Thursday, May 31, 2012

Political Arrogance

“On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth,we don’t care about that subject.” - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. 

Au contraire, Governor.

Yesterday, Governor Patrick made this utterly contemptible statement in response to Fox News 25 Boston reporter Sharman Sacchetti who once again confronted US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren about her purported Native American heritage. I wrote about this last week when Sacchetti questioned Warren directly and Warren evaded the question with obviously rehearsed 'answers' which were hilarious.

On a day when Cherokees demanded Warren come clean, and were ignored and days after the ludicrous statement that she was the first woman to breastfeed while taking the bar exam in New Jersey came to light, once again Warren insisted on evading this major issue.

It is getting so bad for Warren that not only is she evading the media even when she handpicks who she speaks to, they have to resort to trickery by alerting them one hour before Governor Patrick was to endorse her for the Senate hoping reporters like Sharman Sacchetti couldn't make the press conference. Well thankfully she did. And when Sacchetti asked Warren about people questioning her character (and was booed by Warren supporters) Warren stepped aside and Patrick answered the question which included the quote above.

Arrogance. Pure arrogance. Watch the video, it'll make you sick if you have any conscience.

"You just don't like the question" Warren stammered when she meant to say "You just don't like the answer". Perhaps this was a Freudian slip? Because she certainly does not like the questions.

I'm here to tell Governor Patrick that he sure as hell doesn't speak for me.
This is a character issue which has raised many questions about Warren not only for Massachusetts voters, but also for Cherokees who are livid about Warren's claims which have nothing to do with politics. They want answers.

Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes has researched Warren's roots back 188 years and has not found a shred of evidence that backs Warren's claims. Which by the way, Warren insists are true "because my mother told me so".

I've mentioned it before, my grandfather "told me so" that he had royal Spanish blood. So I guess I can claim I'm royalty in Warren's bizarre world. I have researched my grandfather's roots back about 100 years to Sicily and haven't found any Spanish ancestors so far. But according to Limousine Lizzy, I can say I'm royalty because my grandfather told me so.

Warren was also challenged to debate by rival Democrat Marisa DeFranco this week. Warren ducked that as well hoping that DeFranco doesn't get the 15% percent vote at this Saturday's state Democratic convention to keep her on the ballot for November's election.

The Boston Herald noting how highly unusual it is for any endorsements prior to a major party convention had this quote in today's paper:
 It’s “unusual” for a sitting governor to make a pre-primary endorsement, said Peter Ubertaccio of Stonehill College. But he said Patrick and Warren may be able to swing a delicate balancing act, achieving their goal of undercutting DeFranco while avoiding the appearance of squashing democracy. “Typically, he’s the titular head of the party and wants to stay out of the race and let party members make that decision,” Ubertaccio said. “I think he feels confident he can make this pre-convention endorsement without really upsetting members of the base of his party.”
There's just so much to this story that ain't gonna go away no matter how much Warren and Patrick try. The more they obfuscate and stonewall, the more scrutiny it brings. The mainstream media in Boston has treaded very lightly on this controversy up until this week, but even they are starting to report on this story.

Warren's claim that she's answered all the questions is just plain bull. But the middle class is getting hammered, she's sure gotten that message across.

Again, kudos to Sharman Sacchetti for having the courage to withstand Warren's supporters booing and eye rolling and staying the course. If it wasn't for her and the Herald, what Warren and the Democrats hope for, that this story would blow over would have already happened.

And I wanted to write about History Channel's excellent Hatfields and McCoys series that was on this week today. Guess that'll have to wait!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Massachusetts is becoming a giant condo association

It seems these days that if someone is offended, annoyed or inconvenienced by something, they will start a campaign to get a law created to appease their narrow minded agendas. If you've ever lived in a condo, you know what I mean. Now, this mentality is spreading into everyone's lives.

Here in Massachusetts, we have a bunch of people who feel that whatever they think is right and just should also be applied to everyone.

