Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Friday
May252012

If Only I Could Draw, We'd Have A Severed Nose Cartoon

            Did you ever wish you were blessed with a particular talent, for at least a few hours or so?

            No, I don’t mean something as esoteric as the ability to hit a major league fast ball 400 feet over the fences or to throw a 95 mile an hour fast ball even…although that might be nice to dream about.

            I was thinking of more mundane things like the ability to draw.

            Once in a while, I come up with a great idea for a political cartoon; I even imagine how it would look on paper, but ultimately I am faced with a small problem...

            I can’t draw.

            Being a cartoonist would be a hoot; I’ve got plenty of ideas for cartoons which might be acceptable to enough people to make a go of it.

            However, I repeat…I can’t draw.

            I can write (some would dispute that); I can talk (some would dispute that), but I can neither sing nor draw, not even enough to try.

            Actually it was prior to the controversy over Monitor cartoonist Mike Marland's rather tame Bill O’Brien cartoons (the ones with the silly facial hair and even sillier hats) that I that up this idea.

            Remember the old saying, “Don't cut your nose off to spite your face”?

            I’m sure most of our mothers warned us not to do that, but it’s precisely what O’Brien’s leadership in the House has done this spring.  In an attempt to force (bully) through legislation that the Senate clearly will not accept, Team O’Brien has ventured out several on several limbs, attaching its right wing extremist ideas to otherwise sound legislation such as the extension of business tax credits.

            The Senate, more often than not--and as could easily have been predicted--simply decided to let the bills die altogether.

            That’s what happens when you insist on bullying the other body.

            That's what happened last fall when O'Brien cost the state $3 million by attaching a marital masters amendment to an HHS bill trying to force the session back into session.  How'd that one work out?  Not so well, a fact all must admit, even my fellow low-minded Republicans who now insist on calling me names (RINO indeed, my HRA score is higher than most Republican leaders, you ignorant blobs of humanity).  Rather than face the truth, they would destoy the messenger.

             Stop cutting your nose off to spite your face!

             You lose not only what you hoped to get in your wildest dreams, but you also lose what you could have had had you not been such a bully.  Such reckless behavior is a poor way to governor, and I suspect voters will figure that out.

            In other words, he who refuses to compromise loses all.

            In other words, a severed nose is small consolation.

            But notice that I’ve aleready wasted several hundred words explaining the concept when a simple cartoon would have sufficed.  One with more graphic skills than I could simply draw a bunch of faces with severed noses.  There would of course be a ring through each nose with verbiage denoting the legislation which was lost as the noses were cut off from the faces.

            Viola!

            A great political cartoon.

            I offer the idea here for anyone out there who might want to “borrow” it.  In fact, as I was mentioning it today during the taping of my TV show for next week, my producer quickly googled a cartoon of a severed nose…so the idea is apparently not my alone. 

            Rest assured, every great idea has been thought of before.  It’s merely how one adopts the ideas that sets one apart from the masses.

            After the moustache kerfuffle this week, I thought of another face spiting nose cutting idea.  Majority Leader D. J. Bettencourt is so righteously indignant at the Monitor that he refuses to speak with any Monitor reporter, and apparently in the lemming mentality typical of House leadership these days, some three dozen Republicans have taken a similar pledge to “punish” the Monitor.

            Nonsense!

            Pure poppycock!

            Rubbish!

            These Republicans, with their inane threat to the Monitor, re only punishing themselves and their constituents.  They are evincing yet another example of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face.  If stories run without the Republican side of the story, these so-called leaders will have no one to blame but themselves.

            My first post-college boss in the dreaded private sector, a printer/publisher back in 1974, was certainly not the first to come up with the line but it was the first time I’ve heard it, “Don’t get in a pissing contest with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

            Having got in a pissing contests with a Catholic bishop (“the pedophile pimp” comment), the Republican leaders apparently has a new goal in mind—getting in a pissing contest with those who buy ink by the barrel.

            Been there, done that (remember the vile Tom Fahey); hey Deej, it doesn’t work.

            All you do is once again supply fodder for another cartoon, this one with your severed nose lopped off your poor face.

            If only I could draw!

Thursday
May242012

Media Watch--Felice Belman Errs Again; What About Otto's Stache?

Google the Concord Monitor web site, and there's a link to this story which just about says it all as far as I'm concerned.  Enjoy.  Remember on my TV show, The Liberty Express tonight at 9 on manchestertv23 and then again Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon--quite by conicidecne; the clip was planned weeks ago-- I spend a lot of time talking about Bismark as I stand in front of a monument to him in Essen, Germany.  We also go into the Alte Synagogue.  It just doesn't get much better than this for promotion.  Go to vimeo.com/channels/libertyx.  And make sure you send this link to Alan The Ambulance Chaser Dershowitz.

