Who Is Left?

This was posted by Boston Antifa on Saturday:

So what do they support? Is there room for free speech? How does that make their cause something anyone should support? If they don’t support the US Constitution, why don’t they go to a country with a different constitution? Have they considered protesting in say, Cuba? Venezuela? Russia? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Exactly what are they resisting and why?

A Problem Made Worse By Failure To Deal With Another Problem

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a problem in Boston that unfortunately has become a problem throughout the nation. The number of heroin overdoses in all fifty states has risen dramatically in recent years.

According to the Center for Disease Control website:

As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths:

  • Heroin-related overdose deaths have more than quadrupled since 2010.
  • From 2014 to 2015, heroin overdose death rates increased by 20.6%, with nearly 13,000 people dying in 2015.
  • In 2015, males aged 25-44 had the highest heroin death rate at 13.2 per 100,000, which was an increase of 22.2% from 2014.

This is a nationwide problem. However, each area of the country has its unique source or the problem. In Boston, Massachusetts, the problem is leaked to the problem of illegal immigration.

The article at Power Line reports:

I want to focus on certain findings in the BRIC report regarding drug traffickers. According to the report, only 39 percent of those arrested for Class A Trafficking claimed to have been born in the United States. 26 percent claimed to have been born in Puerto Rico. Records showed, however, that 65 percent were born in a foreign country, with the Dominican Republic accounting for 84 percent of the foreign born arrestees.

The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because, in many cases, the records listed multiple places of birth.

The problem of multiple places of birth listed for the same person can be explained by the fact that identify fraud is involved in many of these arrests.

The article concludes:

It would seem, then, that there is a connection between heroin trafficking in Boston and illegal immigration. However, Steve Robinson, writing on the web page of the Howie Carr show, notes that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh offered to open City Hall as a sanctuary to illegal aliens facing deportation under the Trump administration. In addition, says Robinson, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has resisted President Trump’s efforts to withdraw law enforcement grants from towns and cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.

Might not better cooperation with federal authorities in enforcing our immigration laws — enacted by Congress, not by President Trump — help rid Boston of some who are killing Bostonians via drug overdoses?

Why would anyone even consider a law that would allow illegal aliens dealing drugs to stay in America? Everyone who comes to America illegally has broken the law. However, not everyone who comes here illegally continues to break the law. We need to gain control of our immigration so that people who want to come here and assimilate and contribute to America can come and people who want to come here and take advantage of America’s government assistance programs will be kept out. Under our present laws, people who come here illegally are not able to legally work and sometimes resort to identity fraud in order to make a living and survive. We need to find a way to let productive people stay in the country. I would suggest that illegals be given the right to work, but be barred from voting for life. It is time to get control of our borders and to know exactly who is in America.

This Might Be One Reason Infrastructure Projects In Massachusetts Cost So Much

Boston CBS Local posted an article yesterday about a perk that some state employees receive. It’s okay for a job to have perks, but somehow this perk was unknown to the general public and hidden under layers of accounting.

The article reports:

For possibly more than 30 years, some managers at the MBTA have enjoyed a perk that’s been hidden from the public: Unmarked take-home cars that are owned by construction companies.

The I-Team discovered the cost to taxpayers is almost impossible to determine because the vehicles have been buried in the overall price of multi-million dollar projects.

Now, leaders at the cash-strapped agency say the secret car program is coming to a screeching halt. Less than a week after the I-Team started asking questions, the MBTA returned all 23 vehicles to construction companies.

…Gas, insurance and maintenance costs were all covered by the contractor, while the MBTA picked up the tab for the $625 monthly parking pass at a private downtown garage.

…MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve told the I-Team the contractor-owned vehicles are another example of trying to change “decades of mismanagement” at the agency.

He pointed to other recent examples like privatizing operations at the MBTA’s “money room,” and eliminating hundreds of unused cell phones from the budget.

In the case of the take-home vehicles, Shortsleeve said the program raised immediate concerns when he heard about it.

It will be interesting to revisit this issue in about six months and see if anything has been done about it.

If It Won’t Work, Why Is The Government Funding It?

One of the biggest problems in the American economy right now is crony capitalism. Rather than a free market system where innovation is rewarded, we have devolved into a system where the federal government picks which companies will receive money from the government to become successful and which companies will simply have to rely on their own abilities to become successful. One of the places where this has been the most obvious has been the ‘green energy‘ industry. On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article stating some basic facts about green energy.

