'The time was the early 1960's,' Part II
Just finished Sebastian Junger's 'A Death in Belmont.'
Verdict: Thumbs up. Now I better duck. For there's indeed a lot of criticism and emotion swirling around this book and the entire issue of the Boston Strangler. ... But before ducking for cover, I do think Alan Dershowitz was too harsh in his review
of the book. As I suggested earlier
, the review sounds like a trial lawyer arguing (not to mention a law professor lecturing). Roughly the same applies to this review
by a district attorney who tries to tear apart Junger's arguments. But Junger is not approaching the subject from the perspective of a legalistic courtroom lawyer -- and he's pretty upfront about how he speculates a lot. Junger also wasn't the first to make a connection to the tragic early 1960s murder of a Belmont woman, a controversial conviction in that case and Al DeSalvo, who confessed to being the Boston Strangler but later recanted. Others at the time made the same connections as Junger, apparently including then Attorney General Edward Brooke. I'm not saying I agree with all of Junger's hedged conclusions. But he makes a persuasive case that a miscarriage of justice could have occurred four decades ago. ...
Want a further peek at the strong emotions still surrounding the Boston Strangler case? Read the 'Belmont Kid'
comments on the Amazon review. ... Then read the comments at an Amazon forum
, where Leah Goldberg (daughter of the murder victim at the center of Junger's book) levels her criticisms at Junger, who, I think, addressed many of the issues she raises. But I won't and can't get into the details. ... Other books about the Strangler case can be found here
(Junger mentions both in his book).
'He pulled a classic switcheroo'
Everyone thought Bill Belichick would go defense yesterday. But he went offense with the Pats' first three draft picks: running back Laurence Maroney
, receiver Chad Jackson
and tight end David Thomas
. ... This scouting report
about Maroney is disturbing. But more disturbing is the prospect of another disastrous season by Corey Dillon
, who seems to understand Belichick noticed his performance
last year. ... Of the top three picks, I'm most excited about Jackson. ...
'Embargoed to land on a weekend night'
The T obviously timed its fare-increase announcement
to minimize public outrage and discussion. It worked. I really didn't notice it until now. They do the same thing in the private sector, such as late Friday afternoon utility rate-hike announcements. Isn't it great to see our government employing the worst practices of monopolies? ...
'Former Treasurer Joe Malone is brought on stage'
is doing a good job covering the state GOP convention in Lowell. But it's still thin gruel after the governor and lt. governor : Joe Malone, Peter Blute ... American Idol finalist Ayla Brown
provided the star power and sang the national anthem. ...Update
-- Ken Chase
has been nominated
as the GOP's designated road kill in the U.S. Senate race. ... Correction: Chase was endorsed, not nominated. My mistake.Update II
- 4.30.06 -- Scot
thinks the GOP's anti-Democrats/one-party-state mantra is wearing thin. Maybe. But it's still a potent argument. Agree on this: Healey is no Weld or Mitt. More like a weak Cellucci. But even Cellucci won. ... My early prediction for general election: Tom Reilly, if he gets his act together and gets through the Dem convention and primary. He's lost respect over the past few months. But he does have that straight-and-narrow feel that appeals to Independents. ... Kerry Healey, if Reilly doesn't get the Dem nod. She's a more formidable candidate than critics think.Update III
- 4.30.06 -- I missed the column by Joan
, who makes the good point about Healey's appeal to Independent women voters. ... Wayne
(sub. req.) also had good tips for Healey, among them how she can use her somewhat modest background to deflect the rich-girl image. She seems to be following that advice. But nothing can deflect John's devastating criticism
of her campaign's use of a Boston song. ...
'Stupid move by the hispanic activists'
Whomever is giving advice to immigrants has been making a lot of political blunders. The 'Spanish national anthem'
is just the latest. The backlash is getting palpable, based on my own usually immigrant-friendly reaction. I'm not the only one. Over at tpmcafe.com
, there's a lot of discussion here
. TPM is not a conservative site, folks. ... I'm now expecting even tougher immigration reforms.Update
-- The lyrics are here
(via Michelle Malkin
). It's tinkering with the lyrics that's annoying, at least for me. They read like 'We Are the World,' not a stirring national anthem
with rockets and bombs and explosions. The musical rendition
is actually quite pretty. But I still prefer Jimmy Hendrix's version. ... Mickey on 'relationships.'
... Let's hope this all blows over so we can come up with a fair immigration package. I propose a grand compromise: Keep all the working immigrants who are here, beef up border security -- and deport all the do-nothing professional immigration activists to Europe.
'Paid for by Friends of John Kerry'
He's written an op-ed about his truly historic anti-Vietnam War testimony before the Senate 35 years ago and how it applies to today's momentous events in Iraq. He gave a speech
about it too. Now he -- or his friends -- are taking out ads at TPM Cafe
just in case you missed the significance. ... I don't know about you, but I shot out of bed last Saturday morning and immediately thought, 'My God! It's the 35th anniversary of John Kerry's historic anti-Vietnam War testimony before a Senate hearing!' ... I know you did too. Thank goodness Kerry and his friends have reminded other Americans.
