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It's always been a matter of trust

Recently, I was challenged for my constant ragging on Massachusetts. Why am I so tough on the state? I thought about it, and I came to the simple answer: I don't trust them.

And I come by that distrust honestly: they don't trust themselves. Not on almost anything.

The people of Massachusetts have, for years, elected and re-elected their chosen representatives to the legislature and other leaders. They have chosen and reaffirmed their chosen as lawmakers on numerous opportunities -- and those representatives have consistently shown their disdain and distrust for the people that granted them their authority.

They don't trust the people to own guns responsibly. The Constitution, in its 2nd Amendment, says that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Now, some can make a principled argument that this right is a "collective" right, an authorization for National Guards and registered gun-owners who agree to be a part of a "militia," but they don't even bother with that fiction in Massachusetts. They just pile more and more restrictions and conditions and just outright refusal to comply with the Constitution. They can't keep the guns out of the hands of the criminals, but they figure they can at least keep 'em out of the hands of regular citizens.

They don't trust the people to be responsible about their own safety on the roads. Motorcycle riders cannot choose to do without a helmet, and those in cars WILL wear their seat belts. The legislature has gradually ratcheted up their seat belt laws, with each step accompanied with a promise that they will go "this far, and no farther." We'll have seat belt laws, but only for children under 18. The law will cover everyone, but it won't be a primary offense -- the police won't be able to pull you over based just on that. The law will be a primary offense, but not a surchargeable one -- it won't affect your insurance. And that's just three examples off the top of my head -- the long and sordid history of seat belt laws in Massachusetts has many more chapters.

They don't trust the people to have any say in major matters. For years, opponents of gay marriage have fought to have the matter put to a state-wide vote, in a Constitutional amendment that would go before all the people and vote simply up or down on this fundamental matter. And every single time, the legislature has taken that proposal, with thousands of signatures of registered voters, wadded it up unread, and tossed it in the trash.

They don't even trust the people when the people work within the law and pass their own referendums. The people of Massachusetts were promised that the income tax increases to 5.3% and 5.8% would be "temporary" back in the 80's, and they're still on the books. It took tremendous public pressur and one very brave lawmaker to work language into the law that made the 5.8% increase "voluntary" and allow people to choose which rate they wished to pay -- and less than considerably less than .01% have opted to give the Commonwealth more than they are minimally required. (To the best of my knowledge, neither of the Bay State's Senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, pay the higher rate. No, both millionaires who always argue that the government "needs" more money chooses to pay one penny to their home state than they absolutely have to.) The people even passed a referendum rolling back the tax rate, but the lawmakers looked at their billion-dollar surplus and simply decided to ignore it.

The legislature of Massachusetts has consistently, at nearly every turn, decided to ignore or openly defy the wishes of the people who put them in office. And the people of Massachusetts have consistently, at nearly every turn, rewarded those who spit in their faces with re-election, often without even bothering to find another candidate to offer token opposition.

There's an old saying that in democracies, the people tend to get the government they deserve. And that old saw is proving to be damningly accurate in the Bay State.


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Comments (17)

Sadly, many of these people... (Below threshold)

Sadly, many of these people don't see the correlation between their woes and their voting practices. Now many are moving to Florida and I am compelled to remind some that they screwed up their state enough to feel they had to leave to escape the high taxes and over-legislation - now don't screw up mine. Leave the liberal voting practices behind. We already have enough of that here.

Oh Jay:They don... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Oh Jay:

They don't trust the people to own guns responsibly. The Constitution, in its 2nd Amendment, says that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Now, some can make a principled argument that this right is a "collective" right, an authorization for National Guards and registered gun-owners who agree to be a part of a "militia," but they don't even bother with that fiction in Massachusetts. They just pile more and more restrictions and conditions and just outright refusal to comply with the Constitution. They can't keep the guns out of the hands of the criminals, but they figure they can at least keep 'em out of the hands of regular citizens.

Yeah, tell us again how you went to Maine to visit Candy and there was somebody in the woods with a big, scary automatic gun, oooh. Oh, you're pro gun, alright, Jay. You might even have a .22 under your bed.