The article reports:

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants.

…The MIT study also noted that solar and wind power are more than twice as expensive as natural gas, and tax on carbon dioxide emissions could increase electricity prices enough for green sources to compete. Even environmental groups such as The Sierra Club worry increasingly cheap energy will make the case for green power weaker.

The article goes on to explain that fossil fuel is cheap and reliable. As of yet, green energy is neither. We would probably have a better chance of developing green energy if the government would get out of the way and let the inventors take over and be rewarded for their efforts. Until change becomes extremely profitable (outside government subsidies), it is unlikely to happen.

As The Debate On Refugees Continues…

Joe Fitzgerald posted a commentary in the Boston Herald yesterday about the current state of affairs in America. The title of the article was, “In desperate times, deception destroys.”

Here are a few very cogent points from the article:

In circles of recovery it’s sometimes referred to as “the gift of desperation,” that moment when it becomes crystal clear to an addict that a change must be made, that returning to the old ways is simply not an option anymore.

…Even the pope — who represents the Prince of Peace on Earth — seems to have embraced the spirit of the Old Testament’s “eye for an eye” credo, as if to suggest there are limits on how often we should turn the other cheek, because it’s obvious the barbarians at our gates view kindness as weakness.

It’s not complicated. If we’re not going to love them into the family of civilization, then we need to crush them into oblivion, and soon.

Immigration is as American as the bald eagle. Ellis Island bore witness to that.

But now it’s no longer a conversation about our hospitality; it’s clearly become the Achilles heel of our nation’s security as millions take refuge in our populace without learning our history, speaking our language or giving any indication of affection for this country.

Mr. Fitzgerald reminds us that asking who the refugees are and why they are coming here is not ‘hateful, prejudiced, or xenophobic’–it is common sense. We are responsible for preserving the country our Founding Fathers left us.

It would do us well to remember what Ben Franklin said after the close of the Continental Congress in 1787 when he was asked the following:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

  “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

We need to welcome people who want to live in that Republic and send those who don’t want to live in that Republic somewhere where they will be more comfortable.

Massachusetts Holds Teamsters Local 25 Accountable

The Boston Globe yesterday posted the indictment of five members of Teamsters Local 25 for their attempts at shutting down a film crew in the Boston Area.

Some excerpts from the Indictment:

Company A was not a signatory to any collective bargaining agreement with Local 25. Company A hired its own employees (“the Crew”), including drivers, to produce and participate in the filming of the show and did not need any work performed by Local 25.

…On or about June 9, 2014, an individual from the Omni Parker House notified Company A that, despite their prior agreement, the Omni Parker House would no longer permit Company A to use its location to film because the hotel did not want to be associated with a Local 25 picket. As a result, Company A found a new location for filming outside the City of Boston.

…Restaurant A is a restaurant located in Milton, Massachusetts. At around 9:00 a.m. on June 10,2014, defendants REDMOND, HARRINGTON, JOHN FIDLER (“FIDLER”), ROBERT CAFARELLI (“CAFARELLI”) and RICHARD JEFFREY (“JEFFREY”) showed up at Restaurant A. REDMOND, HARRINGTON, FIDLER, CAFARELLI and JEFFREY are all members of Local 25. Two or three of the defendants entered the production area and began walking in lockstep toward the doors of the restaurant where they chest-bumped and stomach bumped Crew members in an attempt to forcibly enter the restaurant.

Throughout the morning, the defendants continued to use and threaten to use physical violence against members of the Crew and others. The defendants yelled profanities and racial and homophobic slurs at the Crew and others. The defendants blocked vehicles from the entryway to the set and used actual physical violence and threats of physical violence to try and prevent people from entering the set. On one occasion, the defendants prevented a food delivery truck from delivering food. The defendants were also observed by the Crew standing in close proximity to cars belonging to the Crew, nine of which were later found to have had their tires slashed.

Unions have a place in America when they act within the law. This sort of behavior is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately there are unions who do this sort of thing during election campaigns. While working on a campaign in Massachusetts, I encountered union political activists that blocked supporters of other candidates from entering the parking lot of a building where a candidates’ debate was held. I also witnessed attempts to intimidate supporters of the candidates the union did not support.

I have no problem with protest. I have no problem with picketing, but I do have a problem with threatening people and damaging their property. Unfortunately, if these men are sent to jail, the union will support their families while they are away, and they will pay no lasting penalty for their misdeeds. The men involved need to be required to make serious restitution for the tires they slashed and any other property they damaged. If that happens, it will come from union funds, but it still needs to happen.