P.S. -- I noticed another funny little ad
on the same page. It's so true: If all else fails, Blame Clinton. Or Bush. Or immigrants. Etc. Keep hitting refresh for more samples.
P.S.P.S. -- The dramatic historical photo at right (--->) is from the TPM Cafe ad, FYI. ... Are those medals or ribbons on his chest? Just asking.
P.S.P.S.P.S. -- Sorry for running the photo so large. I know it may have scared some people.
'Meth lab coming to your neighborhood'
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill on curious things
happening in his neighborhood:
In case anyone wasn't surprised to hear about the meth lab bust in Dorchester ... this was in one of the nicest parts of one of the nicest neighborhoods in DOT. There are rennovated Victorians worth $800K+ down at that end of the street, it's a 'safe' neighborhood where the lawns and houses are immaculately kept. So - suburbanites do not feel very smug when you hear about this. I guarantee you - if it can happen here, there's a meth lab coming to your neighborhood very soon.
'A Johnny Damon affect'?
Let New Yorkers buy
Pizzeria Regina, whose pies are overrated. ... I take that back. I don't want to get sued
for expressing an opinion that might harm some concern's image. ... I just love private-equity owned chain-restuarant pizza!
'That's how bad it was'
is practically begging John Kerry not to run for president. But begging won't work. Nor will praying. The man's on a life-long mission of destiny. ...
'Fewer than one in five Catholics ...'
Only hard-core totally-in-denial Ray Flynn Opus Dei Catholics would see a silver lining in these numbers
. ... The decline is smaller than I expected, considering the priest sex-abuse scandal. But let's just say the existence of a pedophile network didn't stem the tide. ... Where I don't think the attendance survey is accurately portraying church membership sentiment: We Catholics love our Sistine Chapel
and are dumb as mules when it comes to loyalty. The church is desperately counting on this loyalty. They shouldn't -- but they know we're short-term saps for beauty and tradition. ...
'Cannot and will not vote for Romney'
Trouble on the Evangelical right
for Mitt. ... Question: If Mitt doesn't stand a chance of getting the evangelical vote due to his being a Mormon, does Mitt's swing to the hard right still make sense? ... P.S. - Not that he should be a kinder gentler conservative. But taking a little off the ideological edge might position him better for primary assaults from centrists McCain and Giuliani -- not to mention position himself better for a general election campaign. Not that he's going to win the GOP nomination. ...
'The time was the early 1960's'
Alan Dershowitz seemed a little too harsh
in his review of Sebastian Junger's new book 'A Death in Belmont.'
So I've picked up a copy and will settle the matter later with my own mini-Hub Blog review. ... Dershowitz's points are well taken about truth and storytellers such as Junger. But he thinks and argues like a trial lawyer. Do trial lawyers always seek and get at the 'truth'? Did they in the O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow cases? Here's a quote from Alan in an Amazon summary of Dershowitz's own bestseller 'Reversal of Fortune'
: "Over time I became convinced that von Bulow was probably innocent. Eventually I became nearly certain." ... Probably?
... Hmmm. ...
'Gender imbalance among super party suites'
So I went over to The Crimson to get the latest on the Kaavya Viswanathan saga
(she's still internalizing) and stumbled upon a far more important outrage: There's a 'gender imbalance'
in 'party funding' at Harvard. You see, the university that has more money than it knows what to do with also subsidizes parties for students -- and male 'super party suites' apply for more subsidies than female 'super party suites.' Thus the 'gender imbalance.' ... They're working through all the nurture-vs.-nature 'assumptions' about whether men guzzle beer more than females. But here's another 'assumption' from years of observing my fellow males at their devious best: I can almost guarantee that the ratio of females to males at male-sponsored keg parties, if properly planned, is about 2-1. Any sociological calculation of party gender imbalances should take this assumption into consideration. ... But we are talking about Harvard.
'Prune the congregation'
has a Darwin-Awards
mentality when it come to those worrying about the impact of the 'Da Vinci Code' on the faithful:
Having read the novel, my own feeling is, if your faith is such a wisp o' nothing that it gets blown out by an overwrought melodrama (based on sham research), you probably didn't have much faith in the Church to begin with. Maybe the Church should be taking advantage of natural selection here, if I may borrow a metaphor, and be grateful for the opportunity to prune the congregation of its intellectually weaker elements.
'Rumsfeld's Battles,' Part II
From Reader No. 1:
Your writeup on the writeup of Rumsfeld and the Pentagon reminded me of these nearly 5-year-old, pre 9/11 articles from the excellent American Enterprise magazine. We were worried then about cyberterrorism, nanoterrorism and attacks from space rather than airliners crashing into skyscrapers and other than a mention of Saddam Hussein, events have evolved differently. But the backdrop and the depiction of the military war-planning at the start of the century seems more relevant than ever. Definitely worth a look: 1.) The big picture. 2.) The political dimension. 3.) Max Boot on why 'push-button war' is politically attractive. 4.) And 'Shaking Up the Pentagon' with Douglas MacGregor, James Web, Michael Vickers and Richard Perle.
