Friday, April 30, 2010

On the air

I'll be on WCAP 980AM tomorrow at 7am to discuss Dracut politics. Our annual election is Monday and there was a big scandal this week involving a School Committee member. Should be a lot to discuss!

You can listen on-line here. If you want to learn more about Dracut politics, see my other blog here.

Do you see the irony?

So this week, the Boston Globe called Arizona's new immigration law "draconian." They're concerned that the law "requires police officers to establish the immigration status of a person 'where reasonable suspicion exists' that the person is not a legal immigrant. It also makes the failure to carry immigration documents a crime."

But just yesterday they urged a crackdown on non-Boston residents who illegally attend Boston Latin saying "proof of residence" should be required.

Good Lord Almighty these people are so hypocritical they don't even know it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

100 Years Strong

My elementary school, St. Mary's in Melrose, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year! I attended the school from 1981-1990 (K-8) and have many fond memories. I also keep in touch with many people from St. Mary's.

Today's Globe has an article on the school's centennial - check it out here.

NIMBY

Michael Graham has a fantastic column today on liberal hypocrisy. As we all know, liberals like to preach to us about how horrible we are and then turn around and do the exact same thing. John Edwards preached about poverty and the "Two Americas" and then turns around and builds one of the biggest houses in North Carolina. Same with Mr. and Mrs. Tom Brady. Graham reminds us:

When last we saw the World’s Most Beautiful Model (and his wife), they were hectoring us about something called Earth Hour. We were supposed to sit at home in the dark on a Saturday night observing a carbon-free Lenten hour of penance, atoning for our energy-consuming sins.

The Brady-Bundchens, on the other hand, will soon be honoring Earth Hour in their 22,000 square-foot uber-mansion in California. The daunting task of turning out the lights in all eight of their bedrooms - not to mention the workout room, the weight room, the cardio room and, possibly, the covered bridge - will be left to the butler.


Great stuff, see the whole thing here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Civil War Anniversary

Next April will be the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. To kick things off, the Lowell Public Library is having a series of lectures, films, etc. in May and June. If you're a history buff, this should appeal to you. Check out the list of events here - I cannot wait!

Profiles in courage

So our pathetic excuse of a legislature voted to send the amendment that would require applicants for state services to have their residency verified sent to "study" (i.e. kill the bill). So, the next time some state hack asks you for your ID or asks you to verify your residency, refer back to this vote!

If you want to see how your representative voted, see here. A Yes vote is to send it to study (i.e. kill the bill).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Makes sense

State Rep. Jeff Perry, who is running for the U.S. House in the 10th Congressional District, has proposed an amendment that would require anyone applying for state services (welfare, schools, etc) to have their name put through a federal database to see if they are legal residents of the state. Sound fair to me...even Gov. Deval Patrick said there is "room for improvement."

There is no Market Basket in Dracut so I shop at one in Lowell. I cannot tell you how many times I have been behind someone in line who is obviously an immigrant who is using food stamps, WIC, etc. It really drives me nuts. Now, I have no idea if these people are here legally or not, that's besides the point. It is incredibly frustrating when people who play by the rules and/or have lived in this country their whole lives subsidize those who just came here and/or are here illegally (i.e. using someone else's SSN to get benefits). My wife and I don't rake in the big bucks and have had to make some sacrifices. But someone can just waltz in here and get free food? Doesn't seem fair to me.

Howie Carr points out in a column today that 33% of immigrant families receive some sort of government handout as opposed to 15% of non-immigrants. Are you kidding me?!?

Now this isn't some anti-immigrant screed. I myself am second generation American as my maternal grandparents came here from Ireland. My grandmother actually came here under her sister's name so one could argue she was an illegal immigrant (my family gets mad when I mention this to the world but it helps my argument). But, as far as I know she worked hard to provide for her family and while I don't know if she ever received any government assistance I do know she certainly didn't expect it. She was able to buy a house in Melrose in the early 1970's and lived a very nice life.

