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Only in Massachusetts...

Saturdays are supposed to be slow news days. It must be a full moon, though, because I find myself with a full slate of Massachusetts lunacy.

First up, in the "too ironic to be fake" category, the Boston Globe has the story of Margaret "Meg" Sanders, 23. She was a tireless activist for numerous causes. She lost her parents to AIDS when she was very young, and worked on AIDS awareness, domestic violence, and other social causes. She was so devoted to those that she didn't even have a driver's license -- she rode her bike whenever she could.

And she was on that bike when she was run over and killed by an armored car the other day.

Next, we have an artist, named Barry Moser. Barry's made quite a tidy living out of doing religious illustrations the past few years. In fact, recently he became the only artist to illustrate both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and publish them. He's also illustrated a book of religious poetry written by a friend of his.

It's quite a record of achievement. Especially for a professed agnostic.

On the other hand, we have the story of a World War II veteran who waited over 60 years to collect his Purple Heart. Charles W. Pearl was a gunner on a B-17 when a piece of flak sliced his forehead open. He declined to report the injury at the time, though, because he was afraid he might be separated from his buddies. Instead he used a septic pen on it, then bandaged it up himself. At a reunion, enough of his buddies were still alive to corroborate his story, so he was finally awarded the long-overdue Purple Heart.

What really makes this story stand out is that Pearl is a constituent of John Kerry's...

Finally, we have a followup to a story I touched on last week. In Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb due west of Boston, the firefighters are very unhappy with some budget cuts. They held a "picket" last week where they repeatedly cut into the street, deliberately tying up traffic and, at one point, causing one of the biggest traffic jams north of Houston. (Or maybe New York City, but I'm trying to be relevant here.) Meanwhile, police stood by and watched as their union brothers violated the law and inconvenienced literally tens of thousands of people.

I thought it was stupid then, and I think it was stupid now. All they managed to do was to alienate and anger hordes of people -- people who very well might have been sympathetic to their cause, had the firefighters gotten their attention in some other way.

Among those less than impressed with the conduct of the Newton Public Safety officials was Governor Mitt Romney. He announced that if anything like that happens again, the local police better do their jobs and keep the streets clear. And if they don't, he'll send in state police to deal with it.

Color the firefighters unimpressed.

The head of Newton firefighters' union scoffed at the governor's threat of calling in the state police if the protesting jakes ever tie up traffic during rush hour again. He added they might even stage another commute-busting picket again. "Nothing is ever going to be taken off the table,'' union head Fran Capello vowed yesterday. ``Would we do it again? Who knows?''

According to the report, the firefighters have been without a contract for two years. That's certainly something worth getting worked up about, but I don't see the cause-and-effect relationship here. Just how does pissing off thousands of people, even endangering some (I heard reports of a couple of rescue vehicles stuck in the jam the firefighters deliberately caused), many of whom don't even live in Newton, help you get a more favorable contract?

I am really, really glad I live so close to Massachusetts. It gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling every time I'm reminded of just how lucky I am to be on this side of that border.

(Update: Several people have tried to correct me, saying it was a "styptic pencil." I think they're probably right, but the original article clearly called it a "septic pen.")


Comments (13)

Jay, love your Massachusett... (Below threshold)
DianeK:

Jay, love your Massachusetts posts and look forward to them. This is somewhat off topic but may be my chance to ask a question that's been bothering me for a while.
I've worked in the electrical field for almost twenty years, mostly on the controls side, so I've worked with many union crews(who btw are sometimes quite aggravated when I'm on a job site and am not union, but that's another story). As to my question: Why do they still call themselves "Brotherhoods" in this age of enlightenment? Hmm?

As long as we're talking ab... (Below threshold)
Gringo:

As long as we're talking about taxes, I have a quick question... everyone keeps going on about these major hurricanes, but both of them had degraded to Cat3 when they hit. Are we just considering that all hurricanes are "forever" at whatever their highest measurement was? Doesn't Florida get Cat3 impacts all the time?

just to clarify, the moon i... (Below threshold)
moonie:

just to clarify, the moon is between 3/4 phase and wanning crescent. this means the weirdness is on the weirder side past the strange side of the full moon

I think you mean 'styptic' ... (Below threshold)
Ted:

I think you mean 'styptic' pencil, which would be way better than a 'septic' pencil. ;)

Newton is a very well to do... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Newton is a very well to do suburb. Very little crime because gentrication has driven out all the poor folks. That their fire department doesn't have a contract for years is criminal neglect on the town of the town government.

Instead he used a septi... (Below threshold)
shark:

Instead he used a septic pencil on it, then bandaged it up himself

If he had used a septic pencil on it, he'd be getting that medal posthumously...

Mark,Not agreeing ... (Below threshold)

Mark,

Not agreeing to unfair contract terms put forth by traffic terrorists is not "criminal neglect."

Not arresting public, government workers who put people's lives in danger IS criminal negligence.

I guarantee you the THUG DEMOCRATS who think traffic terrorism is an OK form of "protest" never try this stunt again.

Romney, they should remember, is a REPUBLICAN who does not fear thuggism and will put them into a jail cell.

... where they belong.... (Below threshold)

... where they belong.

Several people have trie... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

Several people have tried to correct me, saying it was a "styptic pencil." I think they're probably right, but the original article clearly called it a "septic pen."

Then chalk that up to yet another idiot reporter who is too lazy to check their facts or even think about what it is they were writing.

OTOH, I wouldn't mind it if someone invented a septic pen, there are a few people I wouldn't mind...um...helping with it.

Dont forget MASSACHUSES is ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Dont forget MASSACHUSES is run by the KENNEDY CLAN and thats why they have so many dumb and usless taxes

Love the blog. Thanks for t... (Below threshold)
BenJCarter:

Love the blog. Thanks for the great read. You lost me with the Meg story though, I guess I missed the irony. It sounds to me like she was a good person and her death was a tragedy.

"In fact, recently he becam... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

"In fact, recently he became the only artist to illustrate both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible"

I don't know where that information about Barry Moser came from, and it's not a huge deal, but my own great great uncle, Gustave Doré a world reknowned artist and illustrator in the mid to late 1800's illustrated both the Old & New Testaments and they are still available in print today as "The Doré Bible" That's cool and I'm proud of that fact, but I don't even think that Uncle Gus was the first one to illustrate and publish both the Old & New Testaments.

Now, say he was used an ink that was made from some blood of Gene Simmons from Kiss, and illustrated the Bible.... that could be a first.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/048623004X/104-5047218-8446342?v=glance

Yep, I'm with Ben Carter. ... (Below threshold)
LLB:

Yep, I'm with Ben Carter. I particularly don't find the Meg story at all funny. Meg was a classmate of mine.

I was looking for her obit, and came across this instead. Wonder how many of her friends/ family found the same google results?

Well done man.

Her death is not a piece of cheap news, or a joke.




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