Will The Victims Receive Justice?

The death of Jeffrey Epstein was not the end of the story. Today Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about one of Epstein’s victims filing a lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, described as one of Epstein’s enablers.

The article reports::

A new front in the Jeffrey Epstein case opened Wednesday morning, as Epstein accuser Jennifer Araoz filed a lawsuit against his estate, his longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed female household staff.

Araoz alleges she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Epstein at his New York City townhouse when she was 14 and 15 years old, including a forcible rape in 2002. She first disclosed her alleged abuse publicly in an exclusive TODAY Show interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC News on July 10, the same day she filed papers in New York state court saying she intended to sue Epstein.

The complaint Araoz filed Wednesday alleges Maxwell and the other staffers “conspired with each other to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape of Plaintiff.”

Meanwhile, The U.K. Daily Mail reported today:

Ghislaine Maxwell, long-time consort of Jeffrey Epstein and the alleged procurer of victims in his underage sex trafficking ring, has been laying low in a New England beach town, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

Maxwell, 57, is in a relationship with Scott Borgerson, 43, and has been living with him at his secluded oceanfront property at the end of a long private road in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

The British socialite has been loath to leave the $3 million mansion, a source told DailyMail.com amid heightened focus on Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators following the convicted pedophile’s apparent suicide on Saturday.

‘She’s become a real homebody, rarely ventures out. She’s the antithesis of the woman who traveled extensively and partied constantly with Epstein,’ said a source familiar with Maxwell’s new life.

Hot Air concludes:

Araoz explains her decision in today’s New York Times to press forward with her civil claims, not just against Epstein’s estate but also against his “adult enablers.” Without them, Epstein could never have succeeded in the scope of his predation, Araoz convincingly argues:

The power structure was stacked against me. His money, influence and connections to important people made me want to hide and stay silent. Those same powerful forces let him hide and evade justice.

That changes, starting now. I want my story to hold Epstein to account and also his recruiters, the workers on his payroll who knew what he was doing and the prominent people around him who helped conceal and perpetuate his sex-trafficking scheme. Their hideous actions victimized me and so many young girls like me. …

Standing up to the entrenched network of power and wealth that surrounded Epstein is scary, but I am no longer afraid. Reliving these experiences is tough, but I’ve learned to be tougher.

I used to feel alone, walking into his mansion with the cameras pointing at me, but now I have the power of the law on my side. I will be seen. I will be heard. I will demand justice.

So will others, especially now that Epstein’s dead and his “power structure” is on the run. Or at least the part of it that we know about at the moment. When other victims start adding some high-profile male names to this “power structure” in court documents, we’ll see how well the justice system works.

We are about to find out if there really is equal justice under the law

A City That Has Forgotten Its Heritage

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the City of Boston is being sued by Liberty Council for refusing to include a Christian flag in a 248-flag display on Constitution Day in 2017 and 2018.

The article notes:

“The city’s application policy refers to the flagpoles as a ‘public forum’ open to ‘all applicants,”’ Shurtleff said in a statement, “City officials have never denied the ‘messages’ communicated by Boston Pride and the pink and blue ‘transgender’ flag, and even the flags of Communist China and Cuba, but will not allow the civic and historical Christian message of Camp Constitution.

Boston has allowed the pride flag, Turkish flag, communist Chinese flag and Cuban flag — among others — to fly high and proud above city hall. Their reason for disallowing Camp Constitution’s Christian flag: no non-secular flags permitted, the lawsuit filed by the group says.

However, the Turkish flag is not secular. Turkey is one of 21 different nations with an Islamic symbol on their flag.

The article concludes:

“Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted violates the First Amendment,” said Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. “Boston city officials may not ban the Christian flag as part of a privately-sponsored event when they allow any other flag by numerous private organizations. It’s time for the court to stop the city’s unconstitutional censorship,” he added.

Camp Constitution executives are optimistic about “key undisputed facts” that will compel the court in their favor. They say the city changed their parameters about the flags after their application and that the refusal is “content-based” discrimination.

The City of Boston’s press office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation for comment at the time of publishing.

Christianity is a major part of America’s heritage. The Judeo-Christian moral principles form the basis for our legal system. It seems a little odd to allow the Islamic flag to be flown and not allow the Christian flag to be flown.