The truth is everybody believes they know what's right and what's best.
For themselves.
That doesn't mean it's necessarily best for EVERYBODY ELSE.

Look, the country is so polarized now that it's come to the point where any politician from either side drifts toward the middle on any issue is branded a traitor.
We can't keep going on like this.
We have some narrow-minded, relentless, agenda driven people on both sides of the political ideology who absolutely insist that what they believe and what they think everyone should do and say should be the law of the land.

Take the town of Concord for example. It's a wealthy bedroom town that's ironically become the home of moonbats who have managed to ban the sale of bottled water and also tried (but thankfully failed) to enact a bylaw that requires cats to be leashed. You've heard of Concord, it's where the American Revolution began.

How ironic.

As the late great Johnny Carson used to say: "You can't make this stuff up folks."

I actually kinda understand the bottled water ban, the idea behind it is to reduce waste. I'm still not sold on this whole recycling deal, but that's a subject for another time. The main reason I don't agree with it is because all it will accomplish is hurt local businesses and likely do little to curb bottle use and people throwing them on the ground. In spite of all these 'good intentions' It's not going to stop people from buying bottled water in another town!! What's the solution then? Why try to get them banned statewide!

I can see it now, it'll be just like the old days when you couldn't buy beer on Sunday in Massachusetts. We'll have people doing bottled water runs up to New Hampshire! Maybe it'll create a black market for Poland Springs and Aquafina! Hell, it might even create a bootleg bottled water industry! Who says moonbats aren't about creating jobs?

The intent of the deposit on bottled beverages is to stop people from throwing them on the ground and to reduce waste. Here's an idea, how 'bout going after litterers? Whatever happened to that campaign?

Remember, we had the crying Indian (who turned out to be another fake) bumming out about trash? That ad was like 30 years ago, I guess litter's not an issue any more!
But cats on a leash?

It gets even better:

The city of Arlington* has enacted a ban for leaf blowers.
They now cannot be used after May 15 through October 15 on private proerty because of the noise they make.

Instead of making a bylaw like, you know, saying you can't use them before 9 am, they ban them for 5 months.

Thankfully there's a bunch of sane people who have gathered up some signatures to repeal this nonsense.

The point is now the mentality is to shove whatever is bothering these cranks down everyone's throats.

*Arlington was formerly known as Menotomy - yep, another town where the American Revolution took place.

We also had a ban on bake sales.
Yes, bake sales.

Yes, Americans are more obese than ever and we do eat a lot of bad food. I have a feeling that somehow legislating good nutrition ain't gonna work. The Massachusetts Health Department  is trying to raise awareness with good nutrition which is good, banning bake sales is a bad idea. Many school programs and class trips rely on these bake sales to raise money. Banning them only hurts fund raising and will do very little to increase nutritional awareness. That begins at home. Schools should look to improve awareness and promote healthy eating, but it's not the school or the state's place to force people to eat healthier.

This is where the message gets lost, the intentions are noble but the methods are faulty.

Years ago we had a state rep who tried to pass a bill requiring all restaurants serve margarine as an alternative to butter. It was ridiculed as the 'mandatory margarine' bill. Again, that would be nice to have a healthier alternative,  but not all margarines are not created equal. Care to guess what most restaurants would choose if they were required by law to serve?

Update: One more thing, my wife and I bought a couple of really nice red ornamental grass plants last year. When they didn't come up this year we were bummed. We took the little plastic tag that comes with the plant back to the nursery where we bought them. I asked one of the guys there what did we do wrong? He said it's an annual. I laughed so hard because we assumed it was a perennial and didn't read that on the tag.

Then he said, perennial red grasses are illegal in Massachusetts. Okaaaaaay.

My pet peeve is people who don't use their signals when driving. It should be a law that everyone use their turn signals...

