Pete has a couple posts today on legislative gerrymandering (here
). … Reader No. 1 and I have gone back and forth on this. Hub Blog has insisted that no true legislative and government reform is possible without changing the current districts. Reader No. 1 says voters putting pork ahead of reform is the real problem. But they’re really symbiotic arguments. … Why would you vote for someone (such as a Republican or Independent) knowing he or she won’t have any power if elected? 'A Beauty on Beacon Street':
Forget my rant yesterday. It's spring. Time for admiring beauty where there's beauty -- and it's definitely not in the gutters of Anderson Street. Carpundit
, bless his soul, found beauty and love on Beacon Street. ...
Four weeks, that's it:
It's been said before and will be said again, but there's something to be said about a four-week election campaign.
Good luck to Tony Blair. ...
God d@mn f*-^g ass%$(@s!:
I waited all winter for the street sweepers to get out and clean up last December’s trash, January’s leftover X-Mas tree decorations, February’s sand and March’s blue plastic newspaper wrappers -- and what happens? Two-thirds of the God d@mn f*-^g ass%$(@ car owners on my street didn’t move their autos this morning for the first street cleaning in months. … Forget about ticketing and towing the cars. Blast ‘em to kingdom come with TOW anti-tank missiles and then bill ‘em for the clean up.Update
– Highly recommend: the improved ‘TOW 2’
-- OK, maybe I was in a bad mood
and a tad too harsh yesterday. TOWs would clearly shatter innocent homeowners' windows. But I still think a punishment of a few hours of forced hard labor fixing potholes
would motive people to move their stupid cars.
Like most everyone, Hub Blog has many fond memories of Pope John Paul II, including his ‘79 visit to Boston. Along with other cynical friends, I was reduced to a pope groupie that day, chasing his car around Boston Common and yelling, ‘Papa!’ ... Even at the time I couldn’t believe I was doing it. ... The other things I remember were the masses he gave in Poland, as Communist troops goose-stepped about to try to disrupt services, and his famous trip to Nicaragua, as Sandinista supporters tried to drown out his sermon, invoking his memorable command, ‘Silence!’ And there was silence. The Marxist Sandinistas never recovered. Here was a guy who literally lived and struggled under the boots of history’s greatest tyrants -- Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin -- and little Daniel Ortega thought he could intimidate John Paul II? ...
But most stories don’t have happy endings. Locally, the sexual abuse scandal damaged the church’s -- and John Paul’s -- reputation. The pain
is still there. One could also throw in his failure to progressively address the role of women in the church, though I never thought (nor do now) that the church is capable of making that logical jump within our lifetime. So helping to take down totalitarianism will just have to do as his major historical achievement. I’ll take it. ... Update
-- Chrisopher Hitchens
has more on the Boston and Cardinal Law angle (via Instapundit
). ... ‘Believability’:
Though I disagree with some of what she says, Eileen
makes the salient point about Mitt these days: ‘believability.’ Or lack thereof. It’s just hard to view anything Mitt does without seeing it through the prism of his ambitions. One can obviously express anti-majority views in the stem-cell debate (such as Reader No. 1 below) and not be a right-wing ‘screamer.’ But Mitt has clearly brought upon himself a good dose of cynicism that, well, in this case, brings up the question of believability, not to mention sincerity. ...
‘Someone has to say something about Harvard’s takeover ...’:
Reader No. 1, a Tufts grad, takes on not one but two Harvardites. So the odds are even:
“Someone has to say something about Harvard's takeover of the Globe and hijacking of public debate on important issues, eg see yesterday's op-ed page. Professor Sandel
takes a very long time to elegantly knock down an obvious contradiction in Mitt Romney's argument. As a public policy matter, and pragmatically (abortion clinics and fertility clinics), the issue over the sanctity of the embryo was settled a long time ago.
“But Professor Sandel spends no time on the 'Brave New World' argument about how embryonic cells will be handled down the road, other than in effect to say, ‘Trust us, we're intelligent enough to solve the problems.’ So, let us discuss them, and be explicit about what we will and will not permit, rather than dribble out the clock.
has many sensible things to say on many topics. And he is savvy enough to know our society's essential pragmatic nature will accept this research if it holds enough promise for the living (‘Recent history suggests that human embryonic stem cell research, once it becomes more prevalent, will become almost universally accepted.’) But he surely knows this work is a lot different than kidney transplants. And it's morally different than the birth of Louise Brown. Here's why (and here's why Romney's distinction on using embryos that would have been discarded WAS a valid distinction on the ‘Brave New World’ front).
