Tuesday, October 31, 2006

There's Something About a Pork Chop

This just showed up in my e-mail inbox, as part of some bogus stock pitch spam. This is just too much insightful advice for me to keep to myself, so I feel compelled to now share it with the rest of you.

A vacuum cleaner brainwashes a stovepipe near a particle accelerator, because the insurance agent is a big fan of the vacuum cleaner beyond a vacuum cleaner. An anomaly brainwashes a feline nation. A Eurasian avocado pit satiates the diskette of the line dancer. Furthermore, a cargo bay inside a grand piano feels nagging remorse, and a turkey around a bottle of beer operates a small fruit stand with an umbrella for a globule. When you see a cosmopolitan cowboy, it means that the diskette earns frequent flier miles. Indeed, another optimal power drill hardly pours freezing cold water on another tuba player. A girl scout buys an expensive gift for an earring. Any roller coaster can have a change of heart about a cargo bay about a briar patch, but it takes a real paycheck to wisely graduate from the seldom precise fighter pilot. A fractured briar patch beams with joy, and another knowingly statesmanlike tomato hesitates; however, the underhanded! ly elusive photon makes love to the sheriff about a pork chop.

Our upgraded model now offers synchronised strategic alignment.

Only geeks stuck in the 90s still go for balanced strategic innovation.


They Might Be Giants could have a hit song with this stuff.


I Guess It's One of Those Days

The Boston Globe has three editorials up today, outlining their arguments for the three ballot initiatives the voters of Massachusetts will be faced with next week. And, I find myself oddly in agreement with all three of their positions.

Yes on 1: Wine sales in groceries

See my earlier post on this matter here, as well as the subsequent discussion in the comments section.

No on 2: Fusion Voting

Well, they got the fusion part right, anyway.

This feel-good concept, as I understand it, allows a candidate to get his or her name on the ballot multiple times by lining him or herself up with any number of smaller, lesser known [read: fictitious and misleading] parties.

For example: rabid socialist, tax-raising, gun-banning candidate, Polly Peacebunny could appear on the ballot as the Democratic Party candidate, and also as the "Save the Kittens Party" candidate, the "Celebrate Freedom [read: free from personal responsibity] Party" candidate, the "Eliminate Poverty [read: give all your money to the government] Party" candidate, or any number of made-up, misleading, party affiliations.

Likewise, devout right-wing, Christian, tax-cutting, conservative candidate, Freddy Freedom, could appear on the ballot as the Republican Party candidate, and also as the "Let Women Choose Party" candidate [read: choose to carry a gun, choose to not pay higher taxes], the "Bread [read: Communion wafers] on the Table [read: altar] party", and any other impossible-to-decipher party name his supporters can come up with.

How this could be seen as a good thing by anyone other than people looking to gain votes through voter confusion is beyond me.

No on 3: Unionizing child-care providers

I haven't done any research on this topic, so maybe some of my more enlightened readers can fill us in on this one. The people I see benefiting the most from this one would be the higher-ups at the newly created union [read: Democratic special interest group]. I'm simply going with "When in doubt, vote in favor of the free market system" on this one.

Agree? Disagree?

The floor is yours.


Would You Like Some Coffee With That?

Overheard at the Dunkin' Donuts on Summer Street this morning:

"A large coffee with seven creams and seven sugars, please."


[homer]"Mmmmmm....off-white, creamy, sugar goo."[/homer]


Monday, October 30, 2006

Pulling Up the Tent Stakes - UPDATE

So, we had our first double open house yesterday afternoon, with both first and second-floor units on the market. Having both units listed at the same time has given us more flexibility with regards to the off-street parking situation.

As a result, we got an offer on the first-floor unit this afternoon, which led to our acceptance of the subsequent counter-counter-offer. And, our broker called us tonight to let us know we will be getting an offer on the second-floor unit at 8:00 tomorrow morning.

So, we're heading north tomorrow afternoon to look at some more properties. Will keep you posted, of course.


It's That Time of Year Again

Just finished making my daughter's astronaut costume (well, the helmet and oxygen tank part, anyway). It's amazing what you can do with a little duct tape, foam pipe insulation, a couple empty soda bottles, and a Costco pretzel bucket.

There will be pics up later, trust me.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gee, What a Shocker

Boston Globe Endorses Patrick For Governor

Stunning.


Friday, October 27, 2006

From the Department of the Painfully Obvious

Courtesy of David Hardy at Arms & the Law:

Brady grades and crime rates

Logical conclusion: Enactment or failure to enact Brady's legislative priorities had no correlation to murder rates. If a state were to go from F to A, from virtually no gun control to everything on Brady's agenda, the only result would be a joyful press release from Brady.


See also this post from last April on the not-so-surprising relationship between Brady Bunch report card grades and the violent crime rates of the six New England states.

Why, it's almost enough to make a person non-ideologically-blinded liberals think that there exists some bizarre, inexplicable relationship between a state's violent crime rate and its violent criminal population.

How very peculiar, indeed.

(link via Say Uncle)


Is That a Banana in Your Range Bag...?

Some pretty cool stuff here, courtesy of reader Jeff.

Figure 14. A 1-microsecond direct-illumination photo reveals the
fate of a banana struck by a .22-caliber rifle bullet, illustrating
how destructive high-speed bullets and their attendant shock
waves are for soft tissue and cellular material.

Photograph by S. S. McIntyre and Gary S. Settles.


Question 1

I wasn't going to blog on this topic, because it's such a freakin' no-brainer, it makes my head hurt. The ballot question asks whether grocery stores should be allowed to sell wine. The current licensing system only allows three licenses to sell beer and wine to be issued to each supermarket chain. In other words, you will only find three Stop & Shop's with a wine or beer section.

Here's how the argument breaks down, based on the massive advertising campaigns currently being waged by both sides.

Reasons to vote YES on Question 1:

1. It will create more consumer choice by opening up the market to more competition.
2. It will help chip away at the government's regulatory authority - always a good thing.
3. It's centered around the philosophy (albeit an unpopular one 'round these parts) that, by and large, the state's business owners should be treated like responsible adults, and not as hapless, infantile wards of the State.

Reasons to vote NO on Question 1:

1. THE STREETS WILL RUN RED WITH THE BLOOD OF OUR YOUNG!!!

Yeah, this is a real toughie.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Color Me Not Impressed

OK, this one caught me slightly off guard.

The fourth and final gubernatorial debate last night actually kicked off with a worthwhile question, one that I was hoping would be asked of the candidates. Though, the phrasing of the question and the candidates' responses left much to be desired.

Jon Keller, moderator: Ms. Healey you'll go first here. Seventeen states including New Hampshire have a so-called Castle Doctrine law that says if you reasonably believe that someone is trying to kill you or seriously harm you in your home, you car or your place of business, you can use deadly force against them without fear of prosecution. Massachusetts limits that right to your home. Which state has it right, Massachusetts or New Hampshire? Sixty seconds.


That requires a 60-second response? It's only three syllables.

Personally, I'd have gone with, "Do you believe that the people of Massachusetts have the right to defend themselves and their families from bodily harm?"

Period. End of question.

Kerry Healey: Well I certainly think that it makes sense in your home. And while I haven't made a full study of how this has worked in other states I think that we absolutely should preserve the opportunity for someone to defend themselves without limitation within their own home. Everyone knows who should belong in one's home and who shouldn't. If someone comes into your home and threatens you then I think you certainly have the right to defend yourself even to the point of using deadly force.


Translation: I think we need to conduct a study to determine if ordinary citizens have the right to self-defense.

In other words, Ms. Healey here is undecided on whether a junkie's right to stick a screwdriver in your wife's neck and take your wallets, while you're out picking up some groceries for your family, is more sacrosanct that your right to prevent him from doing so.

Don't hurt yourself thinking about it, Kerry.

Christy Mihos: Absolutely for the Castle Doctrine Jon. A man's castle is uh, his home is his castle and there should be no one questioning that whatsoever. I will work hard to pass the Castle Doctrine here in Massachusetts.


Translation: Either I totally wasn't paying attention to the question, or I simply have insufficient knowledge of the topic to give an informed response. And Kerry Healey's a poopyhead!