If you click on the link to read the editorial, you will note that Ms. Belman again gets it wrong.  I gave no Nazi salute; I neither mentioned the word Nazi or Hitler.  I simply stated two German words, "Sieg Heil" in a very quiet tone as a matter of fact.  Watch the tape; I use it on my show.  My remarks would be construed by anyone with any brain power left as denegrating the Speaker, almost as if to say, "Yes, SIR!" as one would comply with any small f fascist in a mockingly subservient manner.  I find it amazing that even a week later, responsible members of the media, regardless of their opinions to which they are entitled, could continue to misstate basic facts.  Watch the tape!  Watch every week and you'll discover more of the 40 hours of anti-Nazi, anti-fascist, and anti-totalitarian filming I did when in Berlin and Germany. 

Some day we can argue whether Hitler or Stalin was worse, whether fasicsm or communism is worse.  Stalin deserves the crown if for no other reason than out of respect to sheer numbers--he killed more--and communism is undoubtedly more spirit numbing than communism, but the point is debateable.

May 24, 2012



No One Cares About Otto Von Bismarck's Mustache

But they sure don't like giving someone "the Hitler," either in real-life, or, as happened in a Mike Marland effort in the Concord Monitor, in cartoon form. I think this editorial gives you just about everything you need to know, including a look at the cartoon itself. I actually think the Hitler example is useful when utilized as an absurd extreme, or at least not worthy of throwing up one's hands and stomping away from the computer, but I can't imagine the point being made of just comparing some political dude to Herr Wolf unless, maybe, some sort of hate-speech was involved. This sounds just like some sort of generic, ill-conceived Hitler-as-generic-free-speech-hating-despot comparison, which makes a straight-up comparison even more problematic. Maybe Hitler's branding needs work; maybe someone needs to step up in the despot ranks in more of a free-speech crushing manner. The intriguing part of the editorial, incidentally, is how the newspaper person talks about their maybe not running the cartoon but then deciding to give the cartoonist the privilege of his platform.
 
posted 5:45 am PST | Permalink

Thursday
May242012

Maps Show Lazy Lawyers At Fault In Redistricting

 

You know the world has truly turned upside down when I find the best information on a given subject not in the main stream media, but in the bluehampshire web site.  That's the case with these maps posted yesterday on the redistricting lawsuits.  I reproduce them here with full credit.

Republicans in the New Hampshire House did not even come close to meeting the 2006 Constitutional amendment requirements (pushed by Paul Mirski and Bill O'Brien--you just can't make this stuff up) of every town or ward with 3291 people having its own Represenative.

It's even worse, however.  Constitutional Review Committee (wanna bet that'll be gone come December) Chair Dan Itse continues to try to defend the indefensible, claiming that the O'Brien/Mirski/Mosca plan is acceptable because it meets the federal mandate of ten percent deviation.

What he refuses to admit (at least not publicly) is that ten percent is merely a safe haven recommendation, and in fact is NOT A REQUIREMENT.  Any plan exceeding ten percent might have required justification, the kind of thing any good lawyer could have easily provided.  Instead of good lawyers, we have fallen victim to LAZY LAWYERS in this state.  They should have all been fired when they made up the fiction that ten percent was necessary.  They should have been replaced with lawyers who could have done their job, show how the ten percent deviation needed to be expanded in more now that the new amendment is in effect.  They could certainly have argued that ten percent has NOT been used in the past.

Only the lazy--lazy lawyers, lazy legislators, lazy leaders--would insist on handcuffing the state with the ten percent mandate when by going to something like 14 percent deviation, both the federal and state constitutional mandates could be met.

In fact, as I've noted here before, the plans passed by Republican-controlled Houses ten years ago had deviations as high as 22 and then 16 percent.

Had the redistricting panel not been handcuffed with the hard and fast ten percent fiction, we could have produced a plan all would have been happy with.  Pelham could have had its own Reps and Hudson its own Reps (with only a 6.2 percent deviation).  Plymouth could have stood alone as required by the New Hampshire Constitution.  So could Meredith.  As I look at this map, I see that Littleton does not get its own Rep; my plan had a solution for Littleton, but Republican leadership threw it aside arguing that a Democrat might get elected in Bethlehem/Franconia if a megadistrict were not created.  Let Mirski try to deny this; hook him up to a lie detector right alongside yours truly; and bring in Rep. Spec Bowers while you're at it--he's the one who created the illegal monstrosity at Mirski's behest. 