A good look at the other side of the Rumsfeld debate.
... One can't underestimate how petty the reform debate is within the Pentagon. Can the Pentagon walk and chew gum at the same time? Is it really that hard to prepare for a number of different war scenarios? ...
P.S. -- Rumsfeld's own inability to get beyond 'technology' reminds me of the CIA reforms of the 1970s and 1980s. No boots on the ground. All abstract 'technology.' Thanks, Stansfield. ... 'Maneuveur warfare' isn't just about 'technology.' It's also about mental 'flexibility.' This is Rumsfeld's true fault. ... Turner and Rumsfeld. ... Carter and Bush. Why do I see a similarity? ...Update
- 4.24.06-- The National Review
is rightly hailing the recent political settlement in Iraq. But for the National Review to lecture 'pessimists' about their inability to 'recalibrate their view' on Iraq is laughable. ... Are they lecturing pessimist William F. Buckley
? Doubtful. More likely it's another swipe in the never-ending left-right cage match bout. ... BTW: Charles
gave people permission to call it a 'civil war,' remember? ... FYI: I tinkered a bit with the above post this morning. Minor tightening etc.
'Cheap and shameful'
What to make of the latest
from John Kerry? The junior senator is surely right that it's 'cheap and shameful' to accuse retired generals of treason and laying the groundwork for a future coup when all they're doing is exercising their 1st Amendment rights. But Kerry is still milking Vietnam for all it's worth -- and actually thinks his anti-war testimony at a Senate hearing 35 years ago is somehow historic and worthy of commemoration. Incredible. ... But I'm not going to count the guy out. Kerry has that will-to-power gene that won't let him stop. ... Kerry should try to keep this in mind: Most of the ex-generals now criticizing the administration say we should stick it out in Iraq until the job is done. Junior officers
are saying the same thing. Where did Kerry get his magical pull-out date?
'Most generous paid leave policy ...'
is apparently shooting for more page-one coverage from the NYT. He's already got it from the Globe. ... But of course he can be 'generous' with other people's money and businessmen's time and operations. ... A number of other points: A.) This is a tax. B.) Taxes go up, not down, so the seemingly small initial weekly tax would be just a start. C.) Programs like this have abuse written all over them. D.) Someone sooner or later, if the plan is implemented, would propose that 'employers' pay their 'fair share' (see points A and B and C). E.) No wonder businesses are 'cautious.' F.) At the least, I would hope lawmakers carefully review California's plan before making any Massachusetts plan the 'most generous.' But I'm not holding my breath. ... Sorry to prick the utopian policy balloon. But this is going to be yet another huge government entitlement program if passed. ... Still eagerly awaiting the glowing puff-piece column/article about how much the Trav and Sal have 'grown' in office. FYI: The real Sal can be found here
Five of 15
Five of fifteen books on the NYT non-fiction bestsellers list
are about religion this week. ... I've come to this tentative formulation: Dinosaurs are to kids what scholarly religious issues are to adults; they're both about long-ago events that fascinate us to no end. But at least kids don't get into fights about which dinosaurs are right. ...
The Blogging Heads Tour
Aaron and Matt
and Charley and David
get more well-deserved attention
from the MSM
, respectively. Not that they need validation from the MSM. But it's always nice. ...
Hub Blog 2.0 - Turbo Slant 6 Office XP
I gotta say: I unveiled this redesigned site at about 2 p.m. today and NOT ONE PERSON EMAILED ME with a congratulations as of 7 p.m. ... I never realized. ... But then again: A.) It's a weekend and B.) I have young, hip, well educated readers with BIG TRUST FUNDS who normally spend weekends on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard and then return to Boston on weekdays and become very attractive targets for advertisers on my NEW ADS ON HUB BLOG (see ads over there --->) ...
Where was I? Oh, yes. The redesign. Thanks for redesign help to John Daley
, who also has young, hip, well educated readers with BIG TRUST FUNDS ... (see ads over there --->)...
As for the old site design, its retro puke-green look served me well. But it was time for a redesign. I now have a RSS feed (see bottom at right) and I've installed links to other bloggers, among other things. I'm still tinkering with the site, so any suggestions are welcome at jayfitzgerald20@hotmail.Update
-- Well Dan Kennedy noticed
. ... Thank you. ... Did I tell you about my NEW ADS ON HUB BLOG (see ads over there --->)Update II
-- Britney Spears, Britney Spears, Britney Spears
. ... (Are you trying to aggregate?
-ed. I wouldn't sink to such lows.) ... (see ads over there --->)Update III
-- The emails are just pouring in! This from a mysterious M. Hiltzik: 'Jay, I usually don't say nice things about bloggers. But this site rocks!' ... (You honestly don't think advertisers will buy this, do you?