“Harvard grad Ted Kennedy was quoted a few weeks back to the effect that embryonic stem cell research did not mean babies would be grown in test tubes. That's precisely the problem. Embryos created in fertility clinics are created with the intention that some day, they may become living human beings. They are not created -- at least not to this point in time -- with the intention that they would be harvested as spare genetic parts. I don't know if Larry Summer wrote the headline on his Op-Ed ‘Give Scientists the Tools They Need’ - I hope not. Whoever did write it has provided horrific validation of the ‘Brave New World’ fear. A human embryo is not a tool!
(another Harvard man, incidentally) made this distinction better than anyone else I have seen a few weeks back. The moral seriousness of this topic calls for another round of federal meddling.”
‘Sprechen wir Anglodeutsch?’
: The CSM’s Ruth Walker
sounds the alarm about the spreading ‘compounding-disease.’ ... She links to a Mark Twain essay -- ‘The Awful German Language’
-- that’s so funny I thought it was an April Fool's joke. But it’s the real thing. Twain on the German language:
“One is washed about in it, hither and thither, in the most helpless way; and when at last he thinks he has captured a rule which offers firm ground to take a rest on amid the general rage and turmoil of the ten parts of speech, he turns over the page and reads, ‘Let the pupil make careful note of the following exceptions.’ He runs his eye down and finds that there are more exceptions to the rule than instances of it. So overboard he goes again ...”
“In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print -- I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books:
Wilhelm, where is the turnip? Wilhelm
She has gone to the kitchen. Gretchen
Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden? Wilhelm
It has gone to the opera.’ ”
And don’t miss Twain’s ‘The Tale of the Fishwife and Its Sad Fate.’
‘It's not that crazy …’: Tom Keane
thinks the proposed city toll zone is A.) a bad idea and B.) won’t work but C.) at least worth a quick debate. ...
‘Or he would retreat to his bunker and …’:
Very interesting NYT story
on a recently unearthed OSS psychological profile of Hitler during WWII, by a late Harvard expert, who got some things wrong but did predict how Hitler would likely die. … There’s an eerie Unabomber angle. … The Cornell link to the study is here
. And that's my very own 'more on Harvard' link for the day.
‘Extra source of revenue’:
Anyone who strolled around Boston during the DNC could appreciate how much more beautiful and sane downtown is without so much traffic. So the proposal to implement a city-toll plan similar to London’s (stories here
) is worth debate. ... But what concerns me is the added justification for an ‘extra source of revenue.’ Revenue for what? Where would the money go? If it’s to create new urban bike paths, fine. Street cleaning, fine. Street plantings, fine. And on top of what’s already being earmarked for transit-related programs. But if it’s simply another way for the city to raise dough (similar to a separate city sales tax), not so fine. ...‘Even better, you get to eat what you make’:
Here’s another Euro idea worth importing -- as long as it’s not tied to extra revenue for the city: lunch-time cooking classes.
The idea is so simple, you wonder why it wasn’t tried before. ... The French cook with curry and basmati rice? The young turks of Paris’ kitchens really are shaking things up.
More on Harvard: More on Harvard
if you're so inclined ...
‘The violence and terror’:
More on MS-13
in the NYT and whether U.S. policies actually created this monster. ...
‘Crunchiest-Ever Fried Chicken’:
There’s a new mag in town, Cook’s Country
, a sister publication of Christopher Kimball’s Cook’s Illustrated
, and it’s quite good. Have a print copy right next to me. ... Mmm. Pot roast. ... Don’t hold it against the mags for not putting articles and recipes online. Their business models are based entirely on subscription-only revenue. ...After 100 years they finally figure out ...:
The Sinn Fein
finally figures out, after 100 years, that violent means usually lead to, well, violent ends unless you disband the violent army at the end. ... The IRA lost legitimacy after the entire island, through democratic vote, overwhelmingly endorsed the current peace plan. The Sinn Fein should punish itself by closing shop for not earlier understanding and accepting this.‘After agents mistakenly gave it back to him ...’:
I suppose it was only common sense to arrest Ahmed Mehalba
after he suspiciously took classified discs to, you know, the Middle East. But the fact the FBI slipped up and gave him back the classified discs does underscore the point that good people do occasionally handle classified materials in a sort of casually reckless way. ...
