh? Remember, the unions always claim that dues do not go for political causes, but as recent filings required by the Department of Labor show, the unions have a way of making “grants” to “non-profits” that support various left-wing political agendas.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Diabetes Awareness

Hat tip: Wild and Precious Life

Let’s put aside our partisan differences for just one minute:

My nephew has Type 1 Diabetes as well as Celiac Disease. The contest described in the above video is designed to raise awareness. Let’s just say that when I found out about diabetes, celiac, and their effects on the people who have these diseases and their families, it was quite an eye-opener! Family dinners and get-togethers will never be the same again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack the Plumber

I got the following cartoon from "Americans for Limited Government."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spreading the Wealth

Plumbing the Obama Tax Hike

Uploaded by luvnews

A plumber has figured out that Obama’s tax plan will raise his taxes and confronts Barack Obama about it.. Transcript (hat tip to The Corner at NRO):

"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the plumber asked, complaining that he was being taxed "more and more for fulfilling the American dream."

"It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too," Obama responded. "My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

My wife and I heard the excerpt this morning. Her reaction was that maybe Senator Obama can take some of the money he is spending on his daughters’ posh private schools (which I am estimating is at least $30,000 per year) and spread some of that wealth around! She then proceeded to explain Obama’s destructive tax hikes to our seven-year-old son. He understood pretty well, I am proud to say.

What gets me is the fact that Obama didn’t try to deny anything. Didn’t he and/or Joe Biden claim in the debates that very few small businesses would be affected by the taxes on small businesses? Here is one plumber who has figured out that the tax burden would be increased! Clearly, Obama’s tax plan (assuming the Democrats in Congress don’t make taxes even higher) will affect several small businesses, whether they be plumbers, accountants, asphalt pavers, lawyers, doctors, etc.

As our Marxist friends like to tell us, "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." I hope John McCain throws some “cold water” on the Obama business tax plans in the upcoming debate.

ACLU Tries to Get Virginia Registrars to Allow Students to Vote

Isn’t this Illegal?

Hat tip: Ace

Here is the article.

[Radford Registrar Tracy] Howard says student registration drives are an issue. Groups conducting these drives "have at best simply misinformed on-campus individuals and at worst lied to them" about registration rules, he wrote in his response to the ACLU. They are also holding applications longer than they're supposed to and flooding Howard's office with them.
I wonder how these students feel about having to register their cars in Virginia and paying personal property tax? Hmmm, I smell an ACORN!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today marks two years since I started the Isophorone blog. Thanks to all of you for reading!

Today is also my birthday.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

To Err Is Human . . .

. . . to really screw up takes a community organizer!

Stanley Kurtz of National Review Online has the details of ACORN's pressure program.

CNN also Exposes the Ayers and Obama Connection

Hat tip: The Corner at National Review Online

HUD Audit: Virginia Misspent over $3 Million under Mark Warner

Just One Program

See audit from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Inspector General for Audit, Philadelphia Regional Office, dated September 18, 2006, here.

Summary of what HUD found:

The Commonwealth did not ensure that HOME [HOME Investment Partnerships program] funds were disbursed and used in accordance with federal regulations. We reviewed project funds disbursed through the Commonwealth’s Affordable Housing and Preservation program, operating assistance grants awarded to community housing development organizations, and downpayment and closing cost assistance provided though the Commonwealth’s Single Family Regional Loan Fund. The Commonwealth did not always comply with federal regulations and/or its own requirements in its disbursements and and administration of HOME funds for various purposes. These problems occurred because it did not develop and document critical risk assessments and implement an adequate monitoring program to ensure that it properly administered the HOME program. As a result, HOME funds totaling $183,706 were used for ineligible expenses or activities and $527,060 in expenses were unsupported. The Commonwealth also accumulated more than $3.2 million in administrative funds that should have been used to improve its administration of its HOME program and to fund eligible HOME projects. Doing so would have enabled the Commonwealth’s HOME program to better meet its main goal of providing affordable housing for low-income households.

[Emphasis mine.]

Wow! A waste of about $3.3 million in just one program! Note that the audit covered the time period from 2002 – 2005, just when Mark Warner was Governor of Virginia. If that much waste exists in one program, don’t you wonder what else is lurking out there?

I guess we really needed that tax hike!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Clinical Diagnosis: Palin Derangement Syndrome

Hat tip: Alarming News

The Dr. Helen blog at Pajamas Media quotes a request for advice sent from a Democrat mother of three to Salon:

And then came Sarah. My reaction to her, and the way the Republican Party threw her in our faces, and the pandering and hypocrisy that was behind their decision to do so, was immediate, visceral, and indeed, vicious. I have crossed every line I believed should never be crossed in public discourse — I have criticized not only her policies and her record, but her hair, her personal style, her accent, her abilities as a mother, etc. I’ve also begun to suffer personally and professionally. I bore my friends with my constant tirades against her, and am constantly distracted from my work by my need to continually update myself on the latest criticism, and indeed, ridicule, of her. In my hatred for her, I have begun to hate myself. I don’t want this woman ruining my life before she even gets a chance to ruin our country. How do I stop? Is there a self-help group for this? A “Hater”

Interestingly, friends and coworkers are mentioned in the letter, but no husband or family. Those three children of the letter writer must live in an interesting household, to say the least!

The Salon advice columnist comes up with some hokey psychoanalysis of his own and tries to create a Myers-Briggs profile for Governor Palin. Apparently, some of these Myers-Briggs personalities are downright dangerous! Who knew?

All this only confirms a theory of mine that if Sarah Palin did not exist, the angry leftists would have to invent her. She is the latest object of seething anger that dates back to Ronald Reagan, through both President Bushes, and now her. Sadly, I don’t think this will end with Gov. Palin, either. I can only hope that these sad, angry people don’t fly any more out of control than they already have.

I wonder of treatment of these derangements would be mandated under an Obama health plan?

As Tom Lehrer said back in the 1960s, “There are some people in this world who do not love their fellow human beings and I HATE people like that!”