The Sad Part Of This Is That It Is True

Violence is a problem in America (just as it is in most countries). Gun violence is often the problem cited because it is the most obvious. Some of the people who want to fight gun violence seem to have lost the concept of common sense.

This is a chart from a website called Gun Facts:

CRIME AND GUNS - Property Crimes and Handgun Supply

There is a lot of good information on the site. Here are a few of the facts cited:

Fact: 60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. 40% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed. 7

Fact: Felons report that they avoid entering houses where people are at home because they fear being shot. 8

Fact: 59% of the burglaries in Britain, which has tough gun control laws, are “hot burglaries” 9 which are burglaries committed while the home is occupied by the owner/renter. By contrast, the U.S., with more lenient gun control laws, has a “hot burglary” rate of only 13%. 10

Fact: Washington DC has essentially banned gun ownership since 1976 11 and has a murder rate of 56.9 per 100,000. Across the river in Arlington, Virginia, gun ownership is less restricted. There, the murder rate is just 1.6 per 100,000, less than three percent of the Washington, DC rate. 12

Please visit the site to check the sources on the footnotes.

All this brings me to a story from CBS Boston posted on Thursday. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans have formulated a plan to reduce gun violence in Boston. The first step of the plan involves sending a letter to all gun owners.

The article reports:

The letter will give gun owners information about reporting a private gun sale, loss or theft. It also advertises a free gun lock, a program that offers a $200 gift card if a firearm owner turns in their weapon and advice on gun storage.

“As a legal gun owner, it is important that you also do your part to ensure that guns are stored safely, and kept out of the hands of children and criminals,” the letter states.

Deadly shootings have dropped 30 percent compared to this time last year, but the city has seen more non-fatal shootings, police say.

“We must think creatively in order to reduce the amount of illegal guns and violence on our streets,” Walsh said.

The city will also reach out to gun vendors about preventing illegal firearm sales.

I fully support safety courses for people who own guns, but the people who legally own guns are not the problem. Statistics show that crime goes down when more people legally own guns. Boston’s problem won’t be solved by buying back guns–it might be solved by allowing more of its upstanding citizens to own guns and ending the hassle Massachusetts puts you through to get a gun permit. Sometimes you just wonder who comes up with these ideas.

Add This To Your Current List Of Really Bad Ideas

On Friday, The Boston Globe reported that there was a move to draft Michael Dukakis (former Massachusetts Governor) to run for President in 2016. First of all, Michael Dukakis is 81 years old. I thought the Republicans were the party of old white males.

The article reports:

Max Smith, who describes himself as a Democratic activist from Boston, said this is no joke, that there are political donors from Boston and New Hampshire who want to help fund the effort.

“The [State Department] e-mail revelations are going to rock the Hillary Clinton campaign. We need somebody with stability,” said Smith, who is part of the Draft Dukakis campaign.

But the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee told the Globe that another potential Dukakis versus Bush matchup is not in the cards.

“I am absolutely not a candidate for the presidency,” said Dukakis, who is 81. “Kitty and I are supporting Hillary.”

It sounds like Governor Dukakis is more in line with the mainstream Democratic party than the people who are supporting him. His decision not to run is a very intelligent decision. It’s probably the only political thing he has ever done that I wholeheartedly agree with.

When I first saw this article, I checked the source because I didn’t believe it. I still really can’t imagine what a disaster his candidacy would be. I remember him well as the Governor of Massachusetts.

Good Police Work Prevented Something Awful

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story today about some recent events at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. There was a Pokemon convention there. I don’t know anything about Pokemon, but it seems that there were some attendees with nefarious intentions. James Austin Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, had posted on Facebook, ““Boys an girls this is going to be a guns and stripper weekend!!!” The convention center security called the Boston Police, who sent two officers to check on the two men. When he was questioned, Stumbo claimed that the quote was taken out of context, but told the police where their car was and that it had weapons inside. The police found a shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, a hunting knife, and 250 rounds of ammunition inside the car. This doesn’t sound like normal cargo for a trip to Boston for a Convention.

There are a few things at play here. Massachusetts has strict gun laws. Neither man had the proper gun permits for the weapons they were carrying. Obviously the strict gun laws had no impact on them or their intentions. Thank God they chose to brag on Facebook. Also, thank God for the diligence of the Hynes Convention Center security staff.