Sidenote to Christy: Massachusetts already HAS a Castle Doctrine law on the books.

Deval Patrick: I think that the reasonable use of force including deadly force to defend one's home is a bedrock principle and I understand it. And I support it. Indeed I think we ought to be looking to strike balance between responsible gun ownership and use and irresponsible gun ownership. Making guns more available as they are today, flooding in over state lines and used by gangs in violent crime. That's where I think the emphasis ought to lie.


Translation: I support the use of deadly force by law-abiding citizens against criminals, so long as the law-abiding citizens, especially, the lower-income, people of color, in Massachusetts are routinely denied that option through a costly and complicated licensing system, that puts all the power in the hands of power-hungry, totalitarian bureaucrats.

Sorry, Deval, your answer was even worse than Healey's. And, spare me all this "balance" crap. We blew past "balance", like we were doing a buck-eighty on the highway, about 40 years ago.

Grace Ross: Well, you know, I think in your home. I think workplaces are a little more complicated and in the street is very complicated. You know, it's interesting. i think the real answers to these questions lie in creating safer communities because you know a lot of the violence that happens at home isn't from strangers. It's domestic violence and we've made laws in MA to this point and our resources available to domestic violence victims way insufficient. We've got a lot of women trapped at home right now with no place to go. So we can't talk about protection in general but I think we need to be specific about where the real dangers lie and actually deal with the violence which is usually between people who know each other.


Translation: Can I pretend you asked a different question?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Adventures in Househunting - Day 1

Well, we looked at seven properties with our broker yesterday, and can't say any of them lit our fire, so to speak. We'll be back up there this weekend to have another go at it. Here's one of the properties we'll be looking at.

1870's Colonial - close to downtown. 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bath,
pine/hardwood flooring, high ceilings, built-in cabinets.
Attached barn with loft. Home sits on almost a half acre.

That works for me.

It's listed at about $70,000 to $90,000 less than some of the other houses we were looking at, with an approximate property tax assessment of $300 to $400 less per month, meaning our mortgage payment would be about the same as the monthly rent on a 2BR apartment in our current neighborhood.

yeah, I'm kinda liking that.


Mumble ub da Day

From the Office of the Mayor:

Mayor Menino Names New Police Commissioner

"Ed Davis is a man with stellar public safety credentials and is highly respected by many in the law enforcement community, both in Massachusetts and nationally. During his 12 years as head of the Lowell Police Department, Lowell has seen a dramatic decrease in crime," Mayor Menino said.


Surely, Mumbles, you have your facts confused here.

After 12 years of subjecting this city to your wisdom and leadership, the crime rate in Boston is climbing, with this year's homicide rate poised to surpass last year's ten-year high. Shootings, stabbings, and armed robbery? Up, up, and up.

And, the best you've been able to come up with has been a relentless, reality-defying "Blame New Hampshire" campaign and a feel-good, do-nothing gun buyback program, which, to this day, you hail as a "major success".

Now, have you looked at Lowell on a map recently?



Given its close proximity to the New Hampshire border, and its prime location right along the "Assault Weapons Pipeline" (aka: Route 3), how can it be that their crime rate has gone down? Following your "logic", I'd fully expect there to be no one left in the town, what with all the evil, mind-controlling, crime-causing guns that must surely be flooding the streets, and mowing down the innocent in numbers far beyond what we're seeing all the way down here in Boston.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the ever-popular "Blame Mitt Romney" tactic. That one makes perfectly good sense to me, seeing how Boston is part of Massachusetts, and Lowell is part of...

Oh, wait.

Never mind.


Monday, October 23, 2006

An Exercise in Futility

In response to those would advocate against moving out of state, and in favor of staying here to help fix what's wrong with Massachusetts, I offer this story of one particular evening up in Maine.

A few years back, a friend and I are driving to our family's cabin up in the Sebago area to meet up with some more friends for a relaxing weekend of drinking, swimming, sailing, and...um...drinking.

It was after nightfall, and as we came around a bend in the road on Route 114 up around Standish, we saw an orange glow of light over the trees ahead. A few seconds later we discover the source of that light. Some poor fella's barn off on the left side of the road was completely engulfed in flames.

We see lights on in the house, so we pull over and run up the guy's driveway to alert the folks in the house that there's a raging inferno just a few feet away.

We made it about halfway up the driveway before the heat got to us (the trees nearby were catching fire from the high temperatures alone). Next thing we see is a guy tearing out of the house to move his truck which was right in front of the barn. Fortunately, he was able to move the truck to safety, and the three of us kinda stood there and watched the barn burn.

Now, to the point of the story.

After a few minutes the first responder from the town's "fire department" showed up. One guy in a little pickup truck, with fireman pants and an axe.

We looked at him.

We looked at the fire.

We looked at him looking at the fire.

And, that's pretty much it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some trees to save.


That's Something Like 312 in People Years

Go wish a happy 4th bloggiversary to Jeff at Alphecca.com.

Let's hope he's just gettin' warmed up.


Mumble ub da Day

From the one and only Mayor Thomas M. Menino:

"Kids are not bringing weapons into our schools. The most we ever had in one year was seven," Menino said.


Um...


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Another MA Population Loss On the Horizon

It is with nothing resembling even the slightest tinge of sadness or sorrow that I can tell you all tonight that I have been offered, and have accepted, a job up in the beautiful "Live Free or Die" state of New Hampshire.

In other words..

And don't any of you try to talk me out of it.

(chuckle)

I'm done twiddling my thumbs, bitchin' about it. I'm taking my family, my guns, and my tax dollars (and, oh yeah, my Beavis bobblehead) off of this sinking ship and heading north to cast new roots in the fertile soil of freedom and personal responsibility. My final vote as a Massachusetts resident will be in the form of one big-ass moving van.

We are putting the second of our two condominiums on the market this week, and hope to be relocated in time to have the east coast relations over for Christmas dinner in the new house.

Yes, someday in the not-so-distant future, I'll be able to drive an uninsured vehicle, without my seatbelt on, to a gas station, and buy a six-pack of beer, while openly wearing an unlicensed handgun on my hip (not to mention the five-dollar, plastic Tom Reilly Memorial Slingshot I'll have tucked away in my back pocket), and not be in violation of at least five state laws, if I so choose.

So, to all my "progressive" and left-leaning friends and readers, I'll say this. Your bluest of blue states stands to get a shade or two bluer, by default, in the not-so-distant future.

You're welcome.

"But, what of the fate of mAss Backwards?", you ask?

Good question.

I had thought about handing the reins over to another local blogger, once I take my final step over the state line, or transforming this into a group blog of sorts. But, this ship has always been sailed by a one-man crew, so I'm taking her with me.

That's not to say I'm necessarily pulling the proverbial plug anytime soon. Au contraire, mes freres! Like I could just shut up and walk away? Surely, you jest have spent too many hours in close proximity to industrial-strength shoe adhesive.

In other words, we shall see.

In the meantime, keep checking in here for your daily dose of rants, ravings, pop quizzes, and dead equine flagellations from yours truly. Future updates on our move to Free America, and on the future of this site will posted as they come to light. As always, stay tuned.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to pour myself another MacAllan.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Food For Thought

From Saucier, Mississippi:

I wonder how this elderly woman and her husband would have fared, had she lived in Boston and was thereby required to, among other things, qualify at the Boston Police Department's pistol range prior to being granted permission to own a handgun.

A gun battle in Saucier ended with an armed robbery suspect dead and an elderly couple lucky to be alive.

Beth Greer, 73, and her husband Tommy Greer, 60, say they returned home from work shortly before 11pm Monday night. Within minutes, they were staring down the barrel of a gun.

The blood stains have dried but the memories are still fresh in Beth Greer's mind. She says one moment she was unloading her car, the next she was asking a gunman to spare her life.

"Out of nowhere to my right there was this voice that said 'Hey." So I turned around and looked and it was this masked man. He had a mask on and a jacket that all seemed like it blended together and he had a gun in his hand pointed at me," Beth Greer said.

Greer screamed for her husband who was inside. That's when she says the gunman walked past her and into the house to confront Tommy Greer.