Scamming the government is certainly not an immigrant thing. I certainly have heard of folks who haven't played by the rules and they were citizens. But when people cut to the head of the line and expect you and me to help them, it just makes me want to scream.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

They just don't get it

Public employee unions just don't get it. They already get amazing benefits, good pay, and excellent job security but they keep wanting more and more and more. The Boston Firefighters would only submit to random drug and alcohol testing if they received a pay raise (which they did at the tune of 19%). Now the police unions are still fighting the deployment of civilian flaggers. Flaggers are used in 49 states and we are the last one to use them. Cops guard these detail jobs because they augment their pay by tens of thousands of dollars. But, that tens of thousands of dollars can be cut down if replaced by civilian flaggers. In addition, cops automatically get 4 hours of pay even if they don't work for that length of time.

In Boston recently, it seems there has been a lot of tension between the cops and flaggers at work sites. These guys better watch out. Everyone is calling for the Boston City Council to reject the Fire fighters raise (including the Globe) and the cops will lose a ton of support if they keep the thuggery and intimidation up.

See the Globe story here (and be sure to check out the reader comments too).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Says who?

An institute in honor of Ted Kennedy is being built on the campus of UMass Boston and is funded in large part by the federal government. This despite the fact that the Kennedy family could build hundreds of these institutes using the money Old Man Joe made by bootlegging and insider trading. But I digress.

In a Boston Herald article about this, a critic says:

“Markey and Kerry understand that Kennedy is a beloved figure in Massachusetts and that it is sacrilege to speak ill of this,” he said. “But it’s still pork-barrel spending and not something federal taxpayers should be paying for.”

Who says Kennedy is a "beloved figure" and since when was it "sacrilege" to speak about spending tens of millions of federal dollars on a politician? I am so sick of people talking about the Kennedys like they're royalty. They are all a bunch of spoiled brats who lied, cheated, and muscled their way to power. Period.

Must be nice

How many of you have jobs that allow you to be drunk while on duty?

How many allow you to take drugs?

Since few of us would risk our jobs by being drunk and high on the job in the first place, would you submit to random testing for both in exchange for a 19% pay raise?

How the hell is this a "deal?"

Must be nice to work for the government. See here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What liberal media?

I guess there is some exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum of photos of John F. Kennedy and his family. Take a look at the write-up on boston.com, especially the part I put in bold:

A bright shining moment in the Kennedys' relationship with the camera occurred on Jan. 3, 1961. Richard Avedon, the most glamorous photographer in the world, arrived in Palm Beach, Fla., on assignment for Harper's Bazaar to photograph the most glamorous family in the world: Jack and Jackie and Caroline and John Jr. It was the marriage made in media heaven - not that anyone was using that word yet.

Those few hours the president-elect and his family spent with Avedon in Palm Beach are exactingly chronicled in “The Kennedys / Portrait of a Family: Photographs by Richard Avedon.’’ The show, which originated at the National Museum of American History in Washington, runs at the Peabody Essex Museum through July 18. It is equally essential viewing for Kennedy buffs (it’s like watching a costume fitting for “Camelot’’) and would-be art directors.

What a load of crap. I bet two hours after JFK posed for these photos, he was off with some bimbo in a hotel room. The Globe is such a rag. Camelot my butt! You want to know what Camelot was about? Read Seymour Hersh's "The Dark Side of Camelot."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another puppet

So it looks like things haven't changed in the Massachusetts Legislature. A couple of years ago, the casino bill went down in defeat because the Speaker at the time, soon to be felon Sal DiMasi, didn't want it to pass. Now the current speaker, Robert DeLeo, wants casinos and low and behold, the bill passes overwhelmingly.