Friday, May 25, 2012


Just some people, places and things that tend to fly under the proverbial radar

Pink Floyd guitar genius David Gilmour. One of the most innovative and brilliant players in the rock era. Most underappreciated when great classic rock god guitarists are discussed. Just watch this video of Pink Floyd (with Roger Waters) live in 2005. If the song is too long for you, skip to the 2:08 mark and listen to Mr. Gilmour at his very best. Then, skip to the 4:32 minute mark to see him really rip it up. Makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck! Brilliant! (And RIP to the great keyboardist Richard Wright who was not too bad either) OK, so I've mentioned everyone except for drummer Nick Mason. And to be totally correct, yes, Syd Barrett. (Who knew he had a website?)

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins center. One of the best two play players in the NHL today, Bergeron is also one of the most underrated. Always in control and cool as can be, he plays with a fire that might go unnoticed because he isn't very demonstrative on the ice. Bergie is the man. Video.

Hockey is underrated. Baseball and football are tremendously overrated. Pro basketball is a great sport ruined by the NBA and it's officiating. Yep, hockey has it's warts, with concussions at an alarming rate, cheap shots by some goons that can't control themselves and it too has its officiating issues. But not as bad as the NBA. That said, the playoffs this year have been outstanding. Teams are not giving an inch of ice and every goal has been hard fought. If you want to see effort, excitement and amazing skill, then hockey (and not limited to the NHL) has it all. Case in point, the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship held in Finland was exciting with Russia winning the title with a slew of NHL'ers including Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Yevgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin.

The Road To Perdition somehow seemed to escape acclaim. A Tom Hanks movie underrated??? Yep. Never mind that this movie not only had Hanks, but Paul Newman (his last on screen film), Jude Law, Stanley Tucci, Daniel Craig and Jennifer Jason Leigh. An awesome movie well worth watching. In fact, I'll go on record as saying it is one of my favorite Tom Hanks performances because he actually was a badass. But Hanks pulled it off in a way that only he can.

Tom Petty. What? How can you say Tom Petty?? As we say around here "He's WICKED famous!" I say not enough. Tom Petty has written about as many hit songs as The Beatles. He is vastly underrated as a songwriter and yes, a singer. OK,
Full Disclosure #1: I HATED Tom Petty when he first appeared on the scene. I was a snotty music elitist who thought three chord rock was for morons. I said who's this skeleton from Florida who can't sing? Well it turns out that skeleton from Jacksonville can sing. and he did more with three chords than just about any other songwriter in history.
Full Disclosure #2: I was in a band that did American Girl and Listen To Her Heart and I'm here to tell you, that boy can sing. He might not be the best pure vocalist you've ever heard, but the dude has range. Just try singing this along with him:

And for one desperate moment there

He crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful
Something that’s so close
And still so far out of reach

How'd you do? Did you hang in? Didn't think so. TP can sing. His range has slipped a little as he's aged, but he still does a fine job.
And as a subcategory under Tom Petty - quick name the guy who plays guitar in the Heartbreakers?
Give up? Why it's none other than the great Mike Campbell who's been with Petty since day 1. Serious talent that not too many can name.

And Finally

Memorial Day is underrated. We do not give enough recognition to those who sacrificed their lives to shape this great nation. Here's to a great Memorial Day Weekend, but please do take a moment or two to reflect on why Memorial Day actually is celebrated and give thanks to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Once Around

A Look Around The Web For The Interesting, Funny and Bizarre

If athletic gear ads were honest

Some nifty food facts and kitchen fictions from Down Under

Awesome! A quick video on how to make perfect bacon! Very interesting way to cook bacon, never heard of it, must try!! Who can resist??

Uhh, not the wisest thing to do in this situation.

Amazing time lapse video showing the Staples Center in LA being transformed from the Kings to the Lakers to the Clippers a few times. (Life's a little easier now for the bull gang since the Kings are the only ones left)

RIP to a really special man to all couch potatoes everywhere.

How will they enforce this????