-ed. Why not?) ... (see ads over there --->) ...Update IV
-- I'm humbled. The semi-anonymous emails keep coming. From Jason B.: 'I only turn to one blog every day -- and you just made it more fun with your redesign.' ... (This is about your cable bills, isn't it?
-ed. Yes!) ... (see ads over there --->) ...Update V
-- I can't stop them. From Cookie Janice: 'Pure elegance. I want you!' ... You got me! ... But first (--->) ...Update VI
-- Hot chicks! ... XXX ... Sex ... XXX ... Sex ... (--->)Update VII
-- Page 3 girls!!!! ... (--->)
'Either stage a coup ...'
Recall how I've warned that the hard right has become a mere mirror image of the hard left in its argumentative tone and substance. I'm tempted to call it a form of cognitive behavior imitation. Anyway, I think I've found a perfect example of it: Charles Krauthammer's column this morning
. After poking fun of lefties for embracing paranoid bestsellers and movies like the military-coup classic "Seven Days in May,"
Charles turns around and warns about a ... U.S. military coup. Guess why? Because a 'faction' of retired generals had the audacity to criticize Donald Rumsfeld. ... Take it away Reader No. 1, who once told me he planned to explain why my mirror-image thesis is wrong.P.S.
-- Following are portions of retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong's ringing defense
of Rumsfeld (not to be confused with retired Gen. Tommy Frank's defense -- and, believe me, I'm not trying to imply the two are part of a dangerous coup-plotting retired generals faction
"... When I was at Centcom, the people who needed to have access to Secretary Rumsfeld got it, and he carefully listened to our arguments. That is not to say that he is not tough in terms of his convictions (he is) or that he will make it easy on you (he will not). If you approach him unprepared, or if you don't have the full courage of your convictions, he will not give you the time of day.....
"... Ultimately, I believe that a tough defense secretary makes commanders tougher in their convictions. Was Donald Rumsfeld a micromanager? Yes. Did he want to be involved in all of the decisions? Yes. But Mr. Rumsfeld never told people in the field what to do. It all went through General Franks. ...
"... We also — collectively — made some decisions in the wake of the war that could have been better. We banned the entire Baath Party, which ended up slowing reconstruction (we should probably have banned only high-level officials); we dissolved the entire Iraqi Army (we probably should have retained a small cadre help to rebuild it more quickly). We relied too much on the supposed expertise of the Iraqi exiles like Ahmad Chalabi who assured us that once Saddam Hussein was gone, Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds would unite in harmony. ..."
This is the best defense of Rumsfeld from a retired general within a faction? Rumsfeld sure sounds an awful lot like a headstrong, intimidating, micromanaging boss who made some pretty huge blunders. But I'm not a retired general within a faction. ... And, oh, glad to see the Phase IV post-invasion Ahmad Chalabi debate has finally been put to rest. ... Repeat
: I do agree that some generals are probably critical of Rumsfeld because of his reform efforts, which I support. ...
'I think it's a bit extreme'
An unelected do-gooder board is now trying to restrict free speech at the Statehouse -- and Dan Kennedy
is rightly all over it. ... The decision is obviously ludicrous. But it's also the logical outcome of a policy to fine-tune politically good behavior. The policy goal itself is the problem. Ask the mayor of London.
-- Reader No. 1 asks:
"Is this development you note the Massachusetts political equivalent of 'No fighting in the War Room'"?
'Inordinate amount of social pressure to be a bastard'
decision to hang out with happy people has led to a new policy of moderating comments on his blog. ... An interesting scientific analysis and defense
of Robert's move. ... More on social pressure immediately below. ... Via Glenn
'In Spot of Summer ’06'
Not everyone feels the pressure for the perfect vacation
. But more and more people I know seem to find ways to put more pressure on themselves -- and then they complain about the pressure. ... Good column. ...In Recipe of Summer '06?: This isn't pressure.
It sounds like pure delight. I'm going to try it. I love scallops.
'A great morning for a battle'
Boston's best holiday: Patriots Day. It's all ours. There's the annual morning Red Sox game
followed by the Boston Marathon
(which they now run in Iraq
). But the best part is the reenactments in Lexington and Concord. Check out Adam's photos
from the North Bridge. ... The Hub Blog dad took three grandkids to Concord. Debriefings haven't been conducted yet. Therefore Universal Hub's report of another glorious Patriots victory has not been confirmed yet. But I suspect we kicked Redcoat butt.Update
-- Confirmed by excited niece and nephews: Minutemen defeated Redcoats. Candlelight patriotic sing-alongs with park rangers held last night at North Bridge to mark great victory.
'Defending Mr. Rumsfeld,' Part II
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill on what he calls the 'bitch krieg' by generals against Rumsfeld:
"There's plenty of blame to go around, but come on, pointing at troop levels in Iraq is a pure BS argument. As the WSJ reported last month the US Army didn't even know how to spell 'counterinsurgency' until a year ago. Like what the hell, the US Army didn't foresee a role involving occupation duties and guerilla-style insurgency -- a decade after Mogadishu? (Answer: No, no they didn't). Would it be better if a convoy of 6 unarmored humvees gets hit with an IED compared to 3?"
