<"www.capecodporcupine.blogspot.com" >

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Universal Outreach

In view of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks in New York, Porcupine wanted to remind you of another facet to his worldwide outreach.

He is a
Blogger as well. The blog has not been updated lately - only once since he sent us Christmas Greetings last December! However, it is worth checking out as a reflection of his mind.

And it is worth remembering that while he may, as Columbia President university President Lee Bollinger said, be a "petty and cruel dictator" and while his Holocaust denials and hostility to Isreal may make "the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for," as Bollinger went on to say, it is futile and dangerous to write this man off as an unsophisticated or ignorant person.

Today in Congress, the House passed, by a 397-16 vote, a proposal by Lantos, D-Calif., aimed at blocking foreign investment in Iran, in particular its lucrative energy sector. The bill would specifically bar the president from waiving U.S. sanctions. Perhaps, finally, Congress is willing to work together for national security instead of bickering for partisan points.

Labels: ,

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Bientot et Merci, Bip!

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?
Marcel Marceau, nee Marcel Mangel, March 22, 1923 - Sept. 22, 2007

Porcupine has learned with regret of the passing of the last living Renaissaince treasure, Marcel Marceau - mime extrodinaire.

M. Marceau had a difficult early life. On the run from the Gestapo at age 16, he lost his father at Auschwitz while figting with DeGaulle and the Free French. He began his career as a mime after the War, in 1947. Many will extoll and exclaim over his life and accomplishments, and Porcupine hopes you will all read these tributes. Still Porcupine has his own memories, for he saw M. Marceau at his peak for himself.

Built in 1857 by the Worcester County Mechanics Association, Mechanics Hall is known as the nation's finest pre-Civil War concert hall. Mechanics Hall is one of the world's finest concert halls. Internationally regarded for its superb acoustics, the Hall boasts a celebrity list that includes Thoreau and Dickens, Caruso and Dvorak, Teddy Roosevelt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Yo Yo Ma and Itzak Perlman, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald. And - Marcel Marceau.

Porcupine attended a gala performance shortly after the Hall's restoration in 1977, and M. Marceau was the lead attraction. Look at the stage, and you will see why it was the ideal venue for the performance. There is no barrier between the stage and the audience. It was the closest anyone was ever likely to come to see a true master of his art perform live, untrammelled by technology, and entirely outside of time and space, a genius of shape, line and movement.

Porcupine has vivid memories of M. Marceau's performance - especially one ballet in which he mimicked the various stages of life, going from seed to prime to decay, using nothing but his delicate body movements to convey a lifetime. It is indescribable - truly, you had to be there.

Au Revoir, Bip. Unhampered now by the gravity which you seemed to defy so well, Porcupine is sure you are amusing the other great mimes through the ages, and your passing evokes flashes of brilliance for all of us lucky enough to see you.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Glob Mis-Explains It for You Once Again!

From the (alleged) Political Intelligence column of the Boston Glob comes speculation about the possiblity of genuine, brokered conventions -

Rudy Giuliani is leading in the national polls, but is followed closely by Fred Thompson. John McCain appears to be resurging. And Mitt Romney, while fourth in most national surveys, is leading in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Glob Chagrin!)

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is well ahead in the polls and could wrap up the nomination well before the Democratic convention next August in Denver. So Judis says that if Republicans can't settle on their nominee until the convention, that could help Democrats, who would have a head start in coalescing around their standard-bearer.

"It's the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are looking at a political nightmare in 2008," he writes.

Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor at
10:04 AM

Mr. (?) Rhee - it isn't the REPUBLICANS who are looking at the political nightmare of having to justify Hillary Clinton as the Party's Official Nominee and Philosophical Standard Bearer!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


T'is here again, by Great Neptune's Man Nipples! Avast, the Annual 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' is upon us once more, and Porcupine will celebrate, having known more than a few pirates in his day!

Last year, the Great Holiday fell upon Massachusetts Primary Day, as Porcupine wrote HERE, and t'was the the Blackamoor, Cap’n Devvy Sharkbait, who bested the Hibernian, Guideon the Parrotless, and the tall Florentine, Slashin' Baird Dawkins, and prevailed o'er our lass, Navigatin' Kerry Cooke. The names were devined with the help of the Pirate Name Generator, and Prickly Pete Porcupine has it here for his mates and fellow cutthroats.