Stonewalling 101

I did not intend to do any more Elizabeth Warren stories for a while until this happened: Fox 25 Boston Reporter Sharman Sacchetti did what no other news reporters have done so far in the Massachusetts Senate race, directly confront Liz Warren about her claims to be a Cherokee. And she did not give up. Watch the video and if you are an aspiring politician, take a lesson from La Liz on how NOT to stonewall a reporter. Her stumbling answers show that even though she's been coached to deal with this,she's not ready for prime time. She got knocked off the rails quite easily.

Watch the video here

And here's a transcript of the exchange between Warren and Sharman Sacchetti.

Sharman Sacchetti: Elizabeth, can you put this issue to bed and tell us whether or not you are in fact a member of a minority group?

Elizabeth Warren: (Smirking and looking rather annoyed that someone dare ask her this question directly) So,  I..uh, middle class families are getting hammered. I’ve been out talking to people about this all across the Commonwealth.  And what they care about are what Washington is going to do about that. My Republican opponent, um, has made it clear what he will do. He voted to double the interest rate…

SS (interrupting the rehearsed answer): Members of the Cherokee Nation want to know. They say you should come clean.

EW: (Exasperated at the audacity that the reporter hasn’t shut up and adored her magnificently rehearsed retort) I..I have made the facts clear. And what I’m trying to do is talk about in this Senate race what matters to America’s families. What matters to the families of the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts.

SS: So will you tell us whether or not…

EW: Scott Brown has hammered on my family at the same time that he, that now, middle class families on this is the issue and it’s my job in this campaign to talk about those issues. This is what matters to the families.

At this point the reporter tries to ask another question and Warren, clearly flustered turns away and tries to engage another reporter to ask her a question asking “Do you have something?”
The man she turned to says “I can’t…I can’t’ stop her when she’s in this sequence” (pointing to Sharman Sacchetti)

And if you look closely, there is another reporter to the right of Warren who is openly laughing about the whole exchange as if this is some sort of joke. Apparently, it's funny that Sharman Sacchetti had the gall to keep questioning Professor Warren about the silly heritage question when she clearly wants to talk about the issues...

SS: Why do you claim you are a minority..

EW: I’ve told you. I have answered these questions. I am going to talk about what’s happening to America’s families. It’s what people across  the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts is important to them and I’m going to

SS (interrupting): Don’t you think it’s an important issue to address?

EW: I have talked about the issues that are most important to the families of the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts. The families themselves have made this clear. I have answered the questions about my background, about my family and I’m talking about what matters to the people of Massachusetts. They have said what they care about is that middle class families are getting hammered. This election will be decided based on whose side you stand on. Scott Brown has hammered those families harder, he just voted to double the interest rate on student loans and I have worked for middle class families for all of my life. I’ve spent the last 30 years out there advocating on behalf of America’s middle class. And that’s what I’m gonna talk about (shaking her head for emphasis)

SS (calmly): You’re not answering the question.

EW:  (Now totally pissed off) It’s what I got in this race to talk about and it’s what I’m going to continue to talk about.

Then she abruptly turns away.

Warren has made her bed and the mainstream media is finally starting to question her about this. A poll was released on Wednesday that shows her and incumbent Senator Scott Brown are in a dead heat. Warren supporters claim this shows the heritage question is a non-issue. The reason this hasn't damaged her so far is because The Boston Herald was virtually the only news outlet giving this story the weight it should. The Boston Globe, New England Cable News, local news Channels 4 5 and 7  have not given this story the attention it warrants. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the average voter would not see this as a big deal.

Today, the Globe actually had this as the lead story:

"US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has said she was unaware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago.

Brown, Warren on the campaign trail

But for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.
In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet."

Another lie.

And Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr reported today that Warren has failed to pay a state excise tax on her vehicle for months.

Warren is in BIG trouble.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

People Who Fail At Parking

Expounding on the selfishness meme...