'Defending Mr. Rumsfeld'
nails it re Mr. Rumsfeld
: "I'm a fan of Donald Rumsfeld's intellect and his maverick efforts to reform the military. But, come on. It did not work out. Even a fan of Rumsfeld can see this." ... I'm eagerly awaiting some armchair blogger's accusation that the generals, even those who served in Iraq, have been duped by the liberal media's portrayal of events in Iraq. ... On the other hand, I do wonder how much of the generals' criticism is ultimately rooted in Rummy's reform efforts. If you have to read one book about the Pentagon and its bureaucratic mindset toward war and weapons, make it 'Boyd.'
Whenever I hear a general say we didn't have enough troops in Iraq, I wince. What we didn't have enough of was imagination and flexibility -- something Rumsfeld couldn't and wouldn't provide. His obstinate ways are actually the antithesis of what Boyd advocated. ...
'Speaking of contrarians...'
Reader No. 1 on Hub rock, Papi and health care:
"1. Why didn't the Mayah just declare this Boston rock week? Good Phoenix story
on the remarkably deliberate Rick Harte and what sounds like a great new compilation
"2. I love Big Papi, but I also love contrarian analyses like this one
"3. Speaking of contrarians, take a look at out of towners Mickey Kaus and Bruce Reed
talking Mass Health Care. It's easy to think of reasons this won't work and damned hard to think of reasons it will.
"Happy Easter Weekend, R#1"'Despite the very positive critical attention,' Part III:
A reader tipped me off that tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves, star of the 'Ellington at Newport 1956'
album, was born, raised and got his band start in Boston
. So that settles the issue: Whether you agree or not Rhode Island is a colony of Massachusetts
, Ellington's CD deserves to be on Charles'
Essential Boston Music List. ...Update
-- This further nails it: Johnny Hodges was from Cambridge.
'Slimeball, billionaire lapdogs ...'
Jared Paul Stern, of Page 6 scandal fame, is admirably striking back.
... Via Mickey
, who's all over Mr. Burkle.
'Unlikely to serve as a national model'
First we learned the premium estimates for the new health-care plan are too low. Next we heard warnings the plan will be out of dough within three years. Now we learn it's not
going to be a national model. I'll tell you, that last one really hurts. ... Aren't Trav and Sal scheduled to do an out-of-state victory lap? Someone ought to tell them the plan isn't exportable. ... Mitt: 'Mr. Universal'!
'These weary debates'
Historian Victor Davis Hanson
rightly bemoans 'weary debates' still raging about the Iraq War. But then he proceeds to rehash the arguments and declares them 'moot' and 'over' -- in his favor, of course. ... I rather enjoy how Hanson cherry picks history for analogies to support his Iraq views. This time around it's the Rhine campaign in WWII, then Korea and then back to WWII and daylight bombings. But perhaps Hanson, who has previously mined the Civil War for analogies, should think of Abe and his generals: What if Lincoln had never sacked Irvin McDowell, George McClellan, Ambrose Burnside and Joe Hooker? ... I'm sure someone like Hanson could always smack the ping-pong ball back with a counter-analogy analogy. And I could knock the ball back. But that would be a 'weary' exercise, wouldn't it? ... But I'll stop here. Someone might describe me as a war opponent, as Slate recently did
. For the record: I don't oppose the war. I reluctantly supported it at the outset (largely due to WMD fears) and I think we definitely need to stick it out now. But I have opposed the shoddy way the war was justified, planned (or not planned) and conducted. ...
Rudest of the rude
No doubt: We're rude.
And getting ruder. ... There's a part of me who finds the flinty, reserved New England character endearing. But when road rage spills into supermarket check-out lines -- the sighs of disgust and rolling eyes when someone fumbles with a debit card for a milisecond, etc. -- then you know it's time for self and collective reflection. ... My own latest rude experience: The shock of reading the first comment on a recent Dan post
. It's why, as I move toward a possible redesign of this blog, I debate whether to include a comments section.
'But the emerging details ...'
More details are surfacing about National Geographic's well-orchestrated PR campaign surrounding the 'Judas Gospel.' They include a Swiss art dealer and a bank account posing as a 'foundation.' ... So now we also know this: When National Geographic's PR people said 'hop,' the media hopped. ... Does anyone seriously think the 'Judas Gospel' is anything more than the rantings of some nut? The manuscript may be 'authentic' in the sense it's really 1,800 years old etc. But National Geographic -- just before Easter, just before the 'Da Vinci Code's release in movie theaters, etc. -- has been leaving the impression it might be a gospel-truth 'gospel.' National Geographic may be a non-profit organization. But it's clearly learned lessons from Time and Newsweek magazines: Well-timed biblical stories are big sellers.... Massachusetts: A Red State?:
This is an interesting map
showing religious adherence across the nation. Note how blue-state Massachusetts comes out red. Shows once again how the Bay State is a bit more complicated than the liberal stereotype, though Massachusetts undeniably remains a big sucker for secular big-government programs
. And only now they tell us the health-care program will be broke in three years.