To shape up agin', here's a practive drill your all you lubbers, to get into shape, courtesy of Cap'n Slappy's web site-

* Organize a pirate-themed knitting bee.

* Purchase copies of pirate classics and have a "read-along" at a lock-down facility for the criminally twitchy.

* Quietly contemplate the meaning of "Booty"

* Get blistering drunk on rum with yer mates and puke in the neighbor's Zen garden.

* Sponsor a lecture on the complicated psyche of the man and cultural zeitgeist of the world in which Edward "Blackbeard" Teach lived.

* Hold a muffin baking contest!

* Randomly call people at their place of employment and yell, "ARRRR!" into the telephone. (THIS is Porcupine's personal favorite!)

* Get a tattoo featuring the likeness of soulful basso profundo crooner, the late, great Barry White! (so smooth! so DE-val!)

Now, w'Cap' Devvy workin' to put the swabs o' Mass to work on a plan to lighten the gentry of their doubloons in a gamin' parlour and pass of the Black Spot to high-faced pension boards, it behooves us all to sling the lingo and sharpen the cutlass, as we prepare for boardin' on the other states of the S.S. New England. Let's do Cap'n Devvy proud, and show 'ow little we care for Injuns when there's booty to be had!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why, We BET We Can Help You!

Porcupine very much enjoys listening to Finneran’s Forum on WRKO in the morning, and today he got to hear Deval Patrick explain his stance on casinos while stuck in gridlocked traffic on the Mass Pike. Porcupine’s only criticism of the exchange between Deval and Tom is that Mr. Speaker really needs to get that slightly hushed deference out of his voice while talking to His Excellency. Deval was in fine fettle, and is apparently taking his title seriously – when speaking, he havers between the ‘Royal We’ and ‘I’ when referring to his initiatives. For example – WE are going to limit the number of casinos to three, and place them in these venues – versus – I will not accept a lot of amendment to My proposal. Brave words indeed for early in the battle. Click on the Forum link to listen for yourself.

Porcupine has cheerlessly predicted this all along. The Governor will back casinos because he needs to pay off on at least SOME of those pesky campaign promises, without reverting yet again to Kerry Healy's 50 point program for ideas. The fact that he was anti-casino pre-election is a buried fact, deep in the Globe archives, where it won't be brought up again by them.

All along, the objections of Treasurer Cahill and Boston Mayor Menino centered on the State not getting a big enough cut. By legalizing casino gambling outright, Deval has a unique opportunity for patronage well into the next decade.

Who will operate these “three resort style casinos” that the Governor wants? Cahill's office? Porcupine is convinced that GamblePort is just months away. After all, Transportation Secretary Cohen and the Governor have already announced that they are proceeding with a plan to merge the MassPike with MassHighway, just like GOP governors have sought to do for years, to eliminate waste and inefficiency. Ah, but what IS inefficiency? A new entity like GamblePort can become a haven for politically connected toll takers if the merger of the Pike with MassHighway is completed. After all, they DO have experience with handling quarters. Still, the STATE is going to put three resorts out to bid? Tell me, Deval - who has the best linen contract in Mass.? Ohhhh - sorry! WRONG answer! Yes they ARE cheapest, but they're not UNION!

The Democrat establishment wants casinos in New Bedford, Worcester and Boston. The problem all along has been that the Indian Gaming Act stipulates that tribal casinos must operate within 50 miles of tribal lands - and there aren't enough Dorchester Democrats looking for patronage in Mashpee. So - they'll do this legalization. Still - the tribe can put its Middleboro lands in a Federal trust and operate a casino per the voted agreement with the town with NO cut to the state. It can be a much smaller operation and still be profitable without the Beacon Hill Vampires to assuage.