I also emailed you once, asking when you would cover that billboard at Fenway, the one asking the people of Massachusetts to boycott Maine and New Hampshire, because gun laws in our states were too lax, feeding gun crime in Boston. You said, no, I don't cover Massachusetts, tell Paul.

That was about 3,000 Jay Tea Massachusetts blogs ago.

I don't know, Jay. Can we trust you?

astigafa:Wh... (Below threshold)
Inquiring:

astigafa:

What the hell are you saying? Seriously, was that english you just blathered on in or just a series of random grunts, chirps, and whistles that sounded remarkably similar to a spoken language?

A person can not own a gun and support gun rights. A person can be disconcerted to run into someone else armed in the woods and be freaked out all the while fully supporting the 2nd Amendment.

And Jay not blogging serious about Massachusetts 3,000 Massachusetts posts ago helps your point how? That his opinion might have changed? Or that maybe he did not give two shakes about some billboard you thought was oh-so-important?

Oyster:

That seems to be how it goes though, some people move to get away from a system they could not stand, then they manage to go about doing their damndest to recreate it.

Inquiring:Yeah, th... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Inquiring:

Yeah, that was pretty clear English. You're just an asshole.

I only vaguely remember ast... (Below threshold)

I only vaguely remember astigafa's e-mail. I can't imagine EVER saying I'd defer to Paul on a Massachusetts issue. I might have said I won't take his word for the billboard's existence, and had no interest in it. Thinking about it now, I can see myself saying that I think it's an incredibly stupid idea for a billboard (appropriate enough, considering its' from astigafa) considering how many people in Massachusetts come to NH to escape their state's usurious sales taxes, fraudulently register their cars here, and so on. It's also a sign of their weakness, in trying to blame other states for their own inability to keep criminals in rein.

Normally, I wouldn't let a dipshit like astigafa sidetrack me so readily, but in this case it actually ties into my theme. The folks in MA don't even trust their own lawmakers and cops to keep the peace, so they have to "lean" on other states to get them to do their dirty work for them. Thanks, asti!

J.

My only argument with Jay's... (Below threshold)
Jim:

My only argument with Jay's observations is he doesn't paint with a broad enough brush.

I agree with everything he says about Massachusetts but some or all of it hold true for all other states as well.

Who said the scariest phrase in the English language is; "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."?

Yeah Jay I can understand y... (Below threshold)
Radical Centrist:

Yeah Jay I can understand your mistrust.

The people of Massachusetts have continuously
re-elected, one senator who slandered his fellow
soldiers with lies and aided and comforted the
enemy and has led an undistinguihed career in the
Senate. Another Senetor who killed a woman. And
a congressman whose gay lover ran a brothel out of his house and he claimed he knew nothing of it.
You people in mass sure know how to pick'em.

Normally, I wouldn't let... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Normally, I wouldn't let a dipshit like astigafa sidetrack me so readily, but in this case it actually ties into my theme.

Uh...huh.

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Massachusetts is simply a c... (Below threshold)

Massachusetts is simply a case of what happens when you get 1-party state control that lasts for decades.

Sure, there are lots of liberals here, but also lots of different ethnics (ethnics of every color...no racism implied ...) who for decades have voted Democratic reflexively without hesitation (or thought). Almost 90% of elected legislators are Democrats, as are all state-wide officeholders except the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

The Republicans have done little here to develop their own party, so what results is a culture rife with patronage and with a deep disdain for the power of the voters...because the voters are unwilling and unlikely to exercise it.

I've lived here for 25 years. I live in the burbs where I am represented by Republicans in the State Legislatrue who are virtually powerless.

Of course, I would say much... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Of course, I would say much of the same about our current federal government. Intersting isn't it, the perspectives we have.?

