In Memoriam of My Cousin Roger: He Did It His Way

IMG_20160821_091100 (1)Roger Concannon died yesterday. He had been living in Berlin. When I last spoke to him he told me that Berlin reminded of how Southie used to be in the old days.

My earliest childhood friends were Roger and Jimmy Concannon. Their mother, Honey, and my mother Alice, were the two “Rogers sisters” who were about a year apart in age and very close to each other. They would have given Ginger Rogers a run for her money in the looks department. My mother was more the quiet type; Honey was full of fun and tricks whose favorite day of the year was April 1. Roger did not fall far from that tree.

Each sister had six children. The oldest girls, Kathleen on my side, Carol on the other were charged with riding herd on us. Roger was the most difficult to corral.. I was sandwiched in age between Jimmy and Roger. That’s me in the navy suit. Roger is in front of me whispering.

Roger always had a smile on his face and a trick up his sleeve. The adjective mischievous well fit him although the harm he caused was mostly benign. He was a born story-teller who would regale me with his tales, some seemingly quite tall.

Pat Buchanan’s Foreign Policy: Is this the way Trump thinks?

(2) russian bearA week or so ago on the McLaughlin Report the host raised the issue of Trump’s suggesting he might not go to the aid of the Baltic States – Lithuania, Estonia or Latvia – were they to be invaded by Putin and his Russian forces. Buchanan said he was against bringing the Baltic States into NATO. He added “we simply could not accept a nuclear war with Russia over whether or not they remained independent.” He proposed the next president sit down and negotiate with Russia saying we have no desire to get into a war with Russia which will escalate. He noted the Russians said they would escalate it to tactical nuclear weapons.

He went on to say: “Are you saying we should fight World War Three with Russia which we avoided during the entire Cold War . . . I would say to the Baltic States we are not going to go to war with Russia over your independence, period.” Which of course would be music to the Russians ears. It just about guarantees they need not negotiate since we have no problem with them gobbling up those states.

The Creation of Prisoners: The Hidden Truth About Federal Sentencing Guidelines

judge-cartoon-graphic-280x165There was no need for the federal sentencing guidelines. It is an example of ceding power to bureaucrats by lazy judges who want others to do the work for them even though the work they are trying not to do amounts to little.

The guidelines were designed to bring uniformity to sentencing throughout the United States. The intent was that the poor and rich would be treated alike. Their creators believed like former Secretary of Defense who brought us Vietnam that everything could be reduced to a number. Each crime had a number; each person had a number. You add them up and found justice. The system worked so well that the federal prisons became jam-packed with black inmates who got involved with crack cocaine.

I always felt that if a judge cannot look at the facts before him and the record of the person and come up with an appropriate sentence he should not be a judge. Having been in the system most of my life the good judges were always able to do this. There were some bleeding hearts who would toss marshmallows at defendants who should have been hit with a hammer but even then – giving a break to someone who did not deserve it – did not detract from the overall fairness of the system.

The Gobbledygookleness of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

judge-cartoon-graphic-280x165I wrote recently about how a multi-millionaire whose actions defrauded the federal taxpayers of millions of dollars and a guy scraping by as a custodian who took less than ten thousand dollars to move some people up on a federal waiting list both received a recommendation of two years in prison. I pointed out that the big money man might not end up doing a day while the poor impoverished custodian ended up being sent off without a how-do-you-do even after he profusely apologized for his crime of taking small change for changing places on a waiting list.

My comment was mentioned on another site. Some of the people who commented there talked about the federal sentencing guidelines and not the judges were responsible for the sentencing. That’s the propaganda we are supposed to believe that somewhere there is an impartial system where all people are to be treated equally under the law which is a lot of nonsense.

Michelle Kosilek’s Dysphoria Spreads Among Federal Judges: A Glimpse of the Future

judge-cartoon-graphic-280x165Some prisoners in some states are complaining about their uncomfortable accommodations in prisons during the summer. They allege they are too hot. They have filed suit claiming the failure to air condition their cells violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

I must remind you that Amendment applies only to action by state officials. The average person has no Eighth Amendment right to have air-conditioned homes if deprived of it by other than the state. I, for instance, have a wife that hates air conditioning. I am unable to drag her into federal court to gain some relief during this heat wave.

While reading about the hot prisoners I wondered what happened to Michelle Kosilek, formerly known as Robert Kosilek. She is doing life in prison for murdering her wife. Judge Wolf found that her rights under the Eighth Amendment were violated because the Massachusetts Department of Corrections refused to make available and pay for her sex transfer surgery. I wrote about it a long time ago saying Judge Wolf’s decision would not stand.

Bill Clinton’s Masterpiece: Trump and His Trumpeteers Leading America to Perdition

CharlatanTrump will not win. There’s a better chance for Rosie Ruiz to win the Boston Marathon than for the Trumpeteers to have their candidate elected president. In revulsion to him America will turn its sad eyes to a person the much lesser of two evils who not only should not be elected but once she is then she will bring about the Trumpeteers worst nightmare — an activist Supreme Court filled with Strangers who will decide the future direction of the country. She will so stack the Court with the left wing’s version of beautiful people with hearts on their sleeves that for the next thirty years, if not forever, America will be under their control.

The great irony is that with so much at stake the Trumpeteers decided to back a person with no public experience based on the idea that he will surround himself with people who know what to do. No one would hire a sharpshooter who knew nothing about firing a gun because he would have good instructors standing next to him. The presidency is not where you start learning things. Trump knows nothing about governing nor about foreign policy so he has no internal basis upon which he can decide anything.

The World Keeps Changing: Time for Others To Keep Pace With It

SnowChange is a four letter word for many. Most of us like things the way they are especially if we are beneficiaries of the status quo. Those seeking change are looked upon as disruptors who want to take something away from us. It is always a small group that wants to bring about the change; the great majority frowns upon it if it may affect them.

I thought of this as I read the news that the Pope has set up a group which will  study making women deacons. When I was young I never knew the Catholic Church had deacons. My association with the word deacon came from my incarceration at Camp Wing in Duxbury where I learned the following verses of a song that all the campers would sing: “Oh, the deacon went down, to the cellar to pray, and he prayed all night, and he prayed all day, oh the deacon went down to the cellar to pray – he prayed all night and he prayed all day I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more” Then somehow the following verse was added: “Oh you never get to heaven — in a leaky boat – cause the gosh darn thing – it just won’t float . . . “