This Really Shouldn’t Be A Surprise

A few years ago, I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina. There was some culture shock. One part of that shock was the gun culture of some of the South. I grew up in a house where no one hunted, so the whole gun thing was very foreign to me. One of the first things I did was to take a gun safety course to education myself. I learned a lot and began to understand why the Second Amendment is so important to our freedom. Unfortunately the leaders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have not yet gotten that message.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted the following headline, “Boston Mayor’s Office to Force Doctors to Identify and Document Patients Who Own Guns.” Wow. What is the Mayor’s office doing collecting information from doctors?

The article reports:

Here are three of the top goals for health care legislation outlined by his office:

Involving doctors in gun safety: This act would require medical professionals to ask patients about guns in the home, and bring up the topics of gun safety. The goal, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said, is to identify those at risk for domestic violence, suicide or child access to guns in order to guide people to mental health counseling, resources or other help. “We’re just asking them to help identify ways to save lives,” Gross said.

The fact that a patient owns guns would not be put in their medical record, and is not intended to have physicians help solve crimes.

Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez said that while the program is already common practice at many of the city’s community health centers, legislation would broaden the program statewide.

Does anyone actually believe that gun ownership would not be made part of a patient’s medical record? If the measure is supposed to save lives, what action are the doctors supposed to take after they have determined that a person has guns in the house?

I may be paranoid, but this seems like a back door approach to finding out who has guns so that the guns might be taken away later.

Legislating Against The Middle Class

Everyone loves vacations–the adventure of spending a few days in a different place and relaxing. However, vacations are not cheap. Travel can be expensive, and hotels are expensive. Several alternatives to hotels have appeared in recent years to make vacations more affordable and to give Americans a way to supplement their income–companies like Airbnb provide cheaper lodging at popular destinations and allow people to earn extra income by renting out their houses on a short-term basis. Needless to say, hotels are not happy about the existence of a cheaper alternative. In Massachusetts, the hotel lobby has been successful in creating regulations that will greatly limit the availability of Airbnb lodging.

On December 30, Hot Air posted an article about a law recently passed in Massachusetts that will probably end Airbnb in that state.

The article reports:

Baker (Governor Charlie Baker) is touting this as a compromise which he claims is able to, “avoid placing undue burdens on occasional renters.” This is nonsense, of course, because in order to qualify for the exemptions to most (though not all) of these new burdens on hosts, you can only rent out your room for a maximum of fourteen nights per year. For most hosts, that’s not going to be worth the bother of signing up for the app in the first place.

The article lists the new requirements for people who want to rent their property on a short-term basis:

And what are these burdens? First of all, anyone with a spare room will now have to carry the same type of insurance as a hotel chain, basically wiping out any profit they might make. On top of that, they’ll be paying a 5.7 percent state tax, plus another 6% tax if municipal or county governments decide to impose one.

Further, hosts will be legally required to list themselves on a publicly available registry. Proponents claim this allows neighbors to know who is renting out rooms to “strangers” but it’s obviously intended as an intimidation tactic, opening up hosts to public shaming, abuse or worse.

The bottom line here is that the hotel industry and their lobbyists have won a massive victory. They don’t like private citizens cutting into their business so they’ve greased the palms of enough politicians to essentially shut Airbnb down in the state. As the New York Times reported more than a year ago, leaked documents from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) revealed, “a multipronged, national campaign approach at the local, state and federal level.” The goal of that campaign was to enlist elected Democrats to pass laws which would choke the life out of Airbnb and protect their profits. They specifically mentioned Boston as one of their key target markets, and now they have succeeded in bribing the state government to shut Airbnb down.

The article concludes:

It’s true that some people have begun “abusing” the system by purchasing large amounts of property and renting it out like a hotel using the app service. Perhaps a law like this might have been more palatable if it were applied only to people with more than ten rental units or something along those lines. But for all the private individuals with an extra room or a guest house who were using the system as originally intended and making a little extra money, this basically shuts them out of the game.

Airbnb already has one lawsuit in progress against Boston for similar municipal laws they passed earlier. Now they’re saying a new suit against the state may be coming. But if they find no satisfaction through the courts we’re probably seeing the beginning of the death of the gig economy along with the chance for private citizens to profit from their own homes or apartments.

I hope Airbnb wins their lawsuit. They are essentially the Uber of the hotel industry and are going to have to fight many of the battles against lobbyists that Uber had to fight.

A Frightening Story

On October 10, WCVB 5 in Boston reported that 123 children were recovered in Detroit as part of an initiative to find victims of sex trafficking.

The article reports:

All the children who were recovered were interviewed by authorities. Investigators said at least three of the children showed signs that they were victims of sex trafficking or sexually victimized.