[snip]

Still outside, Beth Greer had grabbed a gun from her car.

"I heard a shot go off and, of course, I just knew he had killed Tommy. In an instant, he stepped back into the garage. One step in the garage, still with his gun pointed at me, and I just opened fire on him. I just shot, shot, shot, shot," Beth Greer remembered.


What if she only scored a 208 out of 300 on her range test, due to her difficulty in firing a .38 with one hand?

Or, what if she passed the test, but this incident happened three months later, before her license had arrived?

Oh, wait. That's simply not possible. State law requires the licensing authority in one's town to issue a fireams license, or a written letter of denial, within 40 days of the application date. My bad. Never mind.

(insert uproarious laughter here)

Or, what if the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi was as big a douche as Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, and had made it illegal to sell handguns in Mississippi that could be operated by elderly, and possibly arthritic individuals, for whom a lighter trigger pull would be necessary in order to safely operate a handgun?

Well, in either of the above scenarios, it's quite likely she and her husband would be the ones bleeding out on their garage floor, while the walking fecal ball who shot them would be busy looking for his next defenseless victim.

The kicker is, Mayor Menino, and all the freedom-hating, gun-grabbing hacks running this state, would seemingly be OK with that, just so long as the government was able to maintain its monopoly on the dispensation of lethal force. And, by "maintain", I mean "split 50/50 with the crackheads and gangbangers".

But, hey, sharing's nice.

Bottom line: Beth Greer and her husband are alive today, solely because their right to defend themsleves had not been taken from them by a bunch of power-hungry, "progressive" busy-bodies.

And needless to say, the former scumbag had (surprise, surprise) a history of committing violent crime. Though, I believe the jury's still out on whether this piece of shit's writing was "thoughful" or "eloquent".


Beavis' Law of Inverse Proportions

"The number of times a guy has been granted unfettered access to actual female body parts in his lifetime is inversely proportional to his desire to draw in nipples and pubic hair on the women in the ads on the commuter rail and subway trains."


Arbitrary Denial of Citizens' Rights = "Good Job"

...according to the Boston Herald editorial staff.

Local police chiefs currently have the power to issue gun licenses, including licenses to carry, to residents of their communities. By and large they have done a good job of it.


Sure, if your definition of "it" includes the phrase "powerful, ideologically-blinded majority trampling on the individual rights of an already-oppressed minority population", one of State Senator Jarrett Barrios' little pet platitudes.

But, there are no double-standards in play here.

Nope. None at all.

Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who has made much of her expertise in crime-fighting, is proposing to shift that authority to a statewide panel "so that citizens ... across the state could have the same standards applied to their applications to carry or possess a gun."


AAAGHHH!!! EQUALITY!!! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!

Healey might have made a more useful contribution to the debate by proposing a statewide board to hear appeals from those denied permits at the local level. But to create a new bureaucracy to replace a system that is working well because it might appeal to the Gun Owners Action League is political pandering at its worst.


"Working well"?

A system that allows a police chief to illegally bypass, at will, the state's safety training and criminal background check requirements for license to carry applicats, as long as the beneficiary of said illegal activity is the child of a hall of fame ballplayer?

A system that allows a police chief to deny someone permission to own a gun, because they once lost a video they rented from Blockbuster? Or because they hadn't sent in a change of address form for their car registration? Because, I know I'm sleeping more soundly at night knowing these dangerous thugs have been disarmed.

A system that allows a police chief to deny firearms licenses to members in good standing of the United States Armed Forces, for such "common-sense" reasons as having loud neighbors, or having a friend who got busted for carrying a BB gun when he was 14?

A system that says it's OK for a police chief to revoke an individual's license to carry a firearm and confiscate thousands of dollars worth of lawfully-owned firearms, on account of a gust of wind?

A system that allows a police chief to deny the right to self-defense to not only the general public, but also to retired law enforcement officers living in their town, for no reason other than "I feel like it"?

A system that allows a police chief to put up so many bureacratic and financial hurdles on the path to lawful gun ownership that only the rich and/or politically-connected among us can enjoy their God-given, constitutionally-protected rights, while the lower-income working people in the crime-ridden inner cities are left to fend for themsleves with no effective means to do so?

Yes, this system's working just smashingly well, I'd say.

If you're a devout Stalinist.

Of course, the cheerleaders over at the Deval Patrick Fanclub have no qualms, whatsoever, over the arbirary denial of citizen's rights by power-hungry agents of the government...just so long as it's not their rights being trampled upon.

I suppose if some town clerks started arbitrarily denying marriage licenses to gay couples, on ideological grounds, or because they don't like the way the applicants are dressed, then that woud be just ducky by them.

I'm thinking not.

Or, maybe if local authorities started barring young women from gettng abortions, claiming to what's best for those women and their unborn babies, on account of their intimate knowledge of their community and their all-knowing, personal familiarity with every single resident therein.

Surely, the local police chiefs would be the ones most eminently qualified to make these kinds of decisions, right?

Oh, here's another one.

Let's give the mayor and the police the power to deny certain groups permission to assemble peaceably and protest the actions and policies of the government, on the grounds that the group petitioning for such holds political views that run contrary to the folks in City Hall holding the reins of power.

That one's quite popular in Venezuala, I hear.

Increased freedom and individual liberties can only be realized with a commensurate transfer of power from the Government back to the People. And, with freedom and individual liberty comes the need to exercise a little something called personal responsibility.

Hence, the left's unyielding position on such matters.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chronic Definition Disorder

I think I'm gonna head over to Borders on my lunch hour and pick up a new dictionary for the folks down at Channel 5.

A convicted drunken driver apologized to his young victim Wednesday when he was sentenced for running down the 8-year-old on a scooter.

[snip]

[Albert] Gero, who had a previous drunken driving conviction on his record, admitted stealing a car in Roxbury, drinking heavily, ingesting cocaine, driving drunk, hitting two telephone poles and driving into a crowd on a sidewalk, where Nicholas was riding a scooter.

Before the accident...


UPDATE: Make that two dictionaries.

A man charged with hitting a college student with his car and then taking off has been arrested for drunk driving before.

Police say 33-year-old John Collins was drunk Tuesday night when he hit a 19-year-old Mount Ida student (pictured above) in a crosswalk on Massachusetts Avenue.

After that accident, Collins reportedly fled the scene, getting into a second accident with a cab.


I'll Take "Greasy Palms" for $1,200, Alex

Here, you do the math.

City may banish TV dishes from view

The Boston City Council, citing a proliferation of satellite television dishes across the city, is considering banning the devices from the front of buildings.


I wish I could find this news remotely surprising.

Saying that the dishes are potentially dangerous and increasingly hard to overlook in parts of the city where some buildings are festooned with them, councilors plan to consider a measure to confine the satellite television receivers to the back of buildings, out of public view.


"Potentially dangerous"? Is this the new standard to be employed when determining which inanimate object will be subject to future city-wide bans? Can anyone think of an object that couldn't be described as "potentially dangerous" in Councilor Flaherty's "Dictionary for Dummies"?

Why, I just finished eating a "potentially dangerous" turkey and swiss on a bulkie roll. I could have choked to death! BAN SANDWICHES!

Oh, wait, never mind. They tried that already.

What about that commuter rail train I took to work this morning? How "potentially dangerous" can you get? Those things could mow down children and puppies by the hundreds. And, don't get me started on all these "potentially dangerous" office supplies and writing implements on my desk.

Why, it's nothing short of a miracle that I made to 40 in one piece.

"For some, it's an eyesore," said Council President Michael Flaherty, who sponsored the measure.


"Oh, and pay no attention to the $1,200 in campaign contributions I've received from company executives at Comcast, the city's cable TV provider."

(click to enlarge)

"This is a public safety issue, people! We've got assault satellite dishes raining down from the heavens! Pleeeeeease, think of THE CHILDREN!"


One More Nail in the Coffin

From CBS4Boston.com:

Attleboro School Bans Tag, Other Recess Games

Children at the Willett Elementary School in Attleboro are not allowed to play tag, touch football or any games involving contact during recess.


Yes, children are now forbidden to act like children. It's FOR THE CHILDRENTM, you understand.