I now live in a state that has more relaxed gun laws. Had the men tried this in North Carolina, chances are they would have been met by concealed carry permit holders who would have dispensed with them quickly. I don’t like gun violence, but it seems to me that we are at a point where restrictive gun laws are not accomplishing what they are supposed to accomplish. Obviously, these two young men were not affected by Massachusetts’ strict gun ownership policy. It has taken me a while to get to where I am on gun control, but I am coming closer to the idea that the only gun permit that should be needed is found in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Other gun permits may seem to have some value, but it is obvious that they do not–people with nefarious intentions don’t seem to be deterred by gun laws.

The Public Does Have A Voice

Yesterday, Wicked Local Newton (Massachusetts–you understand the name of the paper if you have ever lived in New England) posted an article about  the United States Olympic Committee pulling the Boston bid for the games. All well-informed Massachusetts taxpayers breathed a sigh of relief. The Olympics in Boston were going to make the Big Dig look like a fiscally responsible undertaking.

The fact that the bid was withdrawn was due to the work of a group of people including Newton resident Evan Falchuk, Chairman of Citizens for a Say, and Marty Lamb and Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, Co-Chairmen of Tank Taxes for Olympics.

The article reports:

“The many elected officials in Boston 2024’s corner looked the other way for months, even when it became clear that Boston 2024 had been less than truthful about what it wanted from taxpayers. What those officials couldn’t ignore was the real, credible threat of a binding vote, which is what ultimately led to the USOC pulling the bid,” said Falchuk. “If Boston 2024 could have produced a plan that did not rely on a taxpayer bailout, they would be still in the running for the 2024 games.”

“As a taxpayer I am relieved. Taxpayers would have been paying for the Olympics for decades to come,” said Lamb. “Last week’s revelation about Boston 2024’s first bid documents showed they did not want a ballot question. To suggest it would take $1 million to get on the ballot was blatantly false. I’m sure when the USOC found out we were serious about protecting taxpayers, that sent a strong message.”

“This is good day for Massachusetts taxpayers. The Boston Games would have resulted in a multi-billion taxpayer funded bailout. It would have hurt our state’s bond rating, taken tax dollars from necessities and forced huge tax increases,” said O’Connell. “We are a world class state without the Olympics. We don’t need to spend billions of tax dollars to prove that fact.”

Citizens for a Say along with Tank Taxes for Olympics have filed with the Attorney General a ballot question to prohibit tax dollars for the Olympics. The coalition was the only group pursuing a legally binding effort to protect taxpayers.

Concerned citizens can make a difference–even when they are up against serious money.

 

 

Buried In The Story Is The Cause For The Change

Channel 5 in Boston posted an article today about the fact that the number of great white sharks off Massachusetts shores is rising.

The article states:

The resurgence of the gray seal population has driven the increase in white shark sightings here.

White sharks in excess of 9 to 10 to feet switch their diet to larger prey: seals, sea lions and scavenged whale carcasses,” said Skomal.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act passed by the U.S. and Canada in 1972 helped bring back the gray seals, whose numbers in the Gulf of Maine to Massachusetts are estimated at between 300,000 and 400,000, with a major nesting area for seal pups on Muskeget Island between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, said Skomal.

About 2,000 pups were born on Muskeget in 2008, four times the rate in 1999.

Last September in Cape Cod waters, Skomal’s team filmed a white shark feeding on a freshly killed seal. The video shared Wednesday night depicted a bloody and violent scene.

The italics are mine. I don’t have anything against gray seals, I wish them well; however, when man decides to change the rules for one part of the animal population, he invariably impacts another part. Sharks have to eat, too.

You can bet that some pseudo-scientist will come along very quickly and blame the increased number of sharks on global warming. That’s just the way things work these days.

The Verdict Is In

The Associated Press is reporting that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all charges Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing by a federal jury. The question now is whether or not he will receive the death penalty.

The article reports:

Tsarnaev folded his arms, fidgeted and looked down at the defense table as he listened to one guilty verdict after another on all 30 counts against him, including conspiracy and deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of those counts are punishable by death.

The verdict – reached after a day and a half of deliberations – was practically a foregone conclusion, given his lawyer’s startling admission at the trial’s outset that Tsarnaev carried out the terror attack with his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan.

Tsarnaev‘s defense lawyer, Judy Clarke, has argued that Tsarnaev, who was nineteen at the time of the bombing, committed the crime because he was under the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan. That may be so, but it doesn’t excuse what he did. Tsarnaev had (and has) free choice in choosing his actions, and now he is being called to take responsibility for those actions.

