Monday, October 30, 2006

Stop the presses!

The Boston Globe has confirmed long standing rumors of a small state within commuting distance of Boston. This state, known as "Rhode Island", was long thought to be a hoax, but the intrepid reporters for their Sunday magazine segment have been to this "Ocean State" and have written a lengthy article about the Biggest Little.

Though most certainly not Rhode Island related, I've updated Dictators of the World, where the question of female dictators (or the lack thereof) is examined.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


It's been six months, but the Boston Celtics are almost ready to start the 2006 - 2007 NBA regular season. This season finds the team looking at the big questions. Will the Celtics win enough games to make the playoffs? Will Danny Ainge make more boneheaded trades? Will Rajon Rondo win Rookie of the Year honors? Will Sebastian Telfair find himself in hot water with the law? Will the Celtics beat the New Jersey Nets to take the top of the Atlantic Division? I don't know the answers, but I'm glad we won't have to wait much longer to find out.

I'm not even going to address basketball's emotional subcurrents that some people seem to find more interesting than the game itself, but I will certainly get a lump in my throat when the Celtics and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets tip off on November 1st in Boston.

Monday, October 23, 2006

New photos, politics, the usual.

This weekend, I managed to get a few more pictures of Colt State Park in lovely Bristol. As always, I've got the photos up on Flickr.

In other Ocean State news, the world's shortest man has died in Providence of unknown causes. The race for Senate is also heating up, with Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse now leading Republican (and I use that term lightly) incumbent Lincoln Chafee in the polls by the margin of error: 4%.

I'm not sure why I used the death of Nelson de la Rosa as a lead in for the hideous Senate campaign, but I'd like to think that Nelson had more dignity with his disability than we've seen out of Chafee and Whitehouse. To be sure, this is a campaign that's alienated the rank and file of both parties.

Having viewed video recaps of the debate, it seems that Whitehouse has, perhaps unwisely, staked out ground well left of center. Whitehouse's repellent campaign ads appear to have been prepared by a checklist handed straight from the Huffington Post or Daily Kos: anti-Bush? Check! Using men and women in uniform as props? Check! Inferring that Lincoln Chafee is some sort of rabid right winger? Check! Chic anti-corporate rhetoric? Check! Senate election as referendum on Iraq? Check! Most absurdly, one Whitehouse spot filmed at the Warwick Mall makes the patently absurd claim that Chafee "owes George Bush too much".

Speaking as a rabid right winger, I can put the fears of Rhode Island's voters to rest - Lincoln Chafee is no right winger. In fact, most of the state's Republicans are going to swallow their bile before voting for him in November. The same pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Lincoln Chafee that voted against the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the same Chafee that announced he voted against Dubya in 2004, is a rabid, doctrinaire right winger? Nobody in Rhode Island is stupid enough to believe that, and I don't even think Whitehouse actually believes that gibberish.

Part of the problem Whitehouse is going to face is that while Rhode Island tilts Democratic at the polls, the majority of Rhode Island's Democratic voters are solidly centrist, and have demonstrated a willingness to vote Republican (Chafee and Donald Carcieri, for example). Whitehouse's blindingly shrill tone will not help him capture the undecided middle.

Chafee, for his part, has courted the undecided voters by going mellow where Whitehouse has gone shrill, saying that he's "right here in the middle - with you". He's also hit back at Whitehouse with a savage attack on Whitehouse's record as Attorney General, inferring that Whitehouse lacks the ethics and backbone to serve. Ouch. It's only going to get nastier from here on in, and I haven't even begun talking about the race for Governor yet.

Finally, lest I forget, Dictators of the World has been updated as well. Go on and get your tyrant on.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It's official - Esteban Carpio has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2005 murder of Detective James Allen. On one level, I have to hand it to Esteban: he fought tooth and nail to get off the hook: mounting an insanity defense, claiming (perhaps somewhat credibly) that he was deliberately beaten to a pulp by The Man, and letting public advocacy groups paint him as the real victim.

After his conviction in June, Carpio was finally sentenced on Tuesday to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, one for the murder of James Allen, and the second for "discharging a firearm while comitting a violent crime". As a cherry on the proverbial sundae, Carpio earned another 20 years for stabbing an 84 year old woman in the back - the crime that brought him before Detective Allen in the first place.

Esteban Carpio is not lucky in very many senses of the word, but he certainly is lucky that he comitted his crimes in Rhode Island, a state without a death penalty. Had Esteban Carpio been convicted in Delaware, Florida, or Texas, he'd be dead before his 40th birthday.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New photos: Burrillville

It's fall in New England, and more than dead leaves, October signals the beginning of apple picking season. The Hobo Law Student and I travelled to the far northwest reaches of Rhode Island, to Burrillville, to get them while they're fresh. Naturally, I've created a photoset on Flickr to document the experience.

Presuming that everyone who stuck around to trade barbs in the What Cheer? thread is still around, where should I go next for pictures of the Ocean State? So far, my most glaring omissions are Woonsocket, Cranston, Johnston and Hopkinton, but I'm open to any sensible suggestions.