‘Hardly anyone is able to discuss it rationally’:
I can’t believe I’m going to do this ... (Don’t do it! Don’t do it!
--ed. Get out of here. This isn’t about Adam.) ... but I’m going to briefly jump into the Terri Schiavo issue because Reader No. 1 stroked my ego and urged moi to print an email I wrote to him yesterday. Here it is:
“The rhetoric by the extremists on both sides has been dreadful (Bennett vs. Andrew Sullivan etc.). I don't know who said it, but I see a big positive in this. Both sides are, deep down, talking about a single life. Which means we, as a country, still care and think a single life is important. Unlike Uncle Joe, who made the infamous crack: 'One life is a tragedy. A million is a statistic.' Or something like that. I go back and forth and lean toward keeping the tube in, with her parents taking over. But it's been nice to see people like Krauthammer
and William F. Buckley
, old reliable himself, note the judge has been very scrupulous and fair. It's a very painful thing to watch and observe. God help us if we ever had to go through it.”
There. Brings tears to your eyes, doesn’t it? ... Brett Arends
has more on the amazing ability of some Americans to make even the most agonizing issue a partisan affair. ...
‘I'm not taking my helmet off yet’:
, don’t take the helmet off yet. ... We’re at peace but we’re warily watching each other through binoculars across the DMZ. Certain posts about a 'certain newspaper’
raise eyebrows and cause needless tension. Then there’s his comment page
-- right next to the Microsoft ad, while yesterday it was the Vonage ad -- and his lame explanations about ...
--ed. But he started it. There’s a truce, as of early yesterday afternoon. Note the times on his comment posts.
--ed. That’s the last salvo I was talking about. Then there’s the ‘certain newspaper’ item. There’s something going on over there with a MSM in the shadows. Stop it! Or war will break out again. Think of Marilora and her winning a Nobel Prize.
--ed. Nobel Prize? Aren’t those given out by Swedes? There’s a Metro connection! Oh no. Not again.
‘The disgruntled cereal fans at Harvard’:
Fresh off their historic vote on Larry Summers, Harvard students get down to business
and debate Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. ... The debate over Coke or Pepsi machines
must be just around the corner. ...
... Don’t get me wrong. I liked the story. But don’t you think Harvard is getting a wee bit too much splash these days, sort of the way every pebble that moves on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket gets front-page coverage? Don’t they know that cereal debates also routinely break out at other schools? Granted, those battles are usually over Cocoa Puffs, Chex and Cheerios. But ...‘A separate room for strip shows’:
Now here’s a university hooligan story
we should all be monitoring closely. ... They had a separate room for strip shows? Bravo! Reminds me of Eaglebauer’s
bathroom office in 'Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.'
... Harvard students debate Frosted Flakes. But BU students learn real-world entrepreneurship. Who would you rather have running the country?
Hub Blog, Universal Hub declare truce:
Yes, Hub Blog and Universal Hub
have declared a truce, after intense email negotiations, mediated by Marilora
, though I’m still fighting an urge to fire one more salvo. An agreed upon spokesman declared: ‘We have peace for our time.’
The spokesman added: 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.’
(That was very nice.
—ed. Who are you? I’m on loan from Kaus Files. The local blogosphere requested an emergency intervention.
—ed. As editor or shrink? Both.
—ed. Are you visiting Adam? No, he’s not as crazy.
—ed. Oh. Can I launch one more bombardment on Adam? No, it would break the truce. Rest, Hub Blog, rest. The Great Metro War and now this tragic Hub Battle have exhausted everyone.
—ed. Yes, rest. Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.)
Curiouser and curiouser:
Scot on ‘Summers Madness.’