Whatever happens to Tsarnaev, the victims of the bombing will never be able to go back to where they were before the event–the loved ones will still be lost and the major injuries will still be there. Executing Tsarnaev will not change anything that has happened, but I am not sure anything will be gained by keeping him alive either.

 

Can The Mayor Legally Ban Free Speech?

Fortune Magazine posted an article yesterday about a decree signed by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh which bans City of Boston employees from speaking negatively about the Olympic Games or the bidding process.

This is the decree:

The City, including its employees, officers, and representatives, shall not make, publish or communicate to any Person, or communicated in any public forum, any comments or statements (written or oral) that reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation or statute of, the [International Olympic Committee], the [International Paralympic Committee], the USOC, the IOC Bid, the Bid Committee or the Olympic or Paralympic movement. The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall each promote the Bid Committee, the USOC, the IOC Bid, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls and the Olympic and Paralympic movement in a positive manner.

The article reports:

Employees at private companies have few free speech rights except for those related to improving their workplace and guaranteeing their rights as workers. But the Supreme Court in a June 2014 decision clarified the limits public employers can place on their workers’ speech. The court ruled that speech outside the scope of an employee’s duties is protected.

The article concludes:

“Having a way to deal with dissent is a concern for companies more broadly; they want people to disagree so they can come up with better solutions and build consensus,” says Adam Cobb, a professor at The Wharton School. The Boston ban “has the potential to be counterproductive,” he says. “If you don’t let [dissenters] voice their concerns, they’ll just sit there mad or quit.” Those left behind will simply be yes-men and yes-women. Sure, they will all be on the same page. And they’ll come up with nothing but the same solution for the same problem, again and again.

I think we are currently having that problem in the Obama Administration.

An Announcement From A Friend

Marty Lamb has worked tirelessly to repeal the automatic gas tax increase voted in by the Massachusetts legislature last year. He sent out the following email today:

Today I am announcing that I am leaving the Yes on 1 Ballot Question to Repeal Automatic Gas Taxes.

 I still fully support the initiative!

 So why am I leaving????

 You won’t believe this!

 The Office of Campaign and Political Finance says that our ballot initiative cannot tell the public which legislators voted for or against linking the gas tax to inflation. I feel that this a gross infringement on our first amendment rights!

 We could fight them in court…

 But…

 Time is running out for this election cycle.

 So today I am announcing the TankTheGasTax.Net PAC which will educate voters how legislators voted on indexing the gas tax to inflation. We will tell voters if their Representative or Senator voted for Taxation Without Representation. We will tell you who is against indexing before they were for it. We will tell you which members voted to take more money out of your pocket while collecting taxpayer funded per diems.

 If you agree that the public has a right to know, then please click here to make a much needed donation to kick-off this PAC.

 Beacon Hill insiders want to keep us quiet. I am not going to let that happen.

 While I am very sad about leaving the ballot group which I help build, I am hoping that you will show your support for my decision by making a donation today.

 Your financial support will be immediately used to print handouts that will be distributed to voters regarding their votes to automatically tax us.

 Help me hold them accountable!

 Please let me hear from you today!

 Thank you,

Temporarily this automatic tax increase and government transparency on the tax increase is a Massachusetts issue. Don’t count on it remaining only in Massachusetts.

An Infrequently Reported Example Of Bullying

This was written by a friend on Facebook:

Against Bullying? Start with Walmart

By: Christine Morabito – July, 2014

After years of harassment by special interest groups, Walmart is fighting back. As with most bullies, the claims they make have less to do with reality than with bolstering the tormentor’s self-esteem.

This was evident in Timothy Egan’s New York Times op-ed, June 19, 2014, entitled “The Corporate Daddy,” where Egan accused the company of paying “humiliating wages.” He claimed, “Working at Walmart may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor.”

Responding to the NYT hit piece, Walmart’s David Tovar, Director of Corporate Communications, reposted Egan’s article, complete with snarky, red-inked edits in the margins. He began, “Thanks for sharing your first draft.” Tovar proceeded to dispute claim after baseless claim. It reminded me of the triumphant scene in “Napoleon Dynamite,” where the relentlessly mistreated protagonist earns a standing ovation for his dance moves.