The sad truth is that even three is too many casinos. Mohegan Sun wasn’t even built until Foxwoods had been established for ten years, and the Connecticut tribes have been careful to protect market share as they expanded. Three casinos coming on board simultaneously? All will fail, as they will not prove economically sustainable. But those are just the state casinos – after waste, patronage and ineptitude have swept them away into tattered hulks like the Hynes Convention Center or the Worcester Centrum; the Wampanoag may still have a petite and profitable operation on Federal trust tribal lands in Middleboro without the monkey of state government on their backs. Everybody could have made a decent profit if not for the greed of Bacon Hill, but Deval has proven he cannot say no to too much.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The True Meaning of Bi-Partisan Cooperation

The man of principle is known as such, and even in the fury of faction is respected.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

An interesting appointment has been made by the Bush White House. U.S. William Delahunt, D-Mass., has been named as a Congressional representative to the 62nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which begins next week. Delahunt will participate in sessions of the General Assembly as well as working-level meetings at the UN Secretariat.

Another appointment by the Bush White House is still waiting confirmation in the United States Senate - held hostage by Rep. Delahunt’s colleagues in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation - that of Reed Hillman, eminently qualified former Colonel of the State Police, a legislator who expanded Amber Alert laws and drunk driving statues. Kennedy has publicly expressed concern about Mr. Hillman's qualifications, for even though he has held and commanded all the other portions called for by the Marshal post, he never worked as a Court Bailiff. Who does Reed think he is, Guy Glodis?

The way the UN appointment works is that it includes one member of each party, and membership rotates between the Senate and the House. Therefore, the nomination of Delahunt was made by Nancy Pelosi on March 28, 2007. Also nominated and appointed as a delegate was U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Delahunt's background makes him a natural for the appointment. "Bill has made a real mark on foreign policy with his hands-on approach and his willingness to dig into the issues and put himself on the line," Kerry said."

Um, yes. Boosting a brutal dictator like Hugo Chavez, who recently declared himself President for Life, while calling George Bush 'Satan' at a speech at the UN General Assembly would certainly indicate a real 'hands-on approach and willingness'. Whether or not his views represent in any way the diplomatic stance of the American Government or the American People is a question for quite another day.

Yet, when Speaker Pelosi nominated this loon to represent us, as is her prerogative, the White House did not refuse to confirm her choice, or throw roadblocks regarding his fitness to serve in the path of that confirmation.

Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, apparently ardent admirers of Delahunt's far-left foreign policy stances, are still holding hostage Reed Hillman's nomination as a Federal Marshal after three years.

So- March to October for Democrats from the 'obstructionist' Bush White House, and three years to the 12th of Never for the 'bi-partisan' Democrat Senate. All for one, and One for Themselves. Now that the Democrat definition of Bi-Partisanship has been made so manifest, it helps us all to realize how hollow and hypocritical it is, and we should value such calls accordingly.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 14, 2007

MoveOn's Helpfulness Through History

Courtesy of RedState, a brilliant piece of Political Imagining titled -
What if MoveOn Existed 65 Years Ago?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years Out

Porcupine was very proud to be selected as one of The 2,996 on the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11th. First and foremost, Porcupine asks that you once again read his tribute to Patty Mickley of The Pentagon, and keep her in your minds eye as we all observe this sad anniversary.

How did we get to this place?

Porcupine has been thinking about this while reading an excellent book –
Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weinart of the New York Times. Working with documents that have only been declassified for a couple of years, Mr. Weinart has written a compelling and frightening history of the Central Intelligence Agency, from its inception under Truman through the current day. It is not a pretty picture, and in many ways it is a frightening one.

Much can be learned from the book. For those worried about warrantless wiretaps and FISA eavesdropping, it may come as a shock to know that the CIA began its program of opening and reading first class mail in the United States in the 1940’s. Literally every American President since the inception of the agency has been starkly misled by bad intelligence into military adventure – some, more than once like John Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban missile crisis. This is bad news for the 'Bush Lied, People Died' crwod, as it appears that every President has been guilty of being given bad intelligence from the CIA, and reliance on it is not a 'lie'. Bobby Kennedy, Attorney General, was inexplicably included in foreign policy decisions, and personally ran the CIA operations to assassinate Castro, which convinced him that his brother’s death was simple retribution. Bill Clinton really does not deserve the rap he gets for letting Osama Bin Laden escape; he had signed a kill order and made it clear that the CIA should take any opportunity to kill him. It was George Tenet, not Clinton, who pulled the plug on those chances in Afghasnistan. The book speaks volumes about how we arrived at our intelligence problems in the current day, and how we as a nation scorned to spy, and began in an arena where the powers arrayed against us had hundreds of years of experience.