... Where was I? Oh yes. Those godless heathens in northern New England, Florida and northern California! ... P.S. - I'd like to see a similar religious map after the 2010 census, i.e. after the Catholic church's sex-abuse scandals. I'd prefer not to see the financial state of our new 'landmark' health-care law. ... Map via AS
'Let's not forget ...':
A couple of readers on the Boston Essential Music List.
First, Jon L:
"Til Tuesday - Voices Carry.....awesome album
"Del Fuegos - great music. Loved 'Backseat Nothin'
"I'd forgotten that Robin Lane was from Boston! The shame.
"Let's not forget The Fools, one of the all time great fun party bands. Even found 'Night for Beautiful Girls' on an 80s compilation album. Also, Face to Face; loved the album One Big Day. Great sound, Laurie Sargent had a great voice. And lastly, because I was an unrepentant hair metal guy back in the day....how Lynn's own Mass? Even remember seeing the video for Mass' song 'Do You Love Me' on V-66 a few times."
Second, Kev on Ellington at Newport 1956
"Right On Jay, that was an amazing evening, vividly recalled in Ken Burns jazz documentary on PBS. He did a great segment on Paul Gonzalves and his 27 choruses on Diminuendo In Blues And Crescendo In Blue. Good call. I’ll throw in an oldie but a goodie: Grateful Dead at the Boston Music Hall, June 10, 1976."HB response
-- Unfortunately I didn't see the Ken Burns series. But I was lucky, soon after the remastered Ellington CD came out in the late 1990s, to listen to a Rhode Island radio station (forget which one) dedicate an entire show to the Newport concert and its importance to Ellington's comeback. I was driving from Jamestown, R.I. to Newport, listening to the mesmerizing on-air review, with concert organizers and attendees reminiscing on the historic evening. They played cuts from the CD, then talked. I parked my car and couldn't stop listening. I knew I was hooked. To this day, I consider Ellington at Newport one of my favorite all-time albums -- and I'm not a big jazz or big band fan.Design coincidence:
Not to be confused with Intelligent Design, but don't you think there's a striking resemblance between The Crimson's recently redesigned web site
and the NYT's recently redesigned site
? ... At first I liked the soft gentle feel of both. But I've learned to dislike them. They're not direct enough. ... Coming soon: A redesign of Hub Blog. I swear!Update
-- No, no, no. I'm not accusing anyone of copying the other. The designs are just a coincidence, I'm sure. Someone wrote to me about this. ... For the record: I believe The Crimson's redesign came out first.
'Despite the very positive critical attention,' Part II:
Reader No. 1 on Boston music classics:
"Some of the comments on Charles' page
got records I would have nominated... but let's not leave out:
"1- THE CAHS! Their first record
(78) was way the best. (Hope the 'New Cars' don't wipe out good memories.)
"2- Aerosmith ROCKS
(76), their best studio performances until HONKIN ON BOBO last year.
"3- VOICES CARRY
by Til Tuesday (85), grim like all Aimee Mann, with that fab 80s sound.
"The problem with evaluating the great late 70s/early 80s scene is there weren't many albums and hardly any singles... just those radio tapes from 'MBR and 'BCN. We need more compilations like 'Mass Avenue' to capture stuff like "New Feeling" (Future Dads), "Like I Always Do," (Pastiche), and many many more...
"In the meantime, Fogeys like me will have to be content to wait for the new Mission of Burma on May 23rd
and stumble upon great sites like this one
. 'Despite the very positive critical attention': Charles
has gone and done it, starting up yet another Boston Essential List, this time about Boston music. Who can resist? Very impressed with the names dropped in the comments section. Pousette-Dart was a good catch. Yet perhaps the simplest way to start compiling a Boston songs/lp list is to view the playlist from the great CD 'Mass. Ave.'
-- The Atlantics, The Outlets, Del Fuegos, The Neighborhoods, Mission of Burma etc. -- and go from there. And, yes, Robin Lane and the Chartbusters
were/are from Boston
. They're on 'Mass. Ave.' too. ... They may have been a California band, but The Standells
deserve status as honorary Bostonians due to 'Dirty Water.'
-- This might be cheating, but 'Ellington at Newport 1956'
is one of the greatest live recordings of a jazz/big band concert ever. Rhode Island is a colony of Massachusetts, so I don't see why albums recorded in Newport shouldn't be included. But I know my mad geopolitical views are controversial and not shared by everyone. ...Update II
-- John has more
'But please read my first three paragraphs':
I like Christopher Hitchens. A lot. But he really has to stop arguing about three-year-old arguments
. We could be going to war against Iran. A year or two away. Give or take. How about holding the administration's feet to the fire this time around? ...Update
-- The president downplays talk of possible military action as 'wild speculation.'