With 2.2 million employees worldwide, Walmart is also the largest U.S. employer. The average full-time associate earns around $12 an hour, well above minimum wage. In 2013, the corporation was praised by First Lady Michelle Obama for announcing plans to hire 100,000 veterans. Last year they donated more than $1 billion to charity globally. They also offer education assistance and help associates who have been affected by catastrophic life events such as fire, divorce, death, etc. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the retailer sent truckloads of goods to help victims. Yet, their reputation is under constant attack.

The Washington Examiner reported that Walmart’s health insurance is not only more affordable than Obamacare, but it also offers better coverage, minus the income, age or gender restrictions. The retailer revolutionized the pharmacy industry by offering inexpensive prescription drugs with little to no co-pays for their employees. Still, nothing satisfies the bullies, intent on pushing Walmart down and taking their lunch money.

Walmart is known for their entry level positions. But starting wages are rarely static. According to their website, “About 75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year … Last year, Walmart promoted about 170,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.” This is a key point lost on the Walmart bashers — as people gain knowledge and experience they climb the economic ladder.

It is clear the Walmart smear campaign is a pastime mostly enjoyed by far left activists, unions, angered by the superstore’s refusal to unionize, and the politicians beholden to such groups. To protest the opening of Walmart stores in cities, like Brooklyn, New York and Boston, is to deprive consumers of a wide variety of quality goods at low prices. A 2011 NYT poll showed 62 percent of New Yorkers wanted a store in their neighborhood. In her blog, “Ghetto Economics & the Politics of Poverty,” Stephanie Davis writes: “In essence, Boston’s political class has turned its city limits into a type of food dessert or island in which the cost of goods is higher because of limited supply or lack of competition.”

Today’s trend is to be obsessed with the gap between the highest paid worker and the lowest. Of course there’s an income gap! But, we must also take into account the gap in initiative, experience and in some cases, education (all of which can be rectified). These things being equal, we could legitimately criticize the income disparity. If career politicians and intellectual elites had even a smidgen of experience in the private sector, they might understand how this works. Until then, they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near economic policy.

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days when we valued hard work and success in this country. Young people today are encouraged to vilify those who have more. It seems to me a childish and selfish way to view the world.

In my youth, I had many low paying jobs. When I got tired of being broke, I applied for student loans, studied hard and became a nurse. If I wanted more money, I could go back to school and become a nurse manager or even a surgeon. Here’s the thing: I don’t want to. I’d rather not put forth the effort or incur the associated expense. Do I resent doctors because they make more than me? Not at all. Do I march in the streets and demand the same salary as a physician? That would be absurd.

Instead of browbeating Walmart and coveting thy neighbor’s paycheck, maybe we should be inspiring people to educate and market themselves so they have skills employers need. I learned early in life that no one is going to pay me to sit around looking pretty.

I Think This Is Just Silly

Yesterday WCVB.com in Boston reported that two Beverly High School lacrosse players have been suspended from Saturday’s championship game against Marblehead after a picture of them smoking cigars appeared in the Citizen this week.

The article reports:

WickedLocal reported Friday that John Donovan told The Salem News Friday that his son, midfielder Nick Donovan, and defenseman Dylan Jutras were suspended under Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules governing the use of tobacco.

A picture of Donovan, Jutras and two other Beverly High School graduates smoking cigars at the school’s June 1 graduation ceremony appeared in the June 5 edition of the Citizen.

…Students who play for MIAA member schools are forbidden to consume alcohol, tobacco or non-prescribed drugs and can be suspended from 25 percent of remaining regular season games or removed completely from tournament games scheduled at the time of the infraction, according to MIAA spokesperson Paul Wetzel.

The students are over 18 and have graduated. I think this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Tobacco is not an illegal substance and is not illegal for people over the age of 18. I find it ironic that so much effort is being made to stop people from smoking while at the same time there is so much effort going into legalizing marijuana.

 


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Something American Women Need To Know

There is a website called Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. On that site is a page dealing with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) dealing with the relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

Here is an example of two of the questions and answers:

1. How many breast cancer risks are associated with abortion and what are those risks?

 Two breast cancer risks are associated with abortion.  All experts agree that increased childbearing, starting at a younger age, and increased duration of breastfeeding significantly reduce breast cancer risk. Cancer fundraising businesses recognize that the following factors raise a woman’s risk for breast cancer: 1) Childlessness; 2) Small family size; 3) Little or no breastfeeding; and 4) Having a late first full term pregnancy.