... ‘Very difficult decisions’:
I suppose it would be a cheap shot to say that the Universal Morrissey Boulevard Hub
is taking grim satisfaction that more trees aren’t going to die due to the Herald’s latest woes.
... It’s obviously a sad day for Boston’s second newspaper. But I have a strong hunch the Herald ain’t going away -- and more trees will just have to die.
The Boston Globe’s Adam Gaffin conflict of interest?:
How would you like to start a business and get to tout it in New England’s largest newspaper by passing yourself off as an ‘correspondent’? Dream gig, right? But that’s what Adam and the Boston Globe are apparently doing these days. ...
You see, Adam runs Universal Hub
and he’s now a ‘Globe correspondent’
who writes about the posts he’s linked to on his blog. Adam also has a business plan. What business plan? Why the one you should have read about in the Boston Herald
, the one in which Adam declared about blogging, “Aggregation is what it's all about.” Translation of “aggregation”: Drive as many readers and blogger links to your site as possible in order to maximize readership and, hopefully, advertising dollars, with a little help from the MSM.
Can you imagine a ‘Real Estate log’ or a ‘Car dealership log’ or a ‘Pub log’ or a ‘Bank of America log’ -- in which a ‘correspondent’ writer gets to drive customers to his or her business site? Notice how Adam’s ‘correspondent’ articles
(or are they ‘columns’ or ‘advertising’ or ‘marketing partnerships’?) don’t have links to the said blogs. Notice how there’s a big fat advertising plug at the end of Adam’s ‘correspondent’ articles (if you can call them ‘articles’) that clearly drive readers to the ‘correspondent’s’ very own start-up aggregation site. ... Where the hell can Hub Blog get a gig like this? ...
This is usually called ‘unethical’ and a ‘conflict of interest’ on the part of any newspaper and newspaper correspondent. But, hey, if you’re the largest MSM outlet in town striving for monopoly status, I guess you can get away with it. Especially when there’s a precedent for said MSN taking over a local blog.
... Hmmm. Might that be the long-term goal of the aggregation strategy? Just asking. ...
Oh, a quick note: I’m a Herald reporter. I’m also a blogger who doesn’t accept a dime for my blog. I do not write Herald articles about Hub Blog or that mention Hub Blog. I do not write Herald articles with a freebie ad tag line at the bottom promoting a personal business or hobby. I do not accept advertising on Hub Blog. But combine my two roles together and you have A.) a Herald reporter and B.) a blogger pointing out certain apparent lapses in judgment.
Bottom line: Competition. It’s good -- for newspapers and bloggers. ...
Sorry for the swipe the other day. My beef is really with a certain aggregator who thinks it’s funny to joke about the survival of a newspaper and hundreds of jobs -- and then doesn’t disclose his own newspaper affiliation in his posts. I think you’re a sincere person who cares about your neighborhood. I disagree with many of your Herald criticisms. But you also make many good points.
Grim defensiveness at Universal Hub:
Well, there might be some glee, too ... Oh, never mind. I can’t make out what Adam is saying in this post.
Maybe that he and Eastie got caught, again, taking cheap shots at the Herald when they could have just used a thing called “Google” to verify the Herald wasn’t alone in using ‘inflammatory words’ to describe a gang? Whatever. Adam, a Globe correspondent
, notes with defensiveness my post
from the other day. ...
‘The neighborhood would love to have more kids’:
Interesting look at how hip, cool cities
have one thing missing amidst the bistros, bakeries and coffee houses: children. ... Boston is mentioned. Recall Mayor Menino and the school committee’s recent rejection of a new public grade school (paid for by residents) for Beacon Hill. Probably scores of families in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill would stay in Boston if they could have their own neighborhood school. Hub Blog knows of one family already making reluctant plans to move out of the city due to that imbecilic decision.
‘Only one of the deaths occurred at the Abu Ghraib’: Tom Friedman
has more on the torture scandal ...
Friedman also makes a plug for "Washington's Crossing,"
by Brandeis University's David Hackett Fischer, who writes of how Washington admirably treated his prisoners during the Revolution. ... Speaking of good books, Hub Blog just finished “Dominion of War”
and I give it very high marks, though the convoluted introduction's claim of reinterpreting U.S. history is a tad too much. The bottom line is the authors show how America's smaller wars have tended to be in self-defense, expansionist in nature or a combination of the two. Want to quickly learn more about the colonial-era Indian wars, War of 1812, the Mexican War and Spanish-American War? This is the book. ... I'll get to "Washington's Crossing" one of these days.