But he doesn't deny plans are being prepared. ... His tone sounds more reasonable this time around -- which is good. He says he's keeping diplomatic options open -- which is also good. But they've still lost my trust. We'll see. ...Update II
-- Wise advice from David Ignatius
. But will they listen? Have they reached the dreaded 'consensus' stage that leads to dismissing views outside their box?
'Massachusetts will fail':
Reader No. 1 on the state health-care plan and my music post from yesterday:
"Common sense is in short supply. At least with regards to our new health insurance mandate - I had to find it on the pages of USA Today
. Which will be the longer Republican legacy: the Reagan Revolution or Kinder Gentler Government?
"I had much to say on your recent roundup of Boston books and Boston rock, will send it along shortly. Speaking of the Nervous Eaters, the increasingly unpredictable WBOS 92.9 actually played the band's original 'Loretta' a couple of weeks back - yes, those call letters were WBOS, not WMBR."Hub Blog's response
-- I have very bad vibes about the health-care plan. They're already ratcheting up estimated premium costs -- and the program hasn't even been implemented yet. ... Following is a blatant theft of an imitation a friend did of the hypothetical reaction of Sal and Trav to the plan's recent front-page coverage in the NYT and WSJ. Picture Trav calling Sal:
Trav: Sal, did you you see the New York Times? We did it. That was us! We're big time!
Sal: Big time!
Hub Blog is eagerly anticipating the first 'Sal and Trav have grown in office' puff piece, marking a true convergence of the Hack-Progressive Alliance in all its splendor.
Clean sweep (almost):
The street sweepers were out this morning and get a B+ for the first spring swipe on my Beacon Hill block (nine of 12 car spaces were vacant -- not good enough but acceptable). But the next block down: F. Not one car moved or towed. Whatever happened to the vaunted street-sweeping towing campaign? Oh forgot. The vow was made during an election year. ...Rehearing a book:
No, I'm not on Penguin's payroll, constantly praising Nathaniel Philbrick's soon-to-be released 'Mayflower'
(I read an advance copy). But I do want to add that yesterday I listened, with my mother, to the first disc of the unabridged audio book
of 'Mayflower.' Fantastic. I'm not a big fan of audio books. But this one is changing my mind. ...
'Preparing for the worst':
It would be criminally negligent not
to be planning for possible war with Iran. So I put some stock in Seymour Hersh's latest revelation
about the administration's alleged militarily planning for a mullah showdown. But a couple random points: A.) Take what Sy says with a grain of salt. He has his own blindspots, one of them being a focus on the negative when it comes to the Bush administration (concentrating on the positive is not in his DNA) and B.) I now believe it was almost criminally negligent of the administration not
to have adequately planned for a post-invasion Iraq. So I don't put it beyond the Bushies to screw this one up too. I have little faith they're exhausting non-military options and analyzing various consequences of different actions. Their own negative DNA pattern is to reach a 'consensus' and then criticize anyone who offers alternative views. ... FYI: The Times of London
is also confirming military action is being contemplated, with sligtly different timetables and other details. ... Two encouraging words to describe events in nearby Iraq: Zalmay Khalilzad
. I admire and trust the guy. If we succeed there despite the odds, Khalilzad will have earned much of the credit. Of course he only rose to the top after prior spectacular blunders by the administration. ...
'Just as the Judas Gospel doesn't...' Part II :
The Volokh Conspiracy
, which describes the media coverage of the Judas Gospels as 'appallingly stupid,' notes that a scholar last month predicted National Geographic's release of the manuscript would be timed with the opening of 'The Da Vinci Code' movie. ... The more I think about it, the more I suspect someone at NG must have read 'The Word'
when devising the higly effective PR strategy for the Gospel of Judas. Life can't unintentionally imitate bad art to this degree. ... Sucker that I am, I'm still looking forward to reading 'The Lost Gospel,' for the relic's 1,800-year-old tale almost by definition has to be interesting. But I'm not buying the idea it tells a gospel truth. I can just imagine a wing nut in a cave long ago, jealously thinking about his more powerful theological rivals in Europe and muttering to himself, 'I'm going to get them!' -- and then scribbling away about how Judas was such a swell guy. ...
'Well I started the day off ...':
Well I started the day off reading Steve Morse's rock-critic retrospective
and ended up going down my own Hub music memory lane via Google, stumbling upon Boston Groupie News
, complete with photos from the old Bunratty's (Bunratty's!!!), the Cantone's (ditto) and the Rat (ditto). They even have a where-they-are-now section and club playlists from the late 1970s. ... They missed a few of my old favorites (Mission of Burma, Human Sexual Response etc.). But getting in the Nervous Eaters was impressive. ... Separately, I also found: GonnaHitchARide.com.
You gotta check out the haircuts.