 There can be no question that abortion contributes to the breast cancer rates of all nations where the procedure is accessible.  Few experts, however, possess either the intellectual honesty or the political courage to acknowledge that abortion has anything to do with the loss of the protective effect – unless, of course, they are compelled to testify under oath.

 Even an expert witness for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Dr. Lynn Rosenberg of Boston Medical School, was compelled to agree with this medical fact while under oath: “A woman who finds herself pregnant at age 15 will have a higher breast cancer risk if she chooses to abort that pregnancy than if she carries the pregnancy to term, correct?”

Scientists debate only one of the breast cancer risks associated with abortion – the question of an independent link.  In other words, does an abortion leave a woman with more cancer vulnerable breast lobules than she had before she became pregnant?

2) How many medical organizations acknowledge that abortion is independently linked to breast cancer and what is the evidence that supports this effect?

 As of October, 2006, eight medical organizations acknowledge that abortion increases a woman’s risk in this way.  Most of the recent epidemiological research examines only the debated risk – the effect of the independent link.  Most of the recent research omits the effect of the first risk (the loss of the protective effect of childbearing) because it is already accepted as a well-established fact in the medical literature. 

 An overwhelming majority of the epidemiological studies support an independent link.  Seventy epidemiological studies dating from 1957 have been conducted, and approximately 80% report a correlation between having an abortion and increased breast cancer risk.  Animal research and considerable biological evidence also support a link. Even the most zealous opponents of the abortion-cancer link agree that the biological reasons for it are physiologically correct.  No scientist has ever refuted or even challenged the biological explanation.

 Considering the sheer extent of the evidence that has accumulated over the last half-century, why didn’t the cancer fundraising at least warn women about the existence of this research, as well as the fact that abortion would result in the loss of the protective effect of childbearing?

Shouldn’t this information be part of the discussion about women’s healthcare?

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An Historic Passing

WCVB.com in Boston is reporting that Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the von Trapp family who fled Nazi-occupied of Austria in 1938, has died at age 99. The play and movie “The Sound of Music” were loosely based on a book written by Maria von Trapp’s stepmother, also Maria von Trapp.  After they escaped from Austria, the musical family performed concerts in Europe and America. In the early 1940’s the family settled in Vermont and opened a ski lodge in Stowe.

The death of Maria von Trapp is another reminder that the generation that fought and was impacted by World War II is rapidly disappearing. We need to remember their courage and hold on to the principles they stood for.  Maria’s father, Georg von Trapp, was a captain in the Austrian Navy. He had the wisdom to see where the country was going under the Nazis and the courage to get his family out of there.

 

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This Year’s Boston Marathon

On April 21, approximately 36,000 people will participate in the Boston Marathon. Yesterday the Boston Herald posted an article about this year’s runners. If you are interested in supporting a runner, please click on the “Team for Kids” link under the picture at the top of the page.

The Boston Herald reports:

Competition for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society marathon team’s 135 spots was three times as fierce as usual, with more than 500 people applying, team coach Kelly Flynn said. “Every charity, within a month, all the numbers were gone and every charity had a wait list.”

Sarah Lucas, a coach for the Boston Children’s Hospital team, said last year’s events struck a nerve in the running community. “People want to show their resiliency and make it as positive as they can instead of shying away and letting the acts affect them,” she said.

The Boston Athletic Association increased the official field of runners by one third, from 27,000 to 36,000. As many as 45 percent of all the runners will be traveling the route for the first time, the BAA reports.

“People’s interest in every element of this year’s marathon — runners included — comes from a determination to show that they will move forward to live their lives as they choose, no matter what someone may have done to try to stop them,” BAA executive director Tom Grilk said. “That is the essence of ‘Boston Strong,’ and it motivates everyone.”

I am so impressed by the runners who will be participating this year. May they all safely complete the race.

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The Government Shutdown Won’t Work For The Democrats Unless They Can Make It Hurt

A website called College Football Talk is reporting today that all sports games at the service academies will be cancelled because of the government shutdown.

The article reports:

In a press release sent out a short time ago, Navy announced that the Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate competitions at the nation’s service academies due to the government shutdown.  At the very least, the Air Force-Navy game as well as Army’s game at Boston College are in danger of being canceled.

This is simply petty. The House has passed a number of bills to fund various parts of the government. The Senate has refused to bring these bills to the floor. The Democrats are hoping for a political victory by causing visible pain. If they are successful, we have only ourselves to blame when they do it again.