The search was conducted along with the efforts of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as well as the Michigan Police Department. Overall, the sweep took place over the course of one day in Wayne County, Michigan.

In their efforts, the teams began investigating cases and looking through files of children reported missing. Participating officers then started visiting locations where the children were reportedly last seen. They also spoke with friends and schools to question about the children who were being sought out.

Information as to where all of the missing children are currently located was not made readily available by officials involved. Officials said the investigation is still ongoing.

The article also reported that The U.S. Marshals Service found 123 children on Sept. 26 out of the total 301 cases they were investigating. The investigation is ongoing.

The number of children found is totally frightening.

 

One Example Of Why We Need To Secure Our Borders

Yesterday Townhall.com posted an article about Santo Ramon Gonzalez Nival, who plead guilty to fentanyl, heroin and cocaine conspiracy charges in federal court on June 6. Mr. Nival lives in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Lawrence has been heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic that has plagued America. From 2013 to 2017, 140 people in Lawrence have died from drug overdoses.

The article includes the following information about Mr. Nival:

Santo Ramon Gonzalez Nival, a 40-year-old Dominican national, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, and one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Nival has been detained since his arrest in May 2017. At the time of his arrest, he was illegally in the United States after being most recently deported May 19, 2009, according to Lelling.
In May 2017, Nival was charged after “a year-long investigation aimed at attacking the fentanyl and heroin crisis in Lawrence and surrounding areas,” according to the statement.

…Nival will be sentenced in September.

It is time to secure the border so that someone like this man cannot return after being deported. Thank goodness he is being kept in jail while he awaits sentencing.

 

Is The Second Amendment Real In Massachusetts?

Yesterday The Boston Herald posted an article about a rather odd incident in Boston. The article deals with the confiscation of a legal gun of a private citizen because the police decided that the man was unfit to have a gun license.

The article reports:

According to Evans’ (Police Commissioner William B. Evans) filing, the man received a license to carry from BPD in March 2016, and had a gun in his car when he went to a party in Dedham that November. Shots were fired at the party and the man took the gun from an unsecured area in his trunk and put it in his driver’s side door.

Dedham police confiscated the man’s gun and BPD revoked his license. But the man appealed in West Roxbury District Court, which ruled that the man “did what most people would have done in the same circumstances” and reversed the revocation, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.”

Evans’ appeal says the court misinterpreted the law and makes the city less safe.

“The ruling of the West Roxbury Court ordering the Commissioner to reinstate (the) license to carry firearms adversely affects the real interests of the general public in limiting the access irresponsible persons have to deadly weapons,” the appeal reads.

I have a number of questions about this story. How did the police know the gun was in the driver’s side door? Did the police have permission to search the car? Were this man’s civil rights violated?

It will be interesting to see what happens next. The man committed no crimes. He had legally owned a gun for more than two years without incident. There is no evidence of a criminal record. Why did he lose his Second Amendment rights?

This Is Ridiculous

WCVB Channel 5 in Boston is reporting that Boston has approved a plan to change the name of Yawkey Way, the street outside Fenway Park named in honor of a former Red Sox owner some have said was racist. Tom Yawkey owned the Boston Red Sox for 43 years, from 1933 to 1976. The Red Sox were the last baseball team to hire an African-American player, and Tom Yawkey is supposed to have screamed out racial slurs at black players at a tryout. In 1977 Jersey Street was renamed Yawkey Way.

Channel 5 reports:

Yawkey’s supporters opposed the change, saying the foundation named for him has provided millions of dollars in charitable contributions that have benefited all city residents.

“As we have said throughout this process, the effort to expunge Tom Yawkey’s name has been based on a false narrative about his life and his historic 43-year ownership of the Red Sox. The drastic step of renaming the street, now officially sanctioned by the City of Boston (and contradicting the honor the City bestowed upon Tom Yawkey over 40 years ago), will unfortunately give lasting credence to that narrative and unfairly tarnish his name, despite his unparalleled record of transforming the Red Sox and Fenway Park and supporting the city he loved through his philanthropy,” the statement read.

I have no idea whether or not Tom Yawkey was a racist, but that was then and this is now. Mr. Yawkey has done a lot of good things for the city of Boston, and it is ridiculous to rename a street named after him because of non-proven accusations of inappropriate actions which unfortunately were reflective of the time and community he was part of. We need to remember that there was a time in our country when racism was acceptable. Thank goodness, it is no longer acceptable although it does still exist. Isn’t it time to move forward rather than to hold on to old misdeeds?

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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