Prinicpal Gaylene Heppe cited the safety risks and the school's liability in case of injury as reasons for the recess ban. Heppe, who is in her second year as principal, told CBS4 the ban is not new and has been in effect for years.


I honestly don't know if there's anything that could better encapsulate the "Massachusetts Mentality" than the phrase, "recess ban". I'm nearly speechless.

The Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyo. and Spokane, Wash. banned tag at recess this year. A suburban Charleston, S.C. school also outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

Principal Heppe said she isn't interested in any trends around the country, her concern lies with keeping the children as safe as possible.


"OK, kids, it's recess time. Put on your nerf suits, crash helmets, and mosquito netting. And, remember, once you reach the playground, NO MOVING!"

UPDATE: How sad is this?

Another Willett parent, Celeste D'Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said.


Not any actual collisions, mind you, resulting in broken bones, bloody noses, or even a scraped knee or two. She's witnessed actual "near collisions".

Sweet smoking Jesus!!!

Children actually running around and playing in near proximity to one another!!! At playtime!!!

AAAGGHHH!!!! We're all doomed!!!


Business as Usual in the Bay State

From the Boston Herald:

Boston taxpayers face a staggering police overtime bill to cover hot spot city neighborhoods after roughly 160 cops were pulled from their beats to work as security, chauffeurs and porters at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, officials confirmed yesterday.


Is it any wonder that we have local pols here in Boston pushing for a city-wide meals tax? Or that property taxes for Boston homeowners are on their way up again? After all, we've got important social programs like this Drunk Cop Taxi Company that need funding, dammit.

BPD brass ordered dozens of cops to work "“forced overtime"” in neighborhoods hardest hit by crime, as commanders, detectives, patrol officers and rookie cops were yanked from busy districts like B-2, covering Roxbury and Mission Hill; C-11, covering Dorchester; and the Mattapan/North Dorchester areas covered by B-3; considered the city'’s most dangerous areas. A lieutenant and four rookie cops were pulled out of C-11 and reassigned to taxi visiting police chiefs, according to a personnel order obtained by the Herald. Many BPD officers were summoned by tipsy out-of-town chiefs by cell phones for rides home from barrooms, the Herald reported yesterday.

[snip]

"“We were told by our captain that we cannot get a foot patrol in our neighborhood because there are not enough bodies, but we have cops working overtime to do something like chauffeur people who aren'’t from Boston back from a bar?"” Dorchester resident Erin MacDonald, 42, said yesterday.

"“Should I call down to C-11 and tell them I need a cruiser to give me a ride to the grocery store?"” MacDonald said. "“We are paying for something outrageous. It isn'’t right and it angers me."”


News flash, Erin. Your elected officials and their minions have been flushing your tax dollars down the shitter for decades. You're just now getting angry about it?

Now, of course, some people will be quick to dismiss her concerns, and accuse her of being whiny. As if we, the citizenry, have no right to question the government's actions. Just bend over and take it in the shorts, like a good, compliant subject, right?

Fuck.

That.

Tell me something, why is it that when liberals ...oops, sorry... "progressives" see Republicans abusing public funds, we're subject to the relentless cries of woe and agony, invoking the imagery of children suffering at the hands of cold, heartless politicians.

But if a liberal politician in this town throws our money down the proverbial toilet, anyone who dares to speak up and complain is called a whiner or dismissed as nothing more than a bitter shill for the GOP, and told to get over it.

Just askin'.

[BPD spokeswoman Elaine] Driscoll said a projected overtime cost to city taxpayers was not available...


Yeah, I'll be holding my breath waiting for those numbers to be released.

...but acknowledged the BPD did order cops to work overtime to fill spots left vacant by officers reassigned from the IACP. A spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he had no comment on the overtime costs last night.


Come on, Mumbles, this is an easy one. Answering no-brainers should come easy to you.

Either you find this use of tax dollars acceptable, or you don't.

It's a yes or a no. No multi-syllabic words required.

Grow a pair, Mr. Mayor, and answer the frickin' question.

UPDATE: We are not alone.

David at Blue Mass. Group writes:

Well, no double standard here, Bruce. It strikes me as outrageous that cops are pulled away from their jobs in order to drive these folks around.

[snip]

This whole thing sucks. It's money down the toilet, and it's cops pulled out of the neighborhoods that need them the most. It's another episode of "hacks gone wild."


Actually, it's cops being pulled out of the neighborhoods that need them most, and being replaced with cops working "forced overtime" on our nickel. But, he got the gist of it right.

And, 50 bonus points to David for this closing paragraph.

Oh, and speaking of Menino, I'll join the many observers who felt that it was completely unnecessary to have an "interpreter" on hand during the Lt. Gov. debate for Green-Rainbow candidate Martina Robinson, who has cerebral palsy. She was no harder to understand than Menino, who as far as I know does not suffer from a brain disorder.[emphasis mine - ed.]


"As far as I know" being the operative phrase, I assume?


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Case In Point

For "ari", who commented:

How do you know somebody is a criminal until they commit a crime? Isn't the definition of a criminal somebody who commits a crime? And if you're talking about crime that is done by gun violence, how do you stop crime a crime by locking up the person who did it *after* they've already done the crime?


Ari, meet Michael Addison.


This is the lowlife piece of shit who is accused of shooting police officer Michael Briggs in the head early Monday morning. Officer Briggs died this afternoon, leaving behind a wife and two children.

Now, here's a pop quiz for you.

The Boston Globe describes this scumbag as...

(a) an innocent victim of a racist conspiracy.
(b) a law-abiding citizen who held a gun one day and was transformed into a cold-hearted killer by its mysterious, mind-controlling powers.
(c) a student at a liberal arts college in Massachusetts with no clue as to how the world operates outside their hallowed, protective walls of academia.
(d) a man with a "record of violent crimes".

Here are a few hints:

From the Boston Herald:

In 1996, when he was 16, he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, a source said.


In March 1997, one day after his 17th birthday, Addison used a 5-inch knife to repeatedly stab a fellow basketball player, Tredaine Purdy, in order to steal Purdy'’s hat, according to court records.

Three buddies helped Addison run Purdy down, kicking and punching the teen, who was headed to a tutoring class at Madison Park High.

Addison, who was indicted by a Suffolk grand jury for armed assault with intent to murder, later pleaded guilty to armed robbery and assault charges. He was committed to the custody of the state Department of Youth Services until his 21st birthday.

Upon his release, however, he violated the terms of his probation and in 2004 was sentenced to six months in the Suffolk House of Correction.


From the Boston Globe:

In November 2003, Addison and another man pleaded guilty to criminal restraint for holding another man against his will in Derry in a drug dispute...


And, from the New Hampshire Union Leader:

He also is charged with an Oct. 11 robbery of the 7-Eleven in Hudson and criminal liability to reckless conduct in a shooting Sunday at 348 Edward J. Roy Drive, where several shots were fired, missing a father and son by inches.

Police knew Addison because they arrested him in Manchester in 2002 and 2004 for being a fugitive from justice in Massachusetts where he was wanted for assault and aggravated assault.


Yeah...just two or three more gun control laws would have made him change his ways, right?

On a happier note, from the above-linked Globe story:

Murdering a police officer is one of the limited number of crimes punishable by death in New Hampshire, which last executed someone in 1939 and has no one on death row.


I'll spring for the rope.


I Hope You're Still Sitting Down

From the Boston Herald:

Cops serve as chauffeurs, bellhops for visiting chiefs

Tipsy police brass visiting the Hub for a chief'’s conference are being ferried home from barrooms by city cops in BPD cruisers even as Boston grapples with one of the bloodiest weekends of the year, the Herald has learned.


What? They never heard of a fuckin' taxi before?

In addition, the BPD'’s newest police academy graduates were spotted carrying luggage for police chiefs as they checked into the swanky Langham Hotel, used as a command post for the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference.

"It is a wholly inappropriate waste of taxpayers'’ money and police resources,"” said City Councilor Stephen J. Murphy, chairman of the Public Safety Committee. An outspoken critic of the dwindling police ranks, Murphy was furious that BPD cops were taxiing visiting law enforcement officials and not patrolling the streets of Boston.