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Hopefully This Was Totally An Oversight

As we all know, yesterday was the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America. We need to remember that on that day America was attacked by terrorists. The terrorists were Muslims who believed that they were following the tenets of their religion. We need to keep in mind that the tenets of their religion call for the killing of infidels. Their religion also tells them that the only sure way to get to heaven (and their 72 virgins) is to be a martyr. Please keep this in mind as you read the following story.

Boston.com is reporting today that the principal of Concord Carlisle High School in Boston is apologizing for the fact that yesterday, the anniversary of the 911 attacks on America, a Muslim poem was recited over the intercom but the Pledge of Allegiance was not.

The principal explained that the omission of the pledge was due to a miscommunication with the student who was scheduled to read the pledge. The Muslim poem was included in order to promote “cross-cultural understanding.” The poem dealt with a Muslim grandmother washing her feet in the sink at Sears.

The thing about this that really bothers me is the picture that is being painted of a poor little old grandmother (I can totally relate) attempting to wash her feet in Sears. Why doesn’t she go to her home and wash her feet? What are her circumstances that she cannot plan her day to allow foot washing at home? Does the cross-cultural understanding also share the parts of the Koran that call for the killing of infidels? Does it also share the tenets of Islam that call for a war against democracy in order to replace it with Sharia Law? If we are going to encourage cross-cultural understanding, let’s tell the whole story–not just the plight of someone’s sweet, innocent grandmother whose religion totally denies her civil rights. Would we have attempted cross-cultural understanding of the Nazis during World War II?

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The Tax Increases In Massachusetts Take Effect Today

CBS Boston reported today that Massachusetts is increasing taxes on gasoline and cigarettes (effective today) and adding a 6.25% sales tax on computer software services.

The gasoline tax in increasing 3 cents a gallon, it will now be 24 cents a gallon, and the cigarette tax will be increasing $1 to $3.51 per pack.

On Monday, The Examiner reported:

Massachusetts made state history July 29th by implementing a new gas tax increase that is pegged to inflation. The new tax that takes effect Wednesday, following an override of Governor Patrick’s veto, adds 3 cents to the state’s already relatively high 21 cents per gallon tax. Adding in federal taxes, the total tax on a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts is now 42.4 cents per gallon. Depending upon which grade is chosen, drivers now pay about 11 percent in taxes for the gas they use. That is the highest tax rate of any product one can buy in Massachusetts except cigarettes. Smokers also saw a one dollar tax increase per pack in this new bill.

Please note–THE GAS TAX INCREASE IS PEGGED TO INFLATION. This means that elected officials in Boston can avoid responsibility for future tax increases. The tax on gasoline will automatically increase, and the legislators can say, “I didn’t do that–it was automatic.” Governor Patrick vetoed this bill–therefore he can claim that he did not vote for the tax increases in it (of course he knew that the Democrat legislature would override his veto and still be voted back into office in the next election).

Until the Massachusetts voters begin to vote the current legislators out of office, they can expect more of this kind of shenanigans. It’s time to wake up and put people in office who actually care about the burden they are placing on taxpayers.

 

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The Right Reponse To Tackiness

Rolling Stone featured a very flattering picture of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its August cover. Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Rolling Stone with the appropriate response.

This is the letter the Mayor of Boston sent to Rolling Stone:

That is the correct response.

 

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This Really Does Not Sound As If It Were Handled Well

I will admit to being more than slightly paranoid. I live near Boston, and what happened at the Boston Marathon was a serious wake-up call. With this is mind, I am not happy about the way a recent event was handled.

CBS Boston reported yesterday that seven people were caught trespassing near the Quabbin Reservoir. The Quabbin Reservoir is the water supply for Boston. The trespassers were Pakistani.

The article reports:

State Police say there were no warrants or advisories on any of the individuals and “there was no evidence that the seven were committing any crime beyond the trespassing.”

All seven were allowed to leave and will be summonsed to court for trespassing. The FBI is investigating and routine checks of public water supplies have been increased following the incident.

I hope that this is not the whole story. Pakistan is a country heavily infiltrated by Al Qaeda–it is known for fomenting terrorism. A Pakistani scientist is probably the person most responsible for Iran’s progress toward a nuclear bomb. To allow these people to leave and assume that they will show up in court later seems very naive. I would be willing to let them leave if we tapped their phones and cell phones and put ankle bracelets on them. Otherwise, they may somehow disappear between now and the time of their court appearance.

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