We have a parking garage under our building.
There's only so many spaces and they're pretty tight so you really need to park between the lines to allow others to park. So I see this woman park her car in a space that's between two huge support pillars where there are three pretty tight spaces. The right side of her car was right on the line so there was no way anyone else could park next to her. So I said " Excuse me, but no one is going to be able to park in that space next to you there. You're on the line" To her credit, she moved her car. But the point is, if I didn't say anything or wasn't there, where she parked was going to be good enough for her but not for anyone else.

People who can't seem to get whatever they're driving in between the lines in a parking space pretty much fail at life. Think about it, if you can't take the two seconds to make sure you're not taking up more space than you need, you're a selfish pig.

How about this:

Washington Capital star hockey player Alex Ovechkin is a pig parker.

Alex Ovechkin (L) Actor Richard Kiel (R) Long lost relatives?
If you're not familiar with Mr. Ovechkin, let's just say his play on the ice reflects his parking skills.
He is, by all accounts, a great offensive player, but doesn't pay much attention to the defensive part of the game.

It speaks volumes about a person when they don't care about anyone else but themselves. Look around, there's tons of people everywhere (at least where I live) and you really should make a conscious effort to respect other people's space.

It ain't too much to ask people.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moog's Birthday

No, not Andy Moog, former Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins goaltender.

It's Robert Moog's birthday May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005, the guy who invented of course, the Moog Synthesizer.

Check out Google, they  have a really cool old school synthesizer you can play around with on their home page just like they did with the guitar on Les Paul's birthday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Large Regular

Just like to thank Chris Lynch from the blog A Large Regular for the shoutout!
Chris is a large influence on why I started this blog and does an awesome job on his!
Please take time to visit!

Bad Driving


I admit it.
I H-A-T-E bad drivers.
The lot of them.

I live in the Boston area so we do have our share, BUT in defense, I will say, it's not as bad as the rep you may have heard about over the years.

Here's my take about what you run into around here:

Driving like an a-hole = Massachusetts driver (hence the term "Masshole")
Driving like an idiot = New Hampshire driver (hence the term "Idiot")

Now, before undies get bunched and feelings get hurt, this does not apply to every single Masshole and every single NH redneck. (Just kidding! Not everyone from NH is inbred, right? Right?)

I'll probably go off on this subject every now and then because there are so many idiots out there who do so many idiotic things every day that seriously can be avoided.

Today's subject: Traffic Jams.

Everyone hates them, everyone's inconvenienced by them. But it's usually everyone's fault that makes them happen.

Think about this for a minute or two:

If, and that's a big if, you and everyone else around you are driving properly on the highway, unless you are getting off an exit, you should never, ever have to hit your brakes on the highway. Forget about moose or other things that suddenly run out into traffic, I mean in normal conditions.
You should never have to brake on the highway.

Does that make sense?

So why in the world do people do stupid things like suddenly decide to jump over to the left lane without signalling in front of a car coming down the left lane going faster than them and continue on at the same damn speed they were doing in the middle lane with no reason to change lanes??????

That will make you brake.

Ever wonder what causes a traffic tie up other than the "Ooh look it's a car in the breakdown lane, I better go 5 MPH!"

My theory?

Stupid people are easily distracted.

Think about it, most people do everything BUT pay attention to the most important thing they are doing when they are driving. DRIVING!!
Because most people have the attention span of a dead goldfish, if something, anything remotely  happens on the road , instant traffic jam.
Because most people aren't paying attention, when something requires their attention to actually focus on driving it causes their little brains to lock up. Hence "Ooh look it's a car in the breakdown lane, I better go 5 MPH!"

Here in Massachusetts, we have a phenomenon called Rain. Perhaps you've heard of it. Well, when Rain happens, it seems to mesmerize just about all the people driving. For some reason Rain causes BIG traffic jams. OK, I'm not talking about gale force blinding in your face turn the windshield wipers on the highest speed available type of Rain. Just good ole every day Rain.Therefore, if it Rains, instant traffic jam.

And if you live in an area where it snows, forget it.

Why are you in the left lane?

Special people are these.
I mean the ones who get in the left lane and cruise along.
Repeat after me: The Left Lane Is For Passing.