The fact is governme... (Below threshold)
Ric:


The fact is government at state and federal levels are out of control. This country is on track to slipping into tyranny through overwhelming utilitarian legislation and regulation, and citizens don't care. The reason we are in the situation we are is because citizens have abdicated their responsibilities for self government. As long as folks can collect their paycheck, eat three squares a day, sit in their Lazy-Boy chair, and watch American Idol ... that is enough freedom for them ... and they are darn happy about it.

Generation after generation and decade after decade our liberites have been curtailed by all branches of government. Moreover, Americans don't know what freedom is anymore. They don't understand that the Constitution does not define or establish our rights. Our rights are pre-existent, natural, inalienable, God given rights. These rights can not be tampered with through word analysis or simply legislated away.

Consider the 1st Amendment; Does free speech really exist today? The fact that McCain-Feingold even exits should answer that question. However, did it really effect the status of living for the average American? No, but we lost more than most know and the average American does not care.

COnsider the 2nd Amendment; First, the right is not collective. If someone wants to interpret it in such a fashion, you would need to interpret the remainding Amendments as collective rights also. Nonetheless, go read the 2nd Amendment - Restrictions placed on free men to bear arms by their government only reflects the government's distrust of the people and the elected leadership's opposition to a free State. Does the average American care about the 2nd Amendment? No. The average American thinks the 2nd Amendment is about hunting. He doesn't understand it is about preventing and overthrowing tyrannical governments from time to time. If this right were to go, you can dismiss all the others in less than a heartbeat.

Consider the 4th Amendment; Go read court opinions. Your 4th Amendment rights only exist so long as the state does not have a "compelling interest". When the state believes they have a compelling interest, for what ever fiction they devise, it's like the right never existed.

Consider the 5th Amendment; Think your property can not be taken without due process? Think again. Some might argue "My state passed a law that says my property can't be taken." I would argue that you are being fooled. That right existed before the state declared the law. Their blessing on it doesn't make it so. The law could change tomorrow.

Consider the 9th Amendment; Imagine someone using that as an argument in court today. That attorney would be laughed out of court.

...

Hugh said:Of co... (Below threshold)
Doug:

Hugh said:

Of course, I would say much of the same about our current federal government. Intersting isn't it, the perspectives we have.?

Do you mean to imply that the federal government during most of the '90s was significantly different? Please tell me that's NOT what you mean....

Doug""....so what ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Doug"

"....so what results is a culture rife with patronage and with a deep disdain for the ower of the voters....."

It was this comment by Harry Forbes that I was referring to (tongue in cheek).

My only argument with Ja... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

My only argument with Jay's observations is he doesn't paint with a broad enough brush.

Actually, he should be using crayon. It's more appropriate to his level of development; he can hold it securely in his chubby little fist, and if he eats any, well, it's non-toxic.

Jay, this is what you get w... (Below threshold)
wavemaker:

Jay, this is what you get when you ignore spam.

Illiterate spam, no less.

More evidence that the liberal teachers union-controlled public education system has failed miserably.

"I don't trust them".... (Below threshold)
Robert:

"I don't trust them".

Perfect.
Now couple that with "they never gave me any reason to trust them" (think Karl Rove) and you'll have the real explanation for why the majority of the country is against the Bush admin when it comes to:
The war on Terror.
Keeping Americans safe.
Executive privelige.
The NSA spying program.
Medicare Part D.
The stonewall of the 911 Commission.
Tax cuts for the rich during wartime.
Etc., etc. etc.

Now, can we finally put that stupid Bush derangement syndrome canard to bed for good, please?

In order:1) The Wa... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

In order:

1) The War on Terror --- what part don't you believe?

2) Keeping Americans safe --- far fewer attacks on US territory than there was under Clinton

3) Executive privilege --- Bush has actually been one of the least active users of the privilege.

4) The NSA "spying" program --- ignoring the impossibility of actually listening in to untold billions of conversations is a key for this one to be an issue.

5) Medicare Part D --- a truly horrendous debacle. Should've cut Medicare, not increased it.

6) "Stonewalling" the Commission? Gee, that Commission wasn't highly political. No sir.

7) Tax cuts for the rich during wartime? Would you prefer 90% tax rates?
-=Mike




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