A total of 160 Boston cops were assigned to IACP bellhop and chauffeuring duties, sources said, even as the city deals with the lowest BPD headcount in more than a decade. In May, the Herald reported there are just 1,625 active duty cops patrolling city streets.


So, nearly TEN PERCENT of the active duty police force was assigned to pick up drunk police chiefs from local barrooms late at night, drive them back to their hotels, and carry their fucking luggage for them.

Great.

One reason. That's all I'm asking for.

Give me one reason why the higher-up at BPD who authorized this disgraceful abuse of public resources shouldn't be finding himself out of a job by the end of the day shift today.

Just one.

"We are providing transportation for those individuals with security needs, including major city chiefs," BPD spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said. "Major city chiefs have been given the opportunity to call and request transportation from specific events. Individuals have been given a means of communication to request transportation."


With all due respect, Ms. Driscoll, kindly blow it out your ass.

The individuals who have "security needs" are the people living in Roxbury and Dorchester who are afraid to let their kids play in the park across the street or walk down to the corner store to pick up a quart of milk. And the people in Charlestown for whom tending to their garden has now become a life-threatening activity. Not to mention, the late-night gas station workers trying to feed their families and avoid being held up at gunpoint at 2:00 AM.

Where's their taxpayer-funded police protection?

And, I see it's been a while since we've had to fire up the old Mayor Menino Press Release Generator...

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said that he was not aware that city cops and BPD cruisers were being used as taxi cabs by police brass, but declined to criticize the practice saying it is a courtesy extended to keep visitors safe.


Hmmm...

On one hand, a drunk cop from Tennessee who needs to be saved from a would-be ten-dollar cab fare. On the other, a city overrun with gun-toting scumbags working overtime to exceed last year's ten-year high homicide rate.

Clearly, this is all New Hampshire's fault.

Or Kerry Healey's.

I'll get back to you with a more definite answer as soon as the latest polling results come back on this one.


Quote of the Year

Are you sitting down?

















In a comfy chair?

















You'd better be.

















Don't say I didn't warn you.

















Last chance!!!

















"We have no interest in harassing law-abiding gun owners..."

- Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino


As I've said all too oftern on this site, I've got quite the imagination, but there's simply no way I could make this shit up.

Here are my translations. Jeff has more.

"We have no interest in allowing anyone to become law-abiding gun owners, whom we could subsequently harass..."

"We have no interest in harassing law-abiding gun owners, just so long as we get to make the laws..."

"We have no interest in speaking openly, honestly, or accurately, on the subject of gun control and violent crime prevention."

"We have no interest in incarcerating violent criminals. It might hurt their self esteem."

"We have no interest in ceding any power back to the proletariat class, and allowing them to take responsibility for their safety and well-being."


John Kerry Healey

From today's Boston Globe:

Healey gets gun owners group's backing

Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, who has touted crime fighting in her run for governor, has been endorsed by the state's top gun owners group after she scored 95 percent on a questionnaire that asks candidates if they agree with the organization's agenda to weaken state gun-control laws.


Note the choice of verb, "weaken". I'd have gone with "reform" or "overhaul, in the furtherance of personal choice and liberty", but that's just me.

Healey, the Republican nominee for governor, refused a Globe request for her answers to the questions by the Gun Owners Action League. The group, which also refused to release her answers, said its rating shows Healey "expressed strong support for gun rights."


Oh, really? We'll see about that.

The league's questionnaire asks candidates if they support or oppose creating a system for ballistic fingerprinting, easing restrictions on granting firearm licenses to those with police records, and curbing the power of local police chiefs to deny permits to carry guns.


As far as issuing gun permits for people with police records goes, you'll note the Globe didn't get into any detail on that one. What they left out was that their definition of "police records" includes drunk driving arrests from 40-plus years ago in some cases. But, heaven forbid the Globe accurately report on the issue. Why, there are evil, scary guns involved here! We must protect the children at all costs!

The editors at the Globe would be quite happy to leave you all with the impression that Kerry Healey wants to hand out guns to convicted murderers, rapists, and drug dealers. Truth and accuracy be damned! There's an agenda to push here.

One of the questions, asking whether any gun should be banned, relates to whether there should be a ban on assault weapons and high-powered handguns that fire rounds police say can pierce bulletproof vests worn by officers.


Because people who shoot at police officers are going to change their ways once they see that gun ban go into effect - in much the same way our drug laws succeeded in bringing about a swift and decisive end to cocaine and heroin abuse throughout the Commonwealth.

Also, I don't claim to have a complete and thorough understanding of Massachusetts General Law, but I'm pretty sure we've got something on the books already that makes it illegal to shoot a police officer, regardless of whether or not the shooter is also a police officer.

Healey's campaign insisted that she supports the state's current gun-control laws, including the ban on assault weapons.


So, apparently, she supports Chief Crowley's right to deny a resident of Quincy the right to self-defense over a lost rental video.

Or Chief O'Leary's right to deny a U.S. Army second lieutenant and future military doctor, living in Brookline, the right to own a gun, based on the allegation that he had loud neighbors.

Yet, she managed to score a 95 percent???

"Responsible gun owners have rights and deserve legal protections under the law," said press aide Laura Nicoll. "Massachusetts has appropriate laws in place to protect public safety without infringing on the legal rights of gun owners."


How about the rights of non-gun owners, those folks who would like to own a gun to protect their families, but can't because Mayor Menino has taken it upon himself to deprive them of that right?

You support a system that has made it impossible for many law-abiding citizens in Massachusetts [read: low-income, people of color] to become gun owners, while at the same time talking about protecting the rights of gun owners.

What's wrong with that picture?

An Oct. 7 letter from Healey, posted on the league's website, focuses on the interests of sportsmen, not on crime. "I come from a hunting and fishing family, and, as governor, I will remain committed to maintaining that tradition and protecting the interests of sportsmen," she wrote.


Who's writing her material here? John "Shotgun" Kerry?

And, this bullshit was good enough to score 95 percent???

Methinks GOAL needs to revamp their grading curve.

The rest of the article gets really deep into "Too Stupid to Fisk" territory, but that's never stopped me before.

Paul Birks -- vice president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers which has endorsed Democrat Deval Patrick [$$$ cha-ching $$$ - ed.] -- said his Boston-based, nationwide union respects the right of gun ownership, but said there are "common-sense limits."


Further irrefutable proof that one man's "common sense" is another man's "go fuck yourself". See links above.

But, the clear-cut winner is...

"Sportsmen don't hunt game with assault rifles that spray-fire armor-piercing bullets," Birks said. "It's that simple."


And, that ridiculous piece of hyperbole-laden rhetoric has as much less relevance in this discussion than the color of my underwear.

It's that simple.

I don't know how any law enforcement officer could support a candidate who, like Kerry Healey, accepts the endorsement of a gun group that doesn't recognize the need for some common-sense limits."


Requiring a responsible, law-abiding husband and father of two to shell out upwards of $900 for permission to own a gun is a "common-sense limit". Now, let's ask the Patrick camp how they feel about requiring someone to show a photo ID in order to vote in an election. Why that's a gross violation of a person's constitutional rights!!!

How about a $100 state blogging license?

Or a law limiting public protests to one-a-month?

Come on, people, we're just talking "common-sense limits" here.

This gas bag Birks needs to spend a little more time talking to the men and women whose interests he claims to be representing.

A criminologist said the group's agenda would deny law enforcement the tools to battle crime and put too many dangerous guns on the street.


As opposed to the Deval Patrick plan of putting more dangerous criminals on the street. A gun is only as dangerous as the individual holding it. It's that simple. Lock up the criminals, crime goes down. Though, that's not nearly as "compassionate" an approach as disarming the non-criminals.

[Jack Levin, a Northeastern University professor of criminology and director of the school's Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence] said that gun control, particularly relating to handguns [until the next category of guns to be targeted is announced - ed], is a central piece in the battle against crime.


Because, it isn't already illegal for crimials to carry guns and use them in the commission of violent crimes.[/rolleyes]

"Notwithstanding the recent rise in gun-related homicides locally, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to have a relatively low rate of murder, thanks in part to the fact that so few residents own or carry firearms," Levin said in an e-mail.