Don’t do it!:
They’ll probably have electric prods in their hands when they make the peace offering. ... The Dr. Phils
of the world suddenly want to tone down
the best rivalry in sports now that we’re dominating the infidels. They’re going to wreck it. … What’s wrong with bullpen fights, pitchers pointing their bony fingers at their head, riot police in full battle gear on the field? ...Students teaching the teachers:
Harvard graduate students
reject a ‘no confidence’ motion on Larry Summers. … Next big historic vote at Harvard: whether Coke or Pepsi machines prevail in student dorms. …
‘An international Salafist jihadi movement’:
Shhhhh. Don’t tell Marilora and Adam
, but a ‘reputable’ newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor
, is now confirming prior Herald reports
that intelligence officials are growing more concerned about Latin American gangs teaming up with al-Qaeda to slip possible terrorists into the U.S. ... Shockingly, the CSM story doesn't use the same ‘inflammatory words’ that Marilora finds so offensive, such as ‘murder’ and ‘machete attacks’ and ‘rape.’ ... Shhhhh.Update
–- Steve of Arlington: “Shame on the Herald! … From herein newspapers should use ‘secondary involuntary death’ (for murder), ‘sharp-object thrust’ (for machete attack) and ‘nonconsensual sex’ (for rape).” Update II
–- Oh my God! The Associated Press is also using the same inflammatory words in its MS-13 gang story -- including 'sodomy, assault and arson'!
… Et tu, LA Times
? … Noooooooo! The NYT
? It also mentions the word ‘violent’ and ‘murder’ and, Hub Blog can barely write this, ‘prostitution.’ … USAToday
is lurching ever rightward by mentioning ‘MS-13’ in the same story as ‘Boston,’ though officials discount any connection with al-Qaeda. Nonetheless, call out the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce! USAToday is libeling our dear city, not to mention Eastie! …
But Hub Blog, with my Heraldite devil horns, tail and pitch fork in full view, bows to the sophisticates of the city: Bad Herald! Bad!
... Whew! Glad to get that out of my system.Update III
-- Hello all of you coming over from Globe correspondent Adam Gaffin's Universal East Boston Chamber of Commerce Hub! Just mosey on up to my reaction
to Adam's moving-the-goal-posts defensive post.
‘The trouble had started four days earlier … in Boston’:
Brighton Reader takes historical exception to Reader No. 1’s assertion yesterday that Massachusetts doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things:
“Au contraire: Quebec nationalism
is linked to an incident at a hockey game in Boston fifty years ago.”
Hub Blog’s reaction: I think it’s time Reader No. 1 reassesses his vision of the Hub not being the hub. … ‘Where’s the outrage …?’:
Meant to link yesterday with Jeff,
who's still asking: Where is the outrage on torture, particularly among pro-war conservatives? Good question, though the answer is obvious: Ideology mixed with partisanship, with a dash of the can't-lose-an-argument gene thrown in. ... Give ‘em time. The new PC conservative beehive will reach a consensus argument sooner or later. ...
Here’s a freebie conservative PC-consensus suggestion: Good causes (like W.W.II) can contain unjust actions (the internment of Japanese-Americans) and still be a good cause. ..‘It's all good political theater, perhaps ...’:
‘Perhaps’ good theater? The Matt-Mitt show is definitely the best political show in town. Tom
have good points: The blame for the Big Dig’s woes goes go way back. But there’s more than a hint of relativist everyone-is-to-blame reasoning to such observations. The reality is Amorello is in charge now -- and it’s now that we’re learning that a long-delayed, over-budget boondoggle had serious engineering and cost-containment flaws that leaders like Matt routinely ignored while others were sending up multiple warning flares. ... As for the wisdom of not changing leadership too often, quite true but not always true. Thank goodness Bob Kraft dumped Pete Carroll and went for Bill Belichick the first moment he could. ... Is Matt the equivalent of Pete or Bill? More like Rod Rust
on his best game day.‘Spamalot’:
Speaking of great theater
...George F. Kennan, RIP: George F. Kennan’s
original Cold War containment policy was the blueprint of victory for one of history’s great showdowns between tyranny and democracy. Kennan may have disagreed with how some of his policies were later interpreted -– and good people, like Ronnie, disagreed with his disagreements. But, fundamentally, the blueprint was followed and it led to a great triumph. ...