Republican leadership broke the law due to both laziness and an attempt to gain political advantage. 

It is truly sad, sad, sad, but true. 

A quick look at the map would lead anyone with even a passing knowledge of numbers to easy solutions for many towns if deviation were only slightly expanded, not even t the 16 or 22 percent level Republicans found acceptable ten years ago!

Only the lazy have prevented us from arriving at an acceptable solution.

Hopefully, the courts will not recognize chronic laziness as an excuse for unconstitutional redistricting.

Thanks to the Blues for graphically pointing out what I could--and have--spent thousands of words explaining here.

Thursday
May242012

Holy Irony, Batman! "Pedophile Pimp" Coiner Feigns Indignation

 

Riddle me this.

If the mustache fits ...

Of all the humanoids on the planet, which one would be the LEAST appropriate person to send forth as your point person to rail against political incorrectness in a Concord Monitor cartoon?

Let's see now... 

Don't think too hard...

Most likely it would be someone who is most tainted with the stain of political incorrectness himself...perhaps the person responsible for the most politically incorrect coinage in the past two years.

Perhaps someone who had to do several mea culpas and was nearly ousted by his own party for his comment that the bishop of Manchester is/was a "pedophile pimp".

No, you just can't make this stuff up.

Republican majority leader D. J. Bettencourt (is he still living in Salem?) set his party back months last year when he posted on his Face book page... or tweeted... or whatever it is one does these days...that the bishop should shut up because he's little more than a "pedophile pimp".

Yes this is the same DEEJ, who in the most histrionic manner possible accuses Democrats of engaging in histrionics.

Apparently, the hypocrisy of this young man knows no bounds.

Apparently he hasn't learned a thing from his "pedophile pimp" comment because as I turned on Channel 9 last night, there was the coiner of the cut alliterative phrase "Pedophile Pimp" commenting, with righteous indignation, how the Concord Monitor owed the world an apology for its cartoon of a mustachioed Bill O'Brien.

Give me a break...give the world a break DEEJ; find someone else to do your dirty work, someone without blood on his hands.  Clean up your own act before you start throwing stones at others.

Cartoonists have the right to express their opinions in any manner they choose--short of graphic sexual depictions one would suppose (and those who buy the paper and look at the cartoon can determine whether it's clever or not).

I defend the Monitor cartoonist, a very talented individual by the way, but personally I didn't find the cartoon all that funny (what was that silly hat all about?).  Thus, if I were a critic (a role I have been known to assume here), my complaint would not be about subject matter but simply that the cartoon didn't tickle my funny bone.  That's perfectly all right; different people find different things funny.   For example, I found today's Groucho Marx mustache-cartoon much more amusing (same funny hat--what's with that hat?--but at least there was clever cigar).

Remember who defended Deej's right to say something stupid last year (when he was assailed by Democrats).  Remember who defended Rep. Tim Horrigan's right to state a truism about Sara Palin last year (when he was assailed by Republicans as well as Democrats).  Yes that would be I, your defender of free speech from whatever source

Free speech (and clearly a cartoon is speech) is not something you can defend only when you agree with the point being made.  The antidote to bad free speech is more free speech.  In other words, if you disagree with something stated, say something stupid yourself (a lesson long ago mastered by the likes of Reps. Leonard and Boehm...the stupider the better gentlemen...let your ignornace overflow the cup...recongize no bounds...go for it).

The antidote can never be for someone with such baggage as D.J. Bettencourt to step to the bank of microphones and start pontificating.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro, on the receiving end of more than his share of negative cartoons over the years (including one with his head being severed), was precisely right in the Channel 9 report.  What’s worse, one’s head being lopped off by a cartoonist or a simple little unfunny bit of facial hair?

The Speaker and Deej need to get a thicker skin.

Report to Readers

Mustache cartoon fallout galore

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Wednesday
May232012

The Reading Room--Questioning The Babe

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life

           
Babe, The Legend Comes To Life
by Robert W. Creamer (1974)

 

In this, the summer of baseball in the reading room, it was only a matter of time before I got to a Babe Ruth biography.  I wish I could say I chose the one most highly acclaimed, but—I cannot tell a lie—I grabbed the only one I could find at Manchester’s West Side Library.  As with every baseball book I’ve reached for, this bio of the Babe is a real gem.  Can it be that there are no bad baseball books out there?  I’ve moved on to another gem, the Boys of October on the 1975 Red Sox.

As I noted on my TV show, an old professor once taught me that quizzes are good not merely for grading students but also as means of reinforcing what was learned.