Here are some basic rules of thumb to follow about left lane travel:

  • If someone passes you while you're in the left lane, you should not be in the left lane.
  • If there is a huge gap between you and the car in front of you, you should not be in the left lane.
  • If you're not keeping up with the flow of traffic, you should not be in the left lane.
  • If you look in the rear view mirror and there are a load of cars behind you and none in front of you, you should not be in the left lane.
  • If you are in the left lane just because you like to have all the traffic on your right, you should not be in the left lane.
  • If you have someone tailgating you, you should not be in the left lane.

Now that last one strikes nerves I know.
But think about it, if someone is tailgating you in the left lane, you don't belong there.
You don't have any right to "slow someone down". Screw that, let 'em go. They're gonna pass you anyway and if you piss them off enough, they might do something really, really dangerous and stupid to get around your stubborn ass. Let it go. You're not the highway speed regulator.
If you are in the left lane and someone is giving you an automotive colonoscopy, and you can get over, for the love of mankind, GET OVER.
And please, for all of us others out there, do not speed up to stop someone from passing you on the right.
That proves you are the ultimate a-hole driver.
Yep, you pull that one, it places you in sole possession of biggest a-hole on the road, not the one who is tailgating you. You are.

And yes, these left lane obstructionists are another cause of traffic jams.

There will be more...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Each Generation Thinks They're Smarter Than The Previous One


“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. 

But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.”

- Mark Twain

Song of the day

Song of the day

I get 'em stuck in my head so here's one from Terminator II: Judgement Day

Friday, May 18, 2012

Once Around

Once Around

A roundup of some interesting links

Wow. This is really a reach by anyone's standards.

A living map of Europe from 1000 AD to the present. 
Wish they had the years to go along with the changes, but pretty cool either way.

This map shows how we view Europe and how they view us

Ahhh, it's just the booze talking!

Some great photos by the late Linda McCartney (Paul McCartney's first wife. The ex- Beatle. Never mind, they're great pictures)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sham On You!

Sham On You!

When I was young, a common admonition from parents to their kids when they did something wrong was SHAME ON YOU! You don't hear that much these days.

The title of this story is Sham On You, yes it is S-H-A-M instead of S-H-A-M-E.

Well, let me tell you.

It seems that there is no shame any more.
Let's look up the word shame:


sheym]  Show IPA noun, verb, shamed,sham·ing.
the painful feeling arising from the consciousness ofsomething dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done byoneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.
disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.
a fact or circumstance bringing disgrace or regret: The bankruptcy of the business was a shame. It was a shame youcouldn't come with us.


Now, let's look up the word sham:


[sham]  Show IPA noun, adjective, verb,shammed, sham·ming.
1.     something that is not what it purports to be; a spuriousimitation; fraud or hoax.
2.     a person who shams; shammer.
3.     a cover or the like for giving a thing a different outwardappearance: a pillow sham.


So what do these have to do with each other?
Recently, I came across this picture of a grocery receipt:

So I posted it on Facebook and lots of people commented on how disgusting it is for people on food stamps to go out and buy lobster and steak (and Diet Mountain Dew!) on our dime. A few shared their own stories about what they've seen.

My wife read it and said she had seen it herself and wanted to say something to the woman who was buying lobsters with an EBT card. (An EBT card is an Electronic Benefit Transfer card or as WRKO Radio host Howie Carr calls them Everyone But Taxpayers cards)

Anyway, my wife's point was they should be ashamed to be buying luxury foods when you're on public assistance but we, the idiots who pay for these leeches to buy this stuff, never say anything.

There is where the shame comes in. I doubt many of these folks who go to the market and buy lobsters, porterhouse steaks, cigarettes and beer give much of a rat's patootie what we think about them or what they're buying.