But Porcupine was taken aback by an incident which is little known, and which may well be the flash point which begins the modern Jihad against the West. In 1955, the leader of Indonesia, President Sukarno, called together a summit of Asian, African and Arab chiefs in Bandung – in fact, a world conference of Islamic nations. Sukarno, a brilliant orator whom the CIA had approved of when he was merely a former Dutch colonial ruler with a large pool of oil to be tapped, announced that he intended to chart a course with his fellow Islamic nations that would depend upon neither Moscow nor Washington. The brothers in charge of American foreign policy – Allen Dulles as head of the CIA and John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State – could not grasp Sukarno, a leader who would quote Thomas Jefferson one day and communist theory the next. Obviously, he had to be assassinated, and a more malleable leader installed in his place.

Of course, the CIA failed – and Sukarno knew of that failure. It was the beginning of a simmering resentment and hatred of the West on the part of the Islamic nations of the world, and we were totally oblivious to it – possibly because it was merely those Muslims, and not a serious nation like East Berlin.

For fifty years, this relationship with the Muslim world has deteriorated. European colonialism and Soviet expansion played their roles in souring Muslim relations with the West, but an imperviousness on the part of all the 'First World' powers to the ancient cultures and antipathies of Jihad bears an equally large burden.

Last week, Osama bin Laden gave us our 'last chance'. Embrace Islam, or die. This is a new video, making reference to Pres. Sarkosky, and is a Jihad Warrior giving us our final chance. On the newer video released for 9/11, he orders up a 'caravan of martyrs'.

As one who does not wish to embrace Islam, let alone Sharia law, Porcupine hopes that looking at how this began - with the West underestimating its enemy, or thinking they must be motivated by profit or economics - will remind us that we have an earnest foe, principled, sincere and deadly.

It is time to remember why we are here in the first place, and time to resolve to fight back against the forces of mideavalism.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Anniversary to be Noted

To achieve, you need thought…You have to know what you are doing and that’s real power.
Ayn Rand, 1975

Porcupine receives regular emails from Michael Zak, a popular speaker to Republican organizations around the country, and author of "Back to Basics for the Republican Party." He sends these bulletins as the Grand Old Partisan - and this one is special enough that Porcupine is reproducing it in this entirety.

Fifty years ago today, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the 1957 Civil Rights Act. The law had been written by Attorney General Herbert Brownell, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

During the five terms of the FDR and Truman presidencies, the Democrats did not propose any civil rights legislation. President Eisenhower, in contrast, at last focused the federal government on defending African-Americans from their Democrat oppressors. He asked Brownell to write the first federal civil rights legislation since the Republican Party's 1875 Civil Rights Act.

In his January 1957 State of the Union address, President Eisenhower re-submitted Brownell's bill to Congress, where it had languished the year before. The new law established a Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department and authorized the Attorney General to request injunctions from federal courts against any attempt to deny someone's right to vote.

The bill had to be weakened considerably to secure enough Democrat votes to pass, so violations would be civil, not criminal offenses, and penalties were light. The original draft would have permitted the Attorney General to sue anyone violating another person's constitutional rights, but Democrat opposition meant this powerful provision would have to wait until the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

From the beginning, the 1957 Civil Rights Act had overwhelming support in the House of Representatives. As ever, Democrats in the Senate were the chief obstacle, and Vice President Richard Nixon played a key role in outmaneuvering them. Campaigning hard for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, Nixon declared: "Most of us will live to see the day when American boys and girls shall sit, side by side, at any school - public or private - with no respect paid to the color of skin. Segregation, discrimination, and prejudice have no place in America."

Lamentably, the Eisenhower administration did not trumpet the bill as a tremendous achievement for our Grand Old Party. And so, when Senate Republicans overcame a Democrat filibuster to pass the bill, it was a Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, who received acclaim for the 1957 Rights Act - written in fact by Herbert Brownell, Republican civil rights hero.