Do these people actually listen to what comes out of their mouths?

Compare the rate of legal gun ownership in Boston to that of any town in western Massachusetts that has, as Mr. Levin so astutely notes, a "relatively low rate of murder", and tell me what you find.

Then, compare the rate of gun-related crime to the level of local restrictions on gun ownership, and the prevalence of narcotics trafficking and use in the community.

There are many communities in Massachusetts that enjoy a very low rate of violent crime, while at the same time, recognizing the right of the people to own and carry guns for their personal protection.

If Mr. Levin's assertion was based in anything remotely resembling reality, the violent crime rates of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont would all be significantly higher that ours here in the People's Progressive Republic of Massachusetts.

Fewer criminals = less crime.

Am I going to fast for you?

Mr. Levin's statement also explains quite nicely how the rate of violent crime in England has dropped as precipitously as it has, since handguns were banned a few years back.

Oh, wait..no it hasn't.

Anyway, enough of that dead horse abuse for now.

Here's my questionnaire for Ms. Healey and Mr. Patrick.

1. Do the people of Massachusetts have the right to protect themselves and their families from harm?

(a) Yes
(b) No


It's that simple.


Reality Check for the Left of Us

I don't know about the rest of you, but 'round where I live I see more than my share of these "progressively-minded" bumper stickers on the streets.





Now, I have nothing against hugging, per se, BUT...

GREENACRES, Florida (AP) — The search continues today for those responsible for killing a family of four whose bodies were found along the Florida turnpike in St. Lucie County.

Authorities also are looking for the black, 1998, Jeep Cherokee the Escobedo family drove.

The body of Yessica Guerrero Escobedo was found clutching the bodies of her sons, ages three and four, Friday. Authorities say it appears she was trying to protect her sons.


Good thing these folks were unable to defend themselves. All that "personal responsibility" crap gives Ted Kennedy the willies. Can't have that.


Monday, October 16, 2006

I Guess It All Depends...

...on one's definition of "peacekeepers".

From the Associated Press:

Darfur refugees plead for protection

KASSAB, Sudan --Refugees in the camps scattered across Darfur live in fear, saying the African Union peacekeeping mission does little to protect them even as rising violence is driving away crucial humanitarian aid.

"You have been here for three years now, and what have you done for us?" a tribal leader bitterly asked a delegation of AU soldiers and police that came to the Kassab refugee camp last week.

As they often must, the peacekeepers patiently explained to camp delegates that they had come to Darfur only to monitor the violence and have no mandate to fight it.

[snip]

The AU mission came in 2004, but refugees' anger over their perceived ineffectiveness is strong.


Apparently, it also relies heavily on one's definition of "perceived".

So, just how bad is the situation over there?

"If there is nothing you can do, then you might as well go home, so that the United Nations come," [refugee leader, Attaieb] Adem said.


That's not good.

We take you now to village of Gusa Jamat for this week's installment of "Compare and Contrast".

Militia keeps violence in Darfur at bay

GUSA JAMAT, Sudan --One corner of Sudan's violent Darfur region is green and peaceful in this post-rainy season thanks to a powerful village militia that has kept the fighting around it at bay for more than a year.

At the center of a coalition of neutral villages that unites more than 10,000 people, the village of Gusa Jamat's homegrown militia kicked out Darfur rebels more than two years ago and made sure the government forces they are fighting did not come back in their place.

"I don't know about the rest of Darfur, but here the war is definitely over," said Sheik Nasser Abd el-Rahman Shaieb, Gusa Jamat's village headman. "We've got enough guns and trained men to make sure of that," Shaieb said earlier this week.


"Peace Through Superior Firepower", it's more than just a clever slogan on the back of some knuckle-dragging gun nut cute blond girl.

Village leader Shaieb would not say how many armed men he has, but said some Arabs from cattle-raising tribes were among his followers.

"The last real fighting we had was over a year ago," he said proudly.


The defense rests.

I wonder when 60 Minutes will be doing their story on Shaieb and his men. I'm sure it's on Katie Couric's to-do list.

Quick show of hands - how many of you heard of this story, which came out about two weeks ago, before reading it here?

And, because I know you're all dying to know when you can order them, I should be getting the confirmation for the next round of stickers very soon. Stay tuned.

(click to enlarge)


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Project B.A.R. - The Day After

Well, aside from a mix-up with the reservation time (hey, what's an hour between friends?), a good time was had by all.

I hope.

David sent his regrets yesterday afternoon, unable to kick a cold in time, and Lori's plans took her north for the weekend. We'll get you guys next time.

And, as is too often the case, I totally sucked at taking pictures. A few folks had already left by the time the camera came out, and Jack was just lucky (or clever) enough to be out of camera range at all times. Anyway, here's what I got.

Scotto and the Brothers Margolis celebrating a
little diversity with light and dark beer.

Jen and Adam taking in the scene.

Adam has more.


Breaking News

Hospital: Former Rep. Studds dies at 69

Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, a hospital official said. He was 69.


Also, from the Boston Globe:

State Representative Deborah D. Blumer, a Framingham Democrat, died yesterday morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while driving in Framingham, authorities said.


Condolences to their familes and loved ones.


Sticking With the Playbook

mAss Backwards - 10/10/06:

Will [David Scondras'] attorneys be playing the victim card in his defense of these current allegations? Can't say I'd be too surprised if they did.


Boston Herald - 10/14/06:

Disgraced Cambridge activist David Scondras is accusing Lawrence cops of police brutality in the wake of his arrest this week on sex charges, even as his longtime friend, Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves, urges him to "seek psychiatric help."

[snip]

In his resignation letter, Scondras pointed the finger of blame at the cops.


Yeah, clearly, it's the Lawrence cops' fault for forcing you to show up with booze and lubricant, in hopes of raping some under-aged boy in the bushes behind that school.

Uh-huh.

"I was the victim of a vicious beating by some members of the Lawrence police several days ago and have received a lot of media coverage," he said. "These reports are not true. I am innocent of any wrong doing but I can not talk about the case on the advice of my attorney."


Color me skeptical.

Inspector Callahan, what say you?

[after a battered crook has accused Harry of beating him]
Chief: Have you been following that man?
Harry Callahan: Yeah, I've been following him on my own time. And anybody can tell I didn't do that to him.
Chief: How?
Harry Callahan: Cause he looks too damn good, that's how!


Cambridge politico David Scondras
is shown in a booking photo
released by Lawrence police.
(Boston Herald)


Friday, October 13, 2006

Project B.A.R. - Friday, October 13, 2006

*** Post pinned to top - scroll down for new content. ***

Click here for details and RSVP info.

UPDATE: We're probably up around ten or eleven by now. Late word is it's gonna be a full house on Friday, so get there early. I have one table reserved, and they'll see what they can do about getting us another should we need it. [UPDATE 10/13: Table #2 confirmed! - ed.] But, as I mentioned earlier, the piano is conveniently located near the bar, so you could probably squeeze in there somewhere if you had to.

Mel starts playing at 8:00, so try not to be late. Mel hates that, and will hold it against you when it comes time to getting your song requests heard.

"Tardiness shall not be rewarded!"

- Mel Stiller


I'm planning on showing up around 7:00 for dinner. As of right now, the attendees list includes:

Adam G. from Universal Hub
David from Blue Mass. Group
Matt and Aaron from Hub Politics
Scotto from The Scotto Bloggo (a maybe)
Lori from Truth and Progress
Jen from Jenny Sais Quoi (love the blog name)
Jack from Jack Died
Mats from Internet128

Plus a few others who may or may not be actual bloggers (readers and stalkers also welcome), or whose names I simply forgot to list here.

One more thing...

Per the request of one of the aforementioned bloggers, expressing concerns about making an ass out of one's self in front of one's "blog rivals", Vegas Rules are in effect - what happens at the Roundtable stays at the Roundtable.

Though, I reassured this person that I'll likely make a bigger spectacle out of myself than any of you, so the chances are, no one will even notice your, um, indiscretions.