Rep. Ellen Story of Amherst actually admitted that she voted for the bill because DeLeo wanted her to (despite voting no under DiMasi). According to Commonwealth Magazine:

Recounting to reporters a phone conversation with Speaker Robert DeLeo, who called to ask how she planned to vote on his prized bill, Story said she told the speaker she’d vote however he wanted her to. “I’ve always been opposed [to casinos and slots], but if you need my vote, I’m there,” Story said she told DeLeo, according to the State House News Service. DeLeo has made the introduction of slot machines and casinos the signature effort of his tenure at the helm of the House.

What a pathetic group of sheep we have running our state.

Monday, April 12, 2010

STOP Casinos in Massachusetts

Our latest dictator, Speaker Robert DeLeo, is pushing through a measure that would permit the construction of 2 casinos in Massachusetts. DeLeo, who voted against a similar measure a couple of years ago, is ramming this bill through with no public hearing and a fast track vote in the House with no real debate.

DeLeo claims that these casinos will create 15,000 jobs. Fine. But what else will they create? Gambling addictions, poverty, strains on infrastructure, more government bureaucracy, increased spending on law enforcement, crime, etc, etc, etc.

This bill is incredibly short sighted and DeLeo is trying to help the economy with something drastic and something that will completely and permanently alter Massachusetts' social fabric.

I heard a woman named Kathleen Conley Norbuton who is opposed to casinos in Massachusetts on WTKK this morning. She is just a regular gal but she is incredibly articulate and well informed on the issue. You can see an interview she recently did with NECN here. In the meantime, you can also contact your legislator and beg him/her to vote no on this bill. The vote is coming up on Thursday so time is of the essence. Their contact information is here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Give it up

Now I am no fan of Gov. Deval Patrick but I do give him credit for taking on unions, especially the police unions. Patrick was in Lowell yesterday and as usual, the police were picketing him (they picket him almost everywhere now). They were holding signs saying "Deval Hates Cops" and "Deval is Against Public Safety."

Please. These guys are just mad that they're no longer getting 4 hours of pay for 15 minutes of detail work and getting mega bonuses for attending diploma mills. Their protests and the way in which they've acted in the past against flag men does not help their cause. We all love our police but not when they go to extremes like this.

Getting bigger

Howie Carr exposes Attorney General Martha Coakley's newest hire - the newly created position of Director of Open Government. Just so happens that the new director is, well, you know....connected.

So much for Open Government (and for making cuts to government)!

See his column here.

"You have put on Christ..."

Yesterday we had Erin's baptism at our parish here in Dracut, St. Francis. We had planned on having it in late May/early June but we found out recently that both of our priests are being transferred around that time. We decided to move it up so we could do it before they left, especially our parochial vicar Fr. Chris Casey. He baptized Kevin in 2007 and were really hoping he could baptize Erin.

We had it yesterday because Erin's godfather, Andrew Nelson, is a seminarian studying at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and was home this week on his Easter break. My sister Meaghan is Erin's godmother.

For scheduling reasons, we actually had lunch in the church hall before the baptism. The baptism itself was at 1pm and after we went back downstairs for cake and coffee. It was different but I think people liked it. Lynn cooked an amazing meal - pork, green beans, carrots, and mashed potatoes. We bought some roasted potatoes from a local restaurant and my parents brought a tasty roast beef. The cake was from an old school bakery in Somerville courtesy of my sister - there wasn't a crumb left it was so good.

A good number of relatives and friends were able to attend despite the short notice. My friend Dan came over the house afterwards for a few hours and later both Lynn and I were pretty beat. I was falling asleep around 8pm and after Kevin went to bed, we both fell asleep. Of course shortly thereafter Erin woke up! But, it was a wonderful day all around.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Must read

I just finished a book by Patrick McCloskey called "The Street Stops Here." The book recounts the 1999-2000 academic year at Rice High School, a Catholic high school in Harlem. The school is almost 100% black and is in a very gritty area. But, the school is seen as a safe haven from the reality of the streets (hence the name) and gives many of the students hope (and a future).