There's no stigma attached to doing this. Let me be clear here: I am NOT bashing those who are on public assistance who need it, who use it properly, who play by the rules and who try and better themselves to GET OFF these programs and live a good life like we all CAN if we work for it. There are too many layabouts who have been given a free pass to take public benefits and given no incentives to GET OFF THE PROGRAMS.

Liberals will tell you that what I just said was mean spirited. I say it's common sense. I bet the reality is that a small percentage of people on public assistance are legit and playing by the rules. We all know about these baby makers who have kids just to qualify.

Abuse is rampant with the EBT program across the nation: 

Part 2 of this video can be found here

Here in Massachusetts there are several cases:

And Here

And even in good old New Hampshire. You know the Live Free or Die state. Kinda gives new meaning to that motto, eh?

This is a must read from a former Walmart cashier in Maine!

So what does Massachusetts state government propose to do about all this fraud?

Why let's spend MORE taxpayer money to fix the problem:
A proposed state budget unveiled Wednesday by the Senate Ways and Means Committee would spend $750,000 to create a new state police unit responsible for investigating benefits fraud in Massachusetts.
In case you're not familiar with what you can do with an EBT card, here's a little background. You can use your EBT card in an ATM. That's right, an ATM which dispenses CASH. And CASH is not traceable. So you can spend your benefit money ANYWHERE! Now that's progress!!

Why the State of Connecticut is kind enough to provide instructions on how to use your EBT card at an ATM!

It's been well documented that EBT card abuse is rampant. In Massachusetts, the lawmakers continue to throw more money at the problem and enact toothless laws that will do little to curb the abuse.

This is not what these programs were intended to produce, but this is what it has produced. We now have generations of "families" who are on assistance and will never leave these programs.

A friend of mine suggested that EBT cards should only be used to purchase goods at military PX stores  as it is a government funded program. Good idea, but I suspect there would be a great hue and cry about limited access and having to travel great distances for those who do not live near a military base.

If they can differentiate between what is FSA eligible with a flex spending card, why not do the same with EBT?

There is no shame to this sham. And don't get me started on health care...

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Just so people can't say I turn a blind eye toward conservatives or I'm biased against liberals (but they are easy targets), I have to take issue with noted Republican and former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling.

The reason? Curt espouses small government (as do I) and less government intervention (as do I) and supports free enterprise. (me too!).

Since retiring from baseball, Curt has moved on to create a video game company and moved it to the State of Rhode Island. All this with the promise of bringing jobs to RI. Not bad so far.

If Schilling's video games are so wonderful, (and it looks like maybe they aren't) I would bet there would be plenty of angel investors out there who would trip over themselves with handfuls of cash to throw his way. Apparently that wasn't the case...

It turns out that Mr. Schilling asked for and received $75 million from the State of Rhode Island to fund his venture.

Whoops. So much for government intervention. You lost me right there Curt.

Then Curt defaulted on the loan.

Oh oh.

Now there's officials falling on their swords because Curt has come hat in hand looking for a bailout from the state.

This is also where I have a problem. Why should the State of Rhode Island, or any state, invest in someone's private business? Let's see, publicity comes to mind. If Schilling was just some geek who digs role playing fantasy games in his basement and asked for public funds to seed his video game company would he have gotten very far? I doubt it. For some reason, people slobber over sports figures. Why on earth should the public fund stadiums? It's a private business just like any other except the owners are usually filthy rich from other ventures. Yet these politicians sell it to the public as something the state cannot do without.

Just look at Minnesota, the Vikings managed to finagle public financing without letting the public who foot the bill look into any of the team's finances. Amazing.

Back to Mr. 38. You're a hypocrite on this one Curt. Whether you turn the ship around and get back on course or not, public money should not be used to finance private ventures.
You are just a bit outside on that one Curt.

The Justice System Does Work

The Justice System Does Work

I recently had the experience to be on a jury. I've been called before and never been selected. I will admit that prior to this, I didn't want to be bothered, I was hoping that I'd be sent home just like the other times I've been called. Of course, this time, I got selected.
So I told myself, keep an open mind, let's see how this experience plays out.