‘We need to stop pussyfooting around with bullshitters’:
Pete is bullshit.
I mean, bullshit as bullshit can be. … Update
-- More on bullshit.
… There seems to be a lot of bullshit analysis these days.‘New England Considers Secession’:
More historic precedent for Hub Blog’s mad dream of creating a Greater New England: The Hartford Convention
of 1814. … Don’t get me wrong: This isn’t about contemporary Red State/Blue State differences. No lefty secession movement for me. Instead it’s about a centuries-long, unfinished grudge match with Canada and our need to expand into the Maritime Provinces
and southern Quebec.Update
– Maine Reader wrote in the other day on the same subject: “I used to dream of being dictator of New England when I was a boy in Dorchester.” … ‘Sorry, Massachusetts is just not such a big deal’:
Reader No. 1 on a Mitt post
from last week:
“Suggesting that a Massachusetts loss benefits a national candidate rather overstates the importance that the rest of the nation places on us early in the 21st century. Sorry, Massachusetts is just not such a big deal in the land between the oceans. (That should hurt us worse than the Governor's passing slights on our local culture or Esteemed Senior Senator.)
“I agree with the reasons you cite for why he catches flack for running and would add these:
“3. Political double-standards. If a US President came from Massachusetts who was NOT liberal, our Blue Statehood might be jeopardized. We just can't have that.
“4. Fatigue from a quarter-century streak of local Presidential losers (like I said, we're just not the center of the universe).
“I suspect this will happen: Mitt declares victory in Massachusetts (reducing billion dollar budget deficit to surplus), and doesn't run for reelection (handing reins to Charlie Baker) so that he can run for President.
“Also, he starts spending more time photographed against the beautiful mountains of Utah. Suggested Romney campaign slogan: ‘Nothing but Blue Skies.’ ”
'We were told not to': Peter Morin
has a very interesting behind-the-scenes tale that may, partly, explain why the Big Dig is so screwed up. ...‘I've committed to do a job’:
Did Nero abandon Rome before the job was done? No! ... Besides, it’s high political entertainment to see Matt Amorello squirm
-- There's a Matt photo-caption contest over at WRKO.
But here's the big news: Armchair Gen. Savin Hill won the Fab Five photo-caption contest (see the item below Matt's).‘Concluded or suspect were acts of criminal homicide’:
Not just torture. It’s now about outright murder
in what would be considered serial-killer numbers if they were attributed to Whitey Bulger. ... How bad was it? The U.S. Navy
considered pulling out of the interrogation process after witnessing what was happening. Note: And this was pre
-Iraq invasion.Hub Blog declares ‘no confidence’ in John Daley, Adam Gaffin, Carpundit, Media Log, Ellisblog, Christopher Lydon, Mutated Monkeys, Farrell Media, Bostonist, Jim Behrle, Boston Dirt Dogs, Boston Sports Media etc.:
Recognizing the momentous crisis
and historic nature
of events unfolding across the Charles, Hub Blog today announced the following:
BOSTON (March 16, 2005) -- Hub Blog has imposed ‘no confidence’ sanctions on a slew of Boston or occasionally Boston-focused blogs for failure to hew to his line of thinking.
“All these blogs at one time or another have posted statements in disagreement with my points of view,’’ said Hub Blog in a statement.
“The time for action, not words, is now,” added Hub Blog, after unanimous passage last night of a collective ‘no confidence’ motion against the blogs. “I almost got physically ill and fainted when I read opinions that I disagreed with on these blogs.”
The ‘no confidence’ vote invalidates the viewpoints of those writing the targeted blogs.
The vote is expected to have wide repercussions, for Hub Blog has prepared ‘no confidence’ motions against other local and national blogs unless they include the following suggested disclaimer at the end of future posts: “But of course I defer to Hub Blog on this and all other matters.”