If you would like to learn more about Mr. Zak, or subscribe to his bulletin list, plase visit his web site, Republican Basics.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Commemoration in the Alternative Universe

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Second Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln, given Saturday, March 4, 1865

Porcupine had often heard the words before, but never before used as an Invocation. Still, the setting was appropriate, and the speaker even better. The mellifluous tones belonged to John Sears, seen last by Porcupine 1982 at the Chatham Bars Inn during his campaign for Governor. Mr. Sears is perhaps best known for giving the last entirely honest and un-spun answer to a reporter in Massachusetts politics. When asked what he would do if he failed to be elected, her replied that he had a full, busy life and was running because he thought he could serve well, not because he was desperate to hold office; “I’ve got golf to play, I’ve got books to read”. His defeat may have marked the demise of political candour, but his ability to speak is well remembered and still evident.

It was an appropriate occasion for remembrance, because that was the purpose of the celebration. Porcupine was honored to attend the 140th Annual Lincoln Dinner of the Middlesex Club. The first dinner in 1867 was held as a testimonial to the slain President, and has been held to remember is words and ideas every year ever since. It stands as the oldest continual celebration of Abraham Lincoln in the nation.

About 250 guests attended the dinner at the Copley Plaza, and were the cream of the old guard Republican establishment in the state. Dr. John DeJong, the current President, served as Master of Ceremonies. Republican State Committee members and elected officials were there, but the bulk of the membership was not activists or politicos, but the quiet backbone of the Party in Massachusetts.

Abraham Lincoln attended and spoke briefly. While Porcupine has seen such impersonations before, this one was particularly effective because Mr. Lincoln was well over six feet tall, slender and lanky, and youthful, as Mr. Lincoln must have looked when he visited Massachusetts. That speech centered on Congressman Lincoln’s travels around the state, to Worcester, Cambridge, New Bedford, Taunton, and other Republican strongholds of the day, and it was a successful visit, as the strong Republican vote in 1856 was the main reason that the Party even continued in existence.

Michael Sullivan, dual office holder as both head of the ATF in Washington and the U. S. Attorney in Massachusetts, gave the Lincoln Day Oration. He spoke on Lincoln’s severe criticism over suspending habeas corpus in order to interrogate and hold suspects in the war, holding prisoners for unspecified crimes and periods, and trying civilians in front of military tribunals – necessary, but highly unpopular actions which had more than a bit of the current day mixed in.

The main speaker was a substitute. Sen. Check Hegel was to have been the speaker, but had to cancel unexpectedly – although given the reports that he plans to hold a press conference to retire on Monday, perhaps understandably. Instead, the main speech was given by Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut, who holds the distinction of being the only Republican member of the House in the six New England states. He was an excellent speaker, witty and warm, and he spoke about the increasing factionalism and lack of consensus in Washington, likening it to the early years in Lincoln’s own political cabinet and congress.

To be sure, the political was there. Jim Ogonowski spoke, fresh from his Primary victory, and the membership was enjoined to support him in any way they could to win the special election for the Fifth Congressional seat. Jeff Beatty, candidate for US Senate and former Delta Force and CIA officer, got off perhaps the best line of the night. He said that he had spent most of his career working within small, elite squads to effect great change, and after the CIA, the Mass. Republican Party effort to defeat John Kerry was a next logical step in covert operations.

It was an excellent evening in the Alternative Universe of Republican politics, once again unsullied by attention from the media or public mention. Still, Porcupine left cheerful, not bitter, as the Middlesex Club has proven its durability as an institution, and will continue to impart that sense of survival to the Massachusetts Republican Party.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Consequences of Negative Campaigning

From the Associated Press - "Republican presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. during a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) "
My, my. And the three in front appear to have reporter's notebooks.
It is to be hoped that more candidates will learn a lesson from this - disagree without slandering.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday Summer Sing Along - 2007 Finale!

As always (this is the second time, so Porcupine can now declare it to be 'always'), the Grand Finale of the Sunday Summer Sing-Along for 2007 is a recapitulation of the Red and Blue Alternaton for this summer's edification -

A Ditty for Deval - HERE

A Melody for McCain - HERE

A Ballad for Barak - HERE

A Roundelay for Rudy - HERE

A Hymn for Herself - HERE

A Fandango for Fred - HERE

An Elegy for Edwards - HERE

A Hoedown for Huckabee - HERE

So, Adieu, my friends, until the 2008 round - Porcupine expects ample scope for the art of parody to present itself as the election year advances!

Labels: , , ,

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out! 

Please take my Blog Reader Project survey.

Listed on BlogShares
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
« # ! LifePost + ? » -->