I got called on a very interesting case that involved a sexual assault.
It turned out to be quite an eye opening experience.

Here are the bullet points:
  • The system works - nobody in the system tells you as a juror what to do. You are given instructions but your conscience is truly your guide.
  • People rise to the occasion. The video they played for us said just that. It is true.
  • It reaffirmed my faith in democracy. I'm as skeptical a person you will ever meet, this made me proud to see first hand that America is truly a free country.
  • There are, unfortunately, alternate jurors. Ours was a six person panel. There were eight of us on the jury. Guess who was one of the alternates?
  • Even if you do not believe someones testimony, the case must be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is the essence of  democracy.

Even though I had to sit in another room with another alternate juror and NOT discuss the case, it was a great experience. We could not take part in the deliberations, but we did have a chance to sit with the rest of the jurors after the trial and discuss how they came to a verdict.

People do rise to the occasion, I do remember feeling a real sense of responsibility when I was selected. The rest of the people on the jury were very conscientious and they did a great job on the case.
You do take it serious and if you have any sense of civic pride and duty you will be pleasantly surprised how rewarding an experience this can be.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Whoops! I'm Not An Indian

In 1936, The Three Stooges appeared in a short entitled "Whoops! I'm an Indian!" 
The Plot (from Wikipedia)

"The Stooges are crooked gamblers in the Old Western town of Lobo City. Eventually, they are caught cheating the residents (including a tough woodcutter named Pierre) of a frontier town. They are discovered and must escape into the woods. To elude the sheriff, the Stooges hunt, fish, and disguise themselves as Indians.
However, things start to go wrong when Pierre takes a liking to Curly, who is disguised as an Indian squaw. The two soon get married. A few minutes later, Curly's wig slips off and the trio has to make another run for it. They find what they believe to be a safe place to hide, only to find that they lock themselves right into the Lobo City Jail."

In Massachusetts, we have a candidate running for election for the United States Senate that is claiming to be 1/32 Cherokee. The problem with this is she has nothing but family lore to make this claim:

She has also used this status to claim herself as a minority at both the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University:

Defining diversity at Harvard Law

She was also touted as "Harvard Law School's first woman of color" in a 1997 Fordham University Law Review:

Fordham piece called Warren Harvard Law's 'first woman of color'

Elizabeth Warren is a fraud.

Now that is has been proven that Ms. Warren is not Native American, Oklahoma Cherokees are calling for her to tell the truth:

Are we supposed to believe an elite lawyer knows nothing about the burden of proof? According to, the burden of proof is the responsibility of producing sufficient evidence in support of a fact or issue and favorably persuading the trier of fact. Well, Ms. Warren, you should know that you are not doing a very good job of supporting your claim or persuading anyone to believe what you say. This is starting to make us question your ability as a legal mind! And that makes us question whether you really got your job at Harvard on your own merits or whether you climbed on the backs of the Cherokee people in order to further your career.
So, Ms. Warren, you see, it is not just your opponent who has questions. We Cherokees have questions too and those questions have yet to be answered by you. You see, for us Cherokees, this is not political. This is about the truth. 

Read more:

The author is the real deal and is really pissed at the Professor.
As the blogger, Twila Barnes points out, she is supposed to be an elite lawyer as well, here's to her credibility in that field going down the drain too.

A little anecdote from my childhood that is similar (except for the part where I claim to be something I'm not)
My grandfather was born in Sicily (Yes, this has been researched and documented) and he used to tell us that he had royal Spanish blood in his veins. None of us ever took it serious, but nonetheless, that's what he used to tell us. I guess I could, in Elizabeth Warren's world, lay claim to some castle in Spain. Based on her logic, that would seem fair.

Let's hope that this letter is the dagger that destroys this fraud's political career.

Mike O.

Update: Here is a link to an interview on WRKO radio in Boston with talkshow host Howie Carr interviewing Twyla Barnes, the author of the letter to Elizabeth Warren: