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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, November 28, 2005


Deuce Four

Now here's a movie I'd buy multiple tickets for:

ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.
Gotta love the guy. Not only does he make great movies, but he's willing to stand up for our warriors.

Of course, the movie would be impossible without the excellent work of one Michael Yon:

He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.
The one little tid bit that the reporter leaves out that I really think should be included has to do with the wounding of Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Kurilla. The article states:

He [Kurilla] was injured in August after being shot three times by insurgents “in front of my eyes”, Yon recorded in his blog: “He continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away.”
While this is absolutely true, it is not the event that occurred directly following the Lt. Colonel's wounding. Mr. Yon has those details:

Both the young 2nd lieutenant and the young specialist were inside a shop when a close-quarters firefight broke out, and they ran outside. Not knowing how many men they were fighting, they wanted backup. LTC Kurilla began running in the direction of the shooting. He passed by me and I chased, Kurilla leading the way.

There was a quick and heavy volume of fire. And then LTC Kurilla was shot.
Kurilla was running when he was shot, but he didn't seem to miss a stride; he did a crazy judo roll and came up shooting.
With his leg mangled, Kurilla pointed and fired his rifle into the doorway, yelling instructions to the soldiers about how to get in there.
There is much more to the story and you should definitely read the whole thing.

Suffice it to say that the warriors of the Deuce Four are tough bastards and I'm damn glad their on our side. I fully expect that Bruce Willis will produce an accurate and appropriate movie that will bring the tales of our heroic warriors to their countrymen.


Homespun Bloggers

Homespun Bloggers Radio, Program #11 is up and ready to stream.

Go check it out.


Crowds Clamor For Cindy's Signature


Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Immensely Sad And Telling

A Trooper's Rage

WEST HARTFORD -- A state trooper shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, a Newington police officer, then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide Monday evening.

Ciara McDermott, 30, was found dead around 6:30 p.m. in her house at 348 Ridgewood Road. Sources said she was killed by state Trooper Victor Diaz, who was scheduled to turn himself in to West Hartford police earlier Monday on charges he harassed McDermott.
First off, assuming that the facts made publicly available to date accurately represent the situation, the loss of Officer Ciara McDermott is a true tragedy.

Second, consider the situation in a nutshell: A female officer and male officer end a relationship. Male officer is arrested for a DUI after leading police on a high-speed chance that ended in him physically resisting arrest. He's given a 60-day suspension and told to turn in his service pistol (which we don't know for sure he did at this point). Then he starts making threatening phone calls to his ex-girlfriend and using police resources to run the license plate of a car he saw in her driveway. As a result he is issued a warrant to turn himself in on Monday. He does not and instead on Tuesday goes to his ex-girlfriend's home and kills her.

So I ask, if the police refuse/are unable to protect one of their own from a predator (also one of their own), how likely is it that they are going to protect you?

Update (11/28/05 7am):

It was suggested in the comments that I got the facts of this story wrong. While the corrected details were not provided, it is possible that the commenter was referring to this:

Less than three weeks ago, Diaz sat outside McDermott's house and copied down the license plate numbers of a car parked in her driveway. He asked a friend with the state police to run the plate through their databases to see whose car it was, he would later admit to West Hartford police.

He learned that the car belonged to West Hartford police Officer James DeLuca, McDermott's new boyfriend. Diaz began making harassing phone calls to McDermott until McDermott and DeLuca went to West Hartford police and filed a complaint.

But sources said McDermott decided not to follow through, withdrawing her harassment complaint because she said she could handle any problems with Diaz.
This information was not available at the time I posted this story and it certainly sounds like no one would have expected that Officer Diaz would ever want to physically hurt Officer McDermott. However, there is still some question considering this from the same story:

At that point Diaz must have known two things: that he was to turn himself in to West Hartford police on Monday; and that his once-promising career as a state trooper was probably over when that internal investigation - the second of his career - was completed.
Diaz was scheduled to turn himself in to West Hartford police at 6 p.m. on Monday. At 4:20 he left a voice mail message with Ment [Diaz's attorney], saying plans had changed. He thanked Ment for all of his help and for standing by him, sources said.

Ment, who spent the afternoon in court, retrieved the message at 5:40 p.m. and, sensing danger, immediately dialed West Hartford police and the Troop H state police barracks where Diaz worked and advised officers to go check on McDermott.

"My first thought was that he was going to go to the police station and try and take out a couple of cops along with himself," Ment said.
But his second thought must have been that Officer McDermott was in danger (unless the reporter got the facts wrong). The question is, Why?

We'll probably never really know the whole story. Regardless, the fact is that a police officer with a history of alcohol abuse and violence was active on the street carrying a badge and a gun. Now both he and an innocent woman are dead. The entire thing is a terrible tragedy that, with 20/20 hindsight, might have been avoided.


All The More Reason To Be Prepared

Do you live in an area that's not usually hit with deadly storms? Figure there's no reason to 'be ready'? Try this on for size:

The United States is highly vulnerable to attack from electronic pulses caused by a nuclear blast in space, according to a new book on threats to U.S. security.
An electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack uses X-rays and gamma rays produced in a nuclear blast in three separate waves of pulses, each with more damaging effects, and would take months or years to repair, the book states. The damage to unshielded electronics would be irreversible.
An EMP attack would damage the national power grid, unprotected computers and all devices containing microchips, from medical instruments to military communications, and knock out electronic systems in cars, airplanes and those used in banking and finance and emergency services.
"An EMP attack potentially represents a high-tech means for terrorists to kill millions of Americans the old-fashioned way, through starvation and disease," the book said.
Of course, all you Matrix dorks out there already know all about this sort of thing =).

Seriously though, this sort of attack is not outside the realm of possibility. While we may not all have the ability to "shield" our electronics (whatever that would entail) the vast majority of us do have the capability to prepare to survive such an attack.

How? Stock up on water, nonperishable food and (assuming you'd like to keep those things when electronics-heavy cars, police communications and many other modern gadgets stop working and civil authority breaks down a la New Orleans) some means of physical defense (like, you know...).


I neglected to suggest the very important: like, you know...


Friday, November 18, 2005


Final Salute

Remember them and honor them every day.

Only by the Grace of God and a Few Warriors do We The People sleep soundly through the night...


Deuce Four

The Deuce Four story draws to a close. Check it out.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005



Like I said...Exactly!

Ronald Reagan used his post-1984 political capital to great effect, against a Democrat-controlled Congress. GWB hasn’t even come close to The Gipper in that regard, and that with Republican control of both House and Senate. Quickly: when was the last time you heard GWB say anything remotely like: “I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves”, or “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ “?
Yep, yep and yep again. Check out the whole post. Pretty much sums up my own thoughts on the current state of the Party I once called my own.


Monday, November 14, 2005


The Other Iraq

War never solved anything, huh?


Friday, November 11, 2005


Veterans' Day

Thank you to all former and current military personnel. It is you rough men and women who are willing to violence on my behalf who allow me to sleep peacefully at night.

Thank you.


Thursday, November 10, 2005


Semper Fideles

...and Happy Birthday.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005



Donald Sensing has a great, if somewhat disturbing, post over at One Hand Clapping. Here's a bit:

...Muslims in Europe are living as a minority in a secular society, something that Muslims have never done before.

There is nothing in Islam that instructs Muslims how to do that. From Mohammed’s day until now, Islam has always assumed that it would rule the societies in which it existed. Indeed, correct Muslim living actually depends on living among a Muslim ummah.
It would appear that, at least given a strict understanding of Islam, that Muslims living in a 'Classically Western Liberal' country can choose to be separatist or dominating, but never coexisting and pluralistic.

The scary thing is that we 'Classical Western Liberals' will not likely decide to kick a group of people out of our country based on their religious beliefs, particularly if those religious beliefs do not appear to present us with a direct physical threat. So what's one to do when Muslims of the fundamental stripe become a numerical majority one's country? Not a happy thought.