For the time being, the following blogs have been slapped with ‘no confidence’ sanctions: John Daley
... Adam Gaffin
... Media Log
... Christopher Lydon
... Mutated Monkeys
... Farrell Media
... Jim Behrle
... Boston Dirt Dogs
...Boston Sports Media.
Concluded Hub Blog: “This historic vote, which is arguably bigger than the Port Huron Manifesto, regrettably had to be done for the harmony of the blogosphere."
‘I don’t know what this column is about’:
Got to admit, it’s a grabber lede by James Carroll
and I can’t find fault with it after reading the column.
‘Do these idiots think ... ?’:
Peter Morin, former Weldite and lawmaker, has a new blog
-- and he’s taking shots at his old colleagues (the ones in the House). Impressive. Check it out.
The ongoing Prohibition:
They’re ludicrously arguing whether to extend the legal drinking age by a few hours after someone turns 21 in order to avoid ‘21 by 21’ party binges.
... Here’s an idea: Legalize drinking at the age of say, 13, as long as it’s done at home with a parent/guardian present. Let kids sip wines, beers etc. Actually encourage parents to mentor their kids in drinking. At 18 they can go to bars, restaurants etc. and have liquor, again with a parent or guardian present. The goal: Stop making alcohol the forbidden fruit. ...
Other ideas: A.) Any trace of alcohol on a driver under 21 leads to automatic suspension of a driver’s license until, say, the age of 25. B.) Those sacrificing their lives for their country can drink at 18, but A.) still applies ... Anglo countries tend to have a severe problem with youthful drinking precisely because of the forbidden-fruit syndrome and lack of parental mentoring. Remember: The French do get it right now and then. ... Just throwing out ideas. Nothing else has worked.
‘Ponzi’s Scheme, Part II’:
Mitchell Zuckoff has an op-ed
comparing Charles Ponzi to Bernard Ebbers and Ken Lay. Conclusion: Zuckoff is guilty as charged when it comes to being charmed by the charmer, as noted the other day.
But who can blame him when we live in an era when corporate titans strut around acting like gods and then pleading ignorance after getting caught? I’d take Ponzi over them too. At least he was an entertaining character -- and he knew it.‘Are we citizens or employees?’:
Reading this article
about Harvard faculty whining about Larry’s slights, two things pop to mind: A.) Now I understand why college tuition is so high and B.) Can you imagine a John Silber taking the reins at Harvard? ... Here’s the latest on the high-tuition front.
He’s running, he’s not running ... no, wait:
The latest Romney polls.
Not good. Either way. ... I like John Daley’s take
: a reelection loss here might not be so bad for Romney. Then he could truly run against Massachusetts as an aggrieved victim of Blue State ingratitude. ... There’s a new conventional wisdom emerging out there: Mitt hasn’t made up his mind what to do. To which Hub Blog says: Baloney. Everything is calculated around his presidential ambitions -- including whether to run for reelection in Massachusetts. ...
Another interesting question is emerging: Why is Mitt catching so much flak for running for prez while in office when, say, the Duke and JFK II didn’t? I think it has to do with two things: A.) The short period he’s been in office and B.) His skimpy presidential check-list record. He was only in office less than a year before he was jetting off to California to ‘help’ Arnie get elected, fouling up that memorable escapade by insulting the uncle of Arnie’s wife.
‘Satan has a strong grip in Boston’: Universal Hub
is performing a great public service by warning of a pending invasion from Harding University. ... Harding University? Are they citizens or employees there? ... Hub Blog’s instinctive reaction is similar to Carpundit’s.
But here’s the creepy part: I think their Christian crusading will hit a chord here. It already has in Maine. ... Thanks, Bernard Law. Another legacy you left behind: a growing spiritual vaccuum.
‘A ploy to lure a broader audience - especially men’:
Hub Blog has heard more guys talking about the Ralph Lauren car exhibit at MFA
than any other exhibit there in years. So it seems the museum’s audience ‘ploy’ is working. ... And good for them. Just wish other institutions, such as newspapers and academia, took a similar approach toward experimentation.‘The kids are back’:
Yet another local success story
of attracting a wider audience via change. ...