See you all there!

UPDATE: Now, what to wear? What to wear? I think I'm leaning toward the Nightstalker...goes nicely with the black leather jacket.


HOW CAN THIS BE???

From TheBostonChannel.com:

Crime Rate Spiking In Hub

A spike in violence on the streets of Boston has led to an increase in the number of homicides and lesser violent crimes in the city.

[snip]

...murders are up 12.5 percent over the same time last year, and shootings are up 22 percent.


Must I repeat myself?

And, from BPDNews.com:

INFORMATION ADVISORY: Citywide Armed Robbery Pattern

Overview: Between September 30th and October 10th, seven commercial robbery incidents have taken place throughout the city that appears to be related. A black male suspect (age 20-30), similarly described in appearance and motive has robbed four gas stations and two convenience stores (two incidents at one location), all at gunpoint using a black handgun.


Well, Menino can pout all day long about how there are "simply too many guns out there", but, this unpleasant fact remains. All it takes is one determined scumbag with one gun, and a city full of people who have been rendered powerless to do defend themselves, and - voila! - instant "citywide" crimewave.

Thanks, Mumbles.

I'll be thinking of you as I'm walking back to my car around Chinatown at a little after midnight tonight. I hope no one from the local branch of the Strung-Out Junkies and Street Thugs Association has anything against traditional Scottish garb...or an affinity for really nice leather jackets.

You think maybe you could have one of your police officer buddies take a break from his busy night of keeping your sleeping ass safe to help me and my friends make it home in one piece, after an evening of enjoying some of the "many wonderful things this city has to offer", as you are wont to say?

Yeah...didn't think so.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fast Times at mAss Backwards

Headline: Man Charged With Shooting 1-Year-Old Daughter With BB Gun

What he said.

Headline: Saint's Heart On Display In Boston

What he said.

Headline: McCain, Clinton at top of New Hampshire field...

What he said.


mAss Backwards "Interview" with Doug Obey

UPDATE 10/12/06: Thank you, Doug for taking part in this informal Q&A session. I'm sure everyone here, regardless of whether they agree with your positions, appreciates your taking the time to respond. Thanks, also, to those who submitted questions.

*************************************************

OK, here are the five questions I sent Doug, as asked by you, my readers (note that some of the questions have been rephrased, or combined with other related questions). Naturally, most of the questions centered around the rights (or lack thereof) of gun owners in the Commonwealth. I tried to condense those as best I could into questions 1 and 2.

I will update this post (bumped to the top of the page) with his respones, which will be printed unedited, in the exact form in which they are received.

1. On your website, you highlight your support for firearms registration. Can you cite one example of a past crime which was solved by the registration of a firearm? How would firearms registration prevent future crime?

- Jay G./Ron

No I can't cite one example of a past crime solved by registration. That doesn't mean it hasn't happened, I personally am just not aware of any. I simply think it's a good idea and gives the law enforcement trying to solve the crime a starting point.


2. Would you actively support "shall issue" laws pertaining to the issuance of firearms licenses in Massachusetts, which would require unrestricted Licenses to Carry a Firearm be issued to any and all applicants who meet the legal requirements for possession of a firearm?

- Mike/Jeremiah

Yes and I feel there should be a mandated time requirement to do so with some form of penalty if the time requirement isn't met.


3. What is your plan to return Democracy to the People's Republic of Massachusetts and actually enable things like the Tax Roll back referendum, that was voted on and passed, to be put in place? How far are you willing to go to prevent further outrages from happening in the future? How will you stand up to the Senate leadership?

- Bob

As a Republican, standing up to the Leadership is much easier and expected. I will fight to get enough Republicans in the legislature to uphold a veto which will force honest debate and stop the blatant abuse and un-accountability of the legislature. In the meantime I will use the press as extensively as possible to get the word to the people and get them calling their legislators and try to work with the more conservative Democrats.


4. Do you support the right of the people to vote on the gay marriage question?

- Debbie

Yes. Our right to vote is paramount.


5. Do you support allowing open competition among auto insurers in this state to allow consumers more choice in selecting an insurance carrier?

- Scott

Yes. Competition is good.


And, that's a wrap.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Corpus Scumabg

In summary:

An armed, violent scumbag breaks into a woman's home.

Once inside, he ties up the woman and her 14-year-old son.

Scumbag threatens repeatedly to kill the pair.

Woman frees herself, and retrieves her husband's gun.

Woman hands gun to her son, and a struggle ensues with the aforementioned scumbag, who tries to force his way into the bedroom where the mother and her son had been tied up.

The woman's son proceeds to shoot this piece of subhuman fecal scrapings in the head, reducing his IQ (ever-so-slightly) to zero, saving both their lives in the process, and bringing the scumbag's life of predatory violence against the innocent to an abrupt end.

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick immediately files a federal lawsuit over this egregious violation of the man's constitutional right to terrorize, rob, and stab innocent people in their own home.

Dianne Feinstein expresses her outrage that a woman was allowed to CHOOSE not to be stabbed to death.

Ted Kennedy issues a statement condemning the actions taken by the woman's son, saying the child should have put the evil gun down on the ground and allowed himself to be killed along with his mother...for the good of children everywhere.

Chuck Schumer appears on 'Meet the Press' to publicly reprimand the boy for "escalating the cycle of violence".

Rosie O'Donnell shits her pants upon hearing the tragic news that a lowly commoner's life, and that of her child, was saved by the legal use of a privately owned handgun. Then, immediately gets on the phone to the head of her children's armed bodyguard detail to make sure they're OK.

Massachusetts State Senator Jarrett Barrios reassures the people in his district that he'll sleep soundly tonight, knowing that if a similar situation were to play out in his hometown of Cambridge, the woman and her son would likely be brutally slaughtered, but at least they'd die on their knees as good, obedient liberal subjects Democrats.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Mayor Bloomberg of New York hear about this "tragedy" and seize the opportunity to launch knife buyback programs in their cities. The website www.mayorsagainstillegalknives.org is born.

Local blogger is forced to go shopping for a new dead horse, after finally beating his into a thin layer of bone dust.

(link via reader, Gary S.)


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Feel Safer Already...

...knowing that Governor Romney and the MBTA Police are working diligently to keep people like me safe from...people like me.

The MBTA began randomly searching commuters' bags and packages for explosives this morning, stationing police officers and bomb detection equipment at selected transit stations throughout metropolitan Boston.

[snip]

The bomb detection machine registered at least one false positive for explosive residue when alarms sound while officers were checking the bag of a 40-year-old father of two from Andover. Officers pulled Paul Cianciulli out of line and searched the inside of his bag by hand before letting him pass. The false positive may have come from asthma medication, investigators said.


"May have come from asthma medication"? Well, that's reassuring. I wonder where future false positive tests "may" come from. Lipstick? Turkey sandwiches? Cigarette lighters? Extra-funky body odor?

Also, what if there was some incidental contact between this man's bag and his shoe bombs on his way out the house this morning?

"If they can get residue from my bag, they'll get residue from any bag," said Cianciulli, who missed his train.


Once again, the local press are neglecting to ask the questions that matter the most.

First, will there be a public record of all the false positive test results from this program? It seems to me the public (aka: the people funding, and being inconvenienced by, this program) should be entitled to any and all information concerning the reliability of the testing procedures being put into place here, and of the equipment being used.

Second, what is the current acceptable threshold level for false positive test results per day?

And third, will commuters who miss their train due to a search of their bags following a false positive test be given a Dunkin Donuts gift card if they politely thank the MBTA Police for making them late for work?


When Will They Ever Learn?

Rule #1: There are no 15-year-old boys (or girls, for that matter) surfing the internet, looking for cheap, anonymous sex with 60-year-old men.

Fmr. Boston Councilor Busted In Internet Sex Sting

Former Boston city councilor David Scondras is facing charges for attempting to lure a teenage boy over the internet.

Lawrence Police arrested Scondras at about 1:15 a.m. Monday. Investigators said a sergeant pretending to be a 15-year-old boy had several sexually explicit email exchanges with Scondras.

Officers arrested Scondras at a location where he thought he was going to meet the boy.