Thursday, November 03, 2005


Peace And Graveyards

If you read nothing else today, read this post at Blackfive. It's long, but so worth your time that you will be forever greatful for this humble link.

If you're hesitating, consider these two brief quotes:

The "realists" among us would make a graveyard and call it peace.


In the time of Pericles, Aspasia of Miletus, a very wise woman, is rumored to have said, "Peace is for the graveyard."

Into which camp do you fall?

I say again: Read it.


Eminent Domain Vote In Preston, CT

Good news:

PRESTON--Voters in Preston showed their overwhelming opposition Tuesday to the idea of private land being taken by the town for economic development. At referendum, voters adopted an ordinance against taking land by eminent domain.
This is certainly a set in the right direction. Here's the question that was put to the voters from Preston's website:

Notice of Referendum

To Be Held Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 7-7, and a Special Town Meeting of the Town of Preston, the following question will be put to a machine or paper ballot referendum vote to be held at the Preston Town Hall on Tuesday, November 1st, 2005 from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.:

1. Shall the Town of Preston adopt an ordinance prohibiting the acquisition of certain property by eminent domain for privately held or controlled economic development purposes in the Town of Preston?

A “Yes” vote shall be in favor of adoption of the ordinance; a “No” vote shall be opposed to adoption of the ordinance.

Dated @ Preston, CT this 27th Day of October, 2005.
Of course, this still leaves open to interpertation just exactly what is meant by "for privately held or controled...development", but like I said, it's a move in the right direction. Hopefully other towns across and Connecticut and the entire nation will take similar action.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Eminent Domain Moratorium At Hand?

Let's hope (subscription):

State lawmakers are close to a compromise on eminent domain reform that would put on hold any takings of private property for economic development or blight until the end of the General Assembly's regular session next year.
The proposed moratorium — which would make mandatory the voluntary prohibition of eminent domain seizures that legislative leaders declared in July — would forbid the city and the New London Development Corp. from forcing the remaining occupants at Fort Trumbull to surrender their properties.

But the deal faces angry opposition from New London's representatives, who see it as a clumsy intrusion into the city's legal battle with the remaining holdouts.
And to the people of New London, you might want to read this:

[Rep. Ernest] Hewett [D-New London] voted to approve the Fort Trumbull development plan as a city councilor, and [Rep. Ted] Moukawsher [D-New London] said he tried last week to talk House Speaker James Amann out of even bringing an eminent domain bill to a vote, saying it would only further delay economic revitalization in the city.

“It's an irrational response to this situation, driven by all this, I think, overblown rhetoric about what the implications of the Kelo decision were,” Moukawsher said. “What this does is create disorder. And anything you tried to do for the next nine months would be halted.”
“I can't believe that, without talking to any of the representatives from New London, that this deal is being made to mollify Bob Ward,” he added.
“We can't keep changing the law every time something happens,” Hewett said. “The law's good. It's been on the books a long time. Now all of a sudden we've got a few bleeding hearts, and we want to change the law.”
Actually Mr. Hewett, we can, in fact, change the law "every time something happens." We can change the law whenever we (the People) want to. If you'd rather oppose the will of the People, then I suggest you start looking for a day job.

I sincerely hope that residents of New London take note of their representatives' view of private property rights of their constituents. You may think that redevelopment of the Fort Trumble neighborhood is a good idea, but will you have the intellectual honesty to express the same opinion when they come for your home?

Please do us all a favor, send a clear and unmistakable message to the state, country and world, vote these guys out of office and replace them with people who will represent the rights of each individual citizen.

If you'd like to get in contact with either of the two New London State Reps, here is the contact info:

Rep. Ernest Hewett D-New London
In the District:
48 West Elderkin Avenue
Groton, CT 06340

At the Capitol:
Legislative Office Building, Room 5008
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
(860) 240-8585

Rep. Ernest Hewett D-New London
In the District:
29 Colman Street
New London, CT 06320

At the Capitol:
Legislative Office Building, Room 4052
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
(860) 240-8585


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