‘Still too soon to gloat,’ Part III:
Catching up on some past emails, here’s Reader No. 1 on last week’s august discussion
of Iraq and Middle East democracy in action:
“1. I'm not familiar with the Anderson/Cayton book but it sounds right from your synopsis.
“2. I have come across plenty of people who think the Iraq War was about multiple things, including Democracy as well as WMD and pushing back Islamo-fascism ... and I'm sure there are some who think Democracy was the top priority... but I have not come across those who always thought that was THE case. Surely we could agree that in the absence of WMD, Democracy has become the main goal of the mission -- and so far, so good -- but we still got a long way to go as Ralph Peters
trenchantly reminded us the other day. ...
“I would go back further than Kuwait than did General Hill -- probably back to Afghanistan. That was one of the points at which the greatest threat to the world began to pivot from Communism to Islamic Terrorism.”
'A kind of supercolony, the Dominion of New England’:
Hub Blog’s long cherished, mad dream of a Greater New England was actually envisioned as far back as the 1600s, the Dominion of New England
, stretching from Maine to Maryland. ... We could have ruled America!
... Learned about the ‘supercolony’ in a book I’ve been reading and talking about way too much lately. Never forget and always salute: the proud flag of New England.
But Hub Blog is steadfast in the conviction that sissy Vermont
should be kicked out of New England, though we’ll keep Stowe
as a sort of imperial resort for our brave troops.
'But social scientists say ...':
Whether it's meant to be camp or serious (or a combination of the two to protect their asses), this article
is a classic example of dreaded Sociology Journalism as applied to baseball at the University of New York Times. ... They're not journalists. They're intellectuals.
... Via JDaley
, who also has breaking news on the lollipop sculpture.Update
-- Steve of Arlington: "Psychologically speaking, the subject appears to be exhibiting extreme symptoms of trauma and unrequited respect that leads to compulsively excessive behaviour towards the champs."
‘Mitt Romney is the governor of Massachusetts’:
Nice to see the governor addressing himself to the people of Massachusetts about his stem-cell views
-- instead of to activists in Washington, Spartanburg and elsewhere. ... Here’s a good overview piece
of stem-cell research efforts in Boston.‘Ponzi’s scheme’:
Former Globe reporter Mitchell Zuckoff has written a new book “Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend.”
It’s gets a positive review
, but takes Zuckoff to task a bit for apparently becoming charmed by the charmer. ... Another book on Ponzi
also fell into the same trap. Kind of understandable. Ponzi was a true character and, like many psychopaths, never really appreciated and/or cared what damage he did to others. If he did care, he would have felt guilt and anguish. The fact he didn’t partly explains his ebullient personality.‘Still too soon to gloat,’ Part II:
Maine Reader writes in about yesterday’s post:
“Hey thanks for the tip about 'Dominion of War.'
I'm a great fan of Champlain (first European to discover and name - l'Ile des Monts Deserts - Mount Desert Island after his ship struck a rock), and will have to read it. Back in the dark ages (1950s) i went to a Champlain school in Dotchesta. Does it still exist? The proper Victorian Bostonians who named that school way back when no doubt knew all about Champlain and thought him a fit role model for scruffy Irish-American kids to lead them out into a world beyond narrow sectarian prejudices.
“Can't say as I like the take that America is always bad and will have to read the book to see if that is really the authors' thesis. Wouldn't surprise me given modern academics. Now living in ME I've tried to study up on ME's history. It was kind of inevitable that France and England would fight each other, both being monarchist European powers of differing religions. The French approach to Acadia (ME and the Maritimes) was to convert the Indians to Catholicism and to trade with them. The French seemed to have a lot of respect for the Native Americans and their culture, maybe because to them the religious thing was about sheer numbers of baptisms. The Puritans of course were people who found their native land to be intolerable and came over to build a better England here. The Indians were simply in the way. ...”Hub Blog’s response
-- I may have poorly conveyed the book’s tone and direction. It’s not anti-American and only argues that wars, especially smaller conflicts like the Mexican War, can lead to unintended consequences. In the case of the Mexican War, the expansion of the U.S. led to expansion of the debate over slavery. Etc. ...