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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Be careful what you wish for

I am not, by nature, a warmonger. But I understand that, sometimes, the use of force against an enemy nation is necessary.

Case in point: North Korea.

Saber rattling, which the North's dictator, Kim Jong Il, has turned into an art form, is one thing. But bombing a South Korean island and killing innocent people is quite something else, and it can't be tolerated.

Kim warned on Friday that planned joint military exercises nearby by the United States and South Korea will bring the region to the "brink of war."

Perhaps it's time for the Obama administration to prove Kim right — and shut him up once and for all.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The slow death of real news

North Korea bombs a South Korean island today, resulting in military fatalities and subsequent artillery exchanges between the two sides — an escalation of hostilities made all the more frightening by the presence of nuclear weapons in the region — and what were CNN, Headline News and Fox News devoting large chucks of time to this morning? The fact that a human jawbone found in Aruba does not belong to missing American teenager Natalee Holloway.

I guess there was nothing new to report on how Bristol Palin is doing on "Dancing With the Stars."


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not hearing the fat lady sing

Republican George Phillips is trailing Democratic U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey by about 8,200 votes in New York's 22nd Congressional District election but is refusing to concede.

Phillips, behind by a count of 90,412 to 82,202, apparently is pinning his hopes on the estimated 12,600 absentee ballots cast in the election.

With all due to respect, George, do the math. (I mean, I know you're a history teacher, but do the math.) Even if you picked up 10,000 of the 12,600 absentee votes, you'd still lose: 93,012 to 92,202.

To win this thing, Phillips would need nearly 83 percent of the absentee ballots to go his way in an election where only 47.6 percent of voters favored him at the polling places.

Seriously, George, do the math. And then do the honorable thing: Concede.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The bums stay in

Voters baffle me.

For the last two years, we've been hearing the public scream loud and long about how New York has the most dysfunctional state government in the nation and that the only plausible solution is to "throw the bums out."

And what happens last night? Every state legislator in the Mid-Hudson Valley (save for one who was in a too-close-to-call race at the end of Tuesday) is re-elected.

Kevin Cahill, Marc Molinaro. Joel Miller. Cliff Crouch. Pete Lopez. All awarded new terms in the Assembly. And incumbent Frank Skartados looks to be heading toward victory.

Bill Larkin. John Bonacic. Steve Saland. Jim Seward. All headed back to the Senate.

I just don't get it. And neither, apparently, do the people who went to the polls yesterday.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Some sanity is left

As it did for the Glenn Beck rally in late August, CBS News hired a company called AirPhotosLive to do a fly-over estimate on Saturday of the crowd at the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert "Restore Sanity and/or Fear" rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The magic number? 215,000.

That's about 2-1/2 times the size of the Beck crowd, estimated by AirPhotosLive at 87,000.

Maybe America hasn't swung quite as far to the right as all the screechy conservative pundits would like us to believe.