Mr. Scondras made headlines ten years ago when he was alleged to have made a sexual advance to a 16-year old boy in a movie theater. The boy allegedly took exception to that and allegedly proceeded to kick the snot out of Mr. Scondras in the movie theater lobby, prompting the former city councilor to allegedly accuse the boy of gay bashing.

And, naturally, after being arrested and charged with indecent sexual assault, Mr. Scondras did what any card-carrying member of the Perpetual Victimhood Society would do - he alleged anti-gay bias on the part of the police and prosecutors.

Allegedly.

Will his attorneys be playing the victim card in his defense of these current allegations? Can't say I'd be too surprised if they did.

Also, I wonder how this will effect his current candidacy for the office of Democratic Election Commissioner in the City of Cambridge. Fortunately for us, Mr. Scondras was kind enough to answer the candidate's questionnaire sent out by CambridgeDems.org, and provide us with today's money quotes.

Much of what I have done is public record and can be found through a search of the Globe archives or a simple google search.


Yeah, you might not want to advertise that fact. But, thanks for the tip.

There are no commitments I have that would make it difficult to be an election commissioner.


Future commitments to the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, on the other hand...


Doug Obey for State Senate

I had the pleasure of chatting with State Senate candidate, Doug Obey (rhymes with Toby), Sunday afternoon outside the West Roxbury Roche Bros. supermarket. Doug is running against incumbent Marian Walsh. As is the case with most discussions involving yours truly, ours quickly turned to the subject of Massachusetts' gun control laws.

Doug assured me he is a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment and of the people's right to self-defense, though, some [read: most] of my readers might [read: will] take exception with some of his positions outlined here. He is also in the process of obtaining [read: waiting for] his License to Carry in the town of Westwood. I wished him good luck, and told him my harrowing tale of extracting blood from a stone applying for my LTC with the City of Boston.

Doug has agreed to participate in an interview by e-mail to be posted on my blog, and I have decided to open up the questioning to my readers. With the election just four weeks out, I want to have this up as soon as possible. Leave your questions for Doug in the comments to this post. The top-five questions (picked by me) will be forwarded for his reply at the end of the day.

Have at it.

UPDATE 10:55 PM: Come on folks, I need one more question.


From the Dept. of Rhetorical Questions (cont.)

Deval Patrick has stated on many occasions that Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey is undeserving to serve as Governor of Massachusetts, on account of her being a part of the broken-down system that is Beacon Hill today. Can we assume, then, that he will be working as vigorously to remove from office the likes of Sal DiMasi, Bob Travaglini, Dianne Wilkerson, Marie St. Fleur, and all the other well-entrenched incumbents who must clearly be part of the problem, as well?


From the Dept. of Rhetorical Questions

If Deval Patrick is so dedicated to defending the Constitutional rights of Massachusetts citizens, even in situations where doing so might prove to be politically unpopular, can we then assume that if elected, he will work tirelessly to repeal the state's onerous gun laws, and restore the Second Amendment rights of the most law-abiding segment of Massachusetts residents?


Monday, October 09, 2006

Who Says the Boston Globe's Useless?

I'm getting my money's worth.

(click to enlarge)

This cleaning session comes on the heels of a very successful afternoon with Jay up at Bob's Tactical in Salisbury, MA (successful, in that I went through one more box of .45 than I had originally intended).

I guess it's back to the new Dick's Sporting Goods in Dedham to take advantage of their "Buy one, get on 50% off" ammo sale, which ends on Saturday the 14th. Or, whenever Mumbles realizes that a store selling guns and ammunition has opened so close to the razor wire perimiter fence.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ya Think?

Drunk Driver Plunges Car Into Charles River

He is being charged with OUI, speeding and marked lanes violations.


Quote of the Day

And a headline I'll never tire of...

Yankees complete collapse, knocked out of playoffs

At some point, you just have to look in the mirror and say, "I sucked".

~ A-Rod


Guess a quarter of a billion dollars just doesn't go as far as it used to, huh?

Fret not, down-trodden Yankee fans. There is a cure.

Sit back.

Turn your computer's speakers up as loud as they'll go.

And, click here.

Hippies.


Friday, October 06, 2006

So Much For "Bring a Bomb To Work Day"

T to start random searches for bombs

Starting as soon as next week, the MBTA will become only the second transit system in the nation to conduct regular, random searches of passenger bags and packages for explosives, Governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday.

MBTA Transit Police -- deployed throughout the system on commuter trains, subways, buses, and commuter boats -- will randomly choose riders and use a chemically treated piece of cloth to swab the zippers, bottom, or handles of their carry-ons.

Officers will place the swab in a portable machine that can detect explosives residue. The process will take less than a minute per passenger. If there is probable cause, officers will ask passengers to open bags and packages.

Passengers who refuse the search won't be allowed into the transit system, and any person refusing to leave could be arrested.

[snip]

Romney said he did not order the move in response to a specific terrorist threat, though he did cite attacks on rail targets in Madrid, London, and Mumbai, India, since 2004 that have killed more than 400 commuters.

"We are fighting a war against people that have as their objective mass murder and mayhem," the governor said at a morning press conference. "Given a very different threat, we need different tactics."


Actually, we are fighting a war against radical Islamic fundamentalists "that have as their objective mass murder and mayhem". Yet, according to our fearless leader, Mitt Romney, the solution lies in randomly searching the bags of ordinary citizens who don't even come close to fitting the profile of the perpetrators of 99.24% of all the world's terrorist activity.

And, yeah, I pulled that number out of my ass. So what? What are you going to do, start screaming "What about Timothy McVeigh?"? Here,I'll save you the trouble, and tell you what about Timothy McVeigh.

He was a deranged scumbag who killed a lot of innocent people. Soon after, his entire organization was neutralized - all two of them. Now, if evidence were to surface that he was part of some worldwide Disgruntled White Guy Jihadist movement, then perhaps I'd lend a tad more credence to the worn-out "What about Timothy McVeigh?" argument.

That said, would I suggest searching the bags of every Middle Eastern-looking male boarding a train or a bus?

No.

But, how difficult would it be for a terrorist organization, intent on blowing up a subway train, to circumvent this random screening process?

Hint: Rhymes with "Not very".

And, not that I want to give the terrorist scumbag population any pointers, but what would happen if they were to send two would-be train bombers down into the station at Park Street, one right after the other, with each of them strapped to a 30-pound bomb?

You want the best case scenario?

One of the bombers, we'll call him Terrorist Scumbag #1, is selected for random screening (can't screen them both, that would be profiling, and that would make Jesse Jackson angry) and chooses to leave the station, instead of consenting to a search. His accomplice, that would be Terrorist Scumbag #2, then boards a Green Line train, unmolested by the authorities, preparing his backpack for detonation at Government Center, while the MBTA police are busy swabbing the bags of a 58-year-old receptionist from Malden.

Of course, while all that is going on, Terrorist Scumbag #1 - you remember him - is settling down at the McDonald's across the street, enjoying a hot McGriddle sandwich, watching the girls walking down Tremont Street, and waiting for just the right time to flip the switch and go supernova in the name of Allah, killing 1,000 or so innocent Bostonians in the process.

So, if anyone can explain to me how random bag searches are going to deter an enemy, intent on committing mass murder and mayhem in the name of Allah (not to mention suicide) from carrying out their evil plans, I am all ears.

As we've seen recently, with the string of tragic school shootings, even deranged, murderous whackjobs are smart enough to realize that their chances of success increase dramatically with the selection of soft targets. There's a reason cops don't get mugged more often. More police on the T would likely only serve to drive the bad guys elsewhere.

Then, of course, we'd need more police, and random screenings of people's bags at every shopping mall in the state. And then, movie theaters, sporting arenas, outdoor farmer's markets, restaurants, etc.

Hell, let's just ban the public carrying of bags. Problem solved!

Here's the money quote from the Globe article, that highlights the biggest "glitch" in this whole random screening strategy, that I haven't heard anyone talking about.

Passengers who refuse the search won't be allowed into the transit system...


Sorry, kids, but if a terrorist with a 30-pound bomb strapped to his back can make it to the turnstiles, it's game over, man.