'Just as the Judas Gospel doesn't ...' :
OK, top this: Chicago's Ray Hanania
links the 'Judas Gospel' to the Iraq War, Scooter Libby, President Bush and Dick Cheney. Note: Ray is modestly described
as an award-winning journalist, columnist, quasi-Middle East expert and a 'standup comedian,' among other things. So maybe I'm missing something and this is meant to be a combination of light analysis and humor. But I don't think I'm missing anything: A.) Ray's not very funny and B.) It shows how he connects dots. ... I know of Ray from my cub reporter days out in Illinois. In case you can't tell, I haven't missed his work since leaving Illinois. ... BTW: I've actually gone out and bought a copy of 'The Lost Gospel.'
As a Cafeteria Catholic and history buff, I find the whole subject of the Gospels fascinating. For all I know, Gnosticism
is merely the forerunner of Scientology
. Sounds plausible to me. ... Question: Didn't Judas immediately hang himself after the betrayal? Just wondering. Maybe he was keeping a journal. But the mere fact scholars found the document is cool and reveals much about early debates within a religion that shaped our world. ... BTW II: Got to tip my hat to the National Geographic folks for revving people up on the subject. Their PR campaign sure hooked me. I shelled out $27 for the damn book.P.S.
-- There's probably a great story behind how the National Geographic Society timed the announcement of the manuscript's 'discovery' and 'The Lost Gospel,' etc. Another case of life imitating art? In the novel 'The Word'
-- granddaddy of 'The Da Vinci Code'
-- the plot centers around an evil cabal of scholars, German book publishers and a PR expert hired to manage the release of a newly discovered biblical document. ...
'Full-throated and at times gleeful gossip':
Oooooo. A gossip scandal
about a gossip column. Can't get any better than this. ... The Daily News is all over it
, predicting doom for Rupe. The NYT, after performing a near self-parody of its own self-importance ('Alex S. Jones, the director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, estimated that ...'), eventually gets into the swing of things
. Meanwhile, the NY Post pounds its chest
that it fearlessly 'broke' the story about itself on its web site yesterday. ... What should have been the first clues of scoundrel scandal to come: Jared Paul Stern wears a bow tie and spells out his middle name in his byline (see Daily News link). ... P.S. -- He also wears a fedora
-- Dan's got more.
'Sometimes I even change my mind':
So next time I make a compelling argument, remember it's OK to concede defeat and change your mind
to conform to my opinion. ...
'Hazing, high dropout rates and other problems':
An early warning sign that an institution is dysfunctional is the promotion or toleration of hazing. The State Police did both. Therefore no one should be surprised about the findings in this report.
'Should not feel bad about helping people':
I submit that within this article
lies the reason for why so many people despise journalists. ... I know there are professional lines journalists shouldn't cross. But sacrificing one's humanity for the sake of a job isn't one of them. ...Update
-- Via conversations about this post, I've been asked to elaborate a bit more. Let me make it simple: Is there any other profession that seriously debates the 'ethical' issue of saving a young child's life by handing over pocket change? The mere fact this discussion even takes place says so much about the bankruptcy of the 'objectivity' goal within MSM, whose unelected high priests of ethicism are literally sucking the life out of journalism. Do I make myself clear?
And don't forget ...:
Sorry for the light blogging. My life has been a little hectic lately. But when Dan
started his Essential Boston Reading List, well, I had to chime in, along with Chris
. I, too, would make Common Ground
top-of-the-list mandatory reading. And I hereby second Dan's nomination of George V. Higgins' The Friends of Eddie Coyle
in the fiction category. My additions to any Essential Boston Reading List would include:The Last Hurrah
by Edwin O'Connor. A fictional look at James Michael Curley and the Irish-Yankee battles of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Key to understanding Boston politics.Black Mass
by Gerard O'Neill and Dick Lehr. Until I read and render final verdict on Howie's Brothers Bulgers, this remains my top book on Whitey, the mob and politics in Boston. First read Black Mass and then Friends of Eddie Coyle. You'll appreciate how brilliant and perceptive Higgins was decades before Zip et gang began unintentionally imitating art.Mayflower
by Nathaniel Philbrick. Just came out. Already a mini-classic in my view. Fills in so many historical gaps that I wasn't clear about before: just who were the Puritans and the Pokanokets and their sachem Massasoit? What sparked King Philip's War and what exactly happened? It's all here.
Paul Revere's Ride
by David Hackett Fischer. Fischer shows how Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had it right and the revisionists have it wrong. Revere was a common-man hero in his time and deserved to be rescued from obscurity by Longfellow. Fischer's description of the events of April 19, 1775 is awesome.Now We Are Enemies
by Thomas J. Fleming. Read this after reading Paul Revere's Ride. Bunker Hill was an epic showdown with long-term ramifications for both Americans and the British during and after the Revolution.
All of these books, in my opinion, give rich details and hints about the character of Boston and Bostonians. ... A big thanks to Dan for getting the ball rolling on Essential Boston Reading.Update
-- Correction: Philbrick's Mayflower won't come out until May. I read an advance copy delivered to the Herald. You can pre-order it here