I’ve used that approach for 40 years, as will be noted if you watch my visit to the Essen Alte Synagogue (it’ll air Thursday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon on Manchestertv23 and is now up on line at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).  There’s a 50 question quiz on German history there.

Following a session day last week, rather than “discuss” issues we disagreed on, I noted to Rep. Irene Messier that we could play a game of baseball trivia.  She was game, and she was actually rather good at it (she knew the exact year the Chicago Cubs were most recently world champs).

Thus, in reading Babe, I’ve decided to get back in the game of trivia, and rather than offering a review here, let’s play.

 1.  True or False—All his life, Babe Ruth held a deep animosity toward the six foot, six inch Brother Matthias, the head of the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore (it wasn’t really an orphanage) where the Babe lived for most of his teenage years.

 2.  True or False—Although Babe Ruth was among the all time leaders in both home runs and lifetime batting percentage, he lifetime average as a pinch hitter was only .217.

 3.  Which uniform was the Babe wearing when he hit homer number 714, the last of his career?   Boston Red Sox; New York Yankees; Boston Braves; Cleveland Indians; or Chicago Cubs.

 Here are four men who managed the Babe for most of his major league career (although there were three others).  Match them with the clues below.

Miller Huggins

Joe McCarthy

Edward Barrow

Bill Carrigan

 4.  Neither as Red Sox manager nor Yankee general manager did he get along well with the Babe.  In fact, once they almost came to blows.  As Red Sox manager, he was so in need of pitching that he didn't react well when the Babe wanted to give up pitching to become an every day player and hitter.  As Yankee GM, he went on to become a legend.

 5.  He was undoubtedly the Babe's favorite manager.

  6.  Although he didn't hit it off well with the Babe at first (there's a story, probably not true, that the Babe dangled him by the feet off a railroad car), this five foot six inch "giant" of a manager ultimately became somewhat of a father figure for Ruth.

  7.  Babe thought he should have been named Yankee manager rather than this man (who, after much success in New York, went on to manage the Red Sox through some heart breaking moments, like the finales to the 1948 and 1949 seasons).

  8.  Add the number of women the Babe married to the number of children he fathered (at least legitimately fathered).  What do you get?

  9.  How did the Babe's father die?  Old age; cancer; drowned; in a fire; in a bar room brawl; shot through the head by his mother.

  10.  How Babe's wife Helen die?  Old age; cancer; drowned; in a fire; shot by her second husband. 

  11.  True or False--Author Creamer spends the better part of a page writing about how the Babe's sexual organ was much larger than the normal that of the normal man.

   12.  All teams combined, how many winning World Series was the Babe a part of and how many losing World Series teams. 

   13.  Although the Babe never got to manage in the major leagues, he did serve as a base coach for a brief time.  With which team?  Yankees; Red Sox; Braves; Dodgers; or Giants.

Answers

1.  False-- Ruth always admired Brother Matthias.  2.  True-- (15 for 69) and Ty Cobb was even worse as a pinch hitter (.193).  3. The Boston Braves.  4.  Ed Barrow.  5. Bill Carrigan (the first years with the Red Sox).  6.  Miller Huggins.  7. Joe McCarthy.  8.  Three (two wives and one daughter).   9.  In a bar room brawl (he owned the bar).  It was Ty Cobb's father was was shot by his mother...but that's another story.  10.  In a fire (she had been separated from the Babe for three years).  11.  False.  Babe had a huge sexual drive, but the organ was apparently normal.  Creamer does allude to Home Run Baker's unusually large organ.  As for the Babe (page 321), "Babe's wasn't noticeably big.  What was extraordinary was his ability to keep doing it all the time.  He was continualy with women, morning and night.  I don't know how he kept going."  The Babe was also apparently very noisy in bed.  "He was the noisiest fucker in North America, a whimsical friend recalled."   12. Six winning and four losing (3-0 with the Red Sox, 4-3 with the Yankees, all the more reason to become depressed when considering what the Red Sox could have been had they not sold him for cash to Colonel Ruppert and the Yankees.) 13.  Brooklyn Dodgers--it was more of a gimmick to sell tickets than anything else.

The kind of stuff you really need to know.  If you have a stumper question, add it below.

The Creamer book gets a five star rating, so apparently I chose well.  I would quibble that he went into too much detail on play-by-play accounts from early in the Babe's career (even in the minor leagues) at the expense of delving into the later years as much as I would have preferred, but it's a mere quibble.  It's a fun book.    

Oh yes, the last year for a Cubs World Series win was 1908.  I think I'll start rooting for the Cubbies.