The book focuses on the principal, Orlando Gober, a former Black Panther who leads a crusade to get the kids to eschew racial stereotypes by eliminating the N word, not being afraid to be smart for fear of being seen as "white", and for being true men. The book also discusses the history of Catholic education and outlines ways to save it.

The book takes place in 1999/2000 but it wasn't published until a few years ago. Gober had died in the meantime due to complications from diabetes. The school was floundering after he left but seems to have rebounded.

This was one of those books that I did not want to put down. I read it at the gym and would be upset when I was done as I wanted to keep reading. As a Catholic school teacher, it was very inspirational and a reminder about why I do what I do.

The author spoke at Boston College last fall and they have a video of his talk on their website. I haven't actually watched it yet but you can see it here.

I've been on a role this year for reading. Prior to this book, I had read "Game Change" which was a chronicle of the 2008 presidential election and now I am reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream." I think this is my sixth book since Christmas, not bad.

They told you

As I said before, the whole health care bill hasn't gotten me worked up. But today I read two articles on the impact some of the new taxes will have. Tanning salons, as you may know, have to now charge a 10% tax on their services beginning on July 1. The Lowell Sun discussed that here.

The tax I am more interested in, however, is the 40% tax on "Cadillac" health care plans. This tax does not go into effect until 2018 as a compromise to get the unions to support the bill. But ironically, the tax this will impact the most are indeed unions!

Some say that come 2018, Congress will eliminate this tax. Perhaps, but as the Globe points out today the people who may very well be impacted hard from this tax are you and me! Why? Because government unions have Super Cadillac plans and cities and towns are going to get killed on this tax. You think the unions are going to let their members pay that tax?? Think again and look in the mirror.

So, the only real option here is to reduce the benefits and scale back the plan for the unions. SUCKERS.

See the article here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What liberal media?

In a column on Vice president Joe Biden's recent "F Bomb", Joan Vennochi, a liberal, exposes the media's liberal bias:

But it was undignified and sends a bad message, especially to young people, about what is appropriate language.

Perhaps because a Democrat did it, the Washington establishment treated it as amusing...

I rest my case.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Deval and Howie

Gov. Deval Patrick did the unthinkable and appeared on Howie Carr's show yesterday. I missed it unfortunately but Howie has a good rundown in his column today. See it here.

Um.....

Democrats in the House have had a good week. First there was Rep. Hank Johnson who had this to say about Guam:

"My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."

Um, yeah, ok.

Then this about Rep. Phil Hare:

He is using an example of someone having to take their child to the hospital while not having insurance and being stuck with a hefty medical bill when someone began to ask "Where in the Constitution..."Rep. Hare cuts the man off and says "I don't worry about the Constitution on this to be honest..."

And then:

"I believe it [the Constitution] says we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Rep. Hare tells him.

Um, that's from the Declaration of Independence, Rep. Hare.

This is the best we can do??

Thursday, April 1, 2010

1991 called...

Every day, the Lowell Sun has a section called "Back Talk" in which people phone in comments on various topics. Usually they're pretty inane like, "Why doesn't Mitt Romney do anything about all the Red Sox games being moved to NESN?" (that was an actual one a few years ago).

Today this gem was in there:

ROLE MODEL?: Does anyone realize that Bart Simpson from the cartoons also once beheaded a famous Civil War statue? I think maybe kids are imitating what they see on TV.

This is in reference to a statute of some Civil War general recently being decapitated in Shirley. But the bigger issue is this caller making a "Bart Simpson is a bad influence" reference. How 1991 is this??? Does the caller think kids are sitting around watching the Simpsons and wondering what that mischievous Bart is up to? She may be something, there has been a rash of kids at my school saying, "Don't have a cow, man!"

Please lady, Bart hasn't been bad ass in 20 years!

By the way, Bart did not behead a "famous Civil War statue", he beheaded a statue of Jebediah Springfield! Do you know when that episode aired? February 25....1990!

Will this lady be calling in soon complaining about Elvis' scandalous hips??