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Category Archives: General
Not to be caught up in the mania of the season, the Boston Globe took the time to write an editorial suggesting UMass drop football. It notes that the new NCAA rules allowing the five most powerful college football conferences in the country to pay its players makes it almost impossible for schools like UMass which is not a member of such a conference to field a competitive team.
The Globe is right. Its solution is wrong. I read recently of a better solution. UMass should play a spring schedule competing among teams dedicated to providing top notch football without paid players.
Ted Connolly advocates this in his compelling presentation. He spells out 8 reasons why a “non-big 5 spring league makes sense.” I hate the term no-brainer but thinking through his presentation that best describes his proposal.
The state lost a man who would have been a great governor. The country gained a guy who thought he could portray an image of a warrior because he drove around in a tank wearing a helmet. Had Dukakis grown up in where I had he would have known not to have done that stunt. But coming from Brookline he saw a different world. He saw the world the Globe wants to see; one far removed from what most people know.
I always thought the greatest difference between Quinn and Dukakis was the disposition of the men: Quinn was always smiling while Dukakis always glowered. That was also one of the great separators between Billy Bulger and Alan Dershowitz, the smile. Perhaps it wasn’t that the Globe didn’t like the Irish from the inner city but it just didn’t like people who found enjoyment in life.
The green area on this map is what some believe is the ultimate goal of Dictator Putin. it is to take all of the east and south of Ukraine land annexing it to Russia making Ukraine a landlocked country. How much of his goal he will achieve remains to be seen.
Elmer who comments here has better connections inside Ukraine than I do and follows the news more closely than I am doing. He recently called my attention to an article that set forth the following: “Russia’s military goals are evolving. Moscow’s tactics are based on the principle of razvedka boem, or employing military means to assess an adversary’s strength and willpower.” (my emphasis)
I’ve been suggesting all along that that this is Putin’s mindset. He’s going to go as far as he can go (like they said in Oklahoma about in Kansas City). He will determine this by taking one step, gauging the reaction, and then deciding what to do next.
A couple of President Obama’s lines gave me an eerie feeling. I asked myself does he really believe this? I’ve heard others say it lately and it seems to me to be the most erroneous statement any person with a smidgen of knowledge of history can make. A logical follow through on it would be to suggest there is no need of anything like a Bill of Rights.
Using it makes me think the president or his speech writers think we are a nation of Simple Simons. Here’s what he said as part of his “few broad observations: . . . After all, the folks at NSA and other intelligence agencies are our neighbors. They’re our friends and family. They’ve got electronic bank and medical records like everybody else. They have kids on Facebook and Instagram, and they know, more than most of us, the vulnerabilities to privacy that exist in a world . . . . “
Obtuse according to the Merriam Webster dictionary means:: “stupid or unintelligent : not able to think clearly or to understand what is obvious or simple.”
Where I suggest Americans are clearly coming up short is their failure to see the continuing obsequiousness of those in official positions to the many police forces operating in our land. These police forces not only operate without normal scrutiny, in secrecy, and behind opaque curtains but their most questionable actions are praised and justified by those officials who do this in a knee jerk fashion ignorant of the facts behind them.
Evidence of this is the recent statement of the Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin who justified the killing of Miriam Carey by stating the decision to kill her was “understandable” because Capitol Hill is a “target for those who hate the United States, and someone in a car is a threat.” That seems to encompass a broad range of people.
When I wrote my last post: “Whitey The Ordinary — Just Another Hoodlum Who Didn’t Grow Up” I had no idea of the hiatus that would occur between that post on September 16, 2013 and now. The reasons for the silence are a special assignment I undertook that totally kept me away from the computer and any writing; and on top of that a joyful out-of-state addition to the family.
These events necessitated that I put distance between myself and the subject matter of this blog. Perhaps my post noting the ordinariness of Whitey was an auspicious stepping off point. As time passed and distance widened I began to see more clearly the basic banality of Whitey Bulger the man. Much more interesting than the person are the events that conspired together to take such a commonplace criminal and elevated him to the point he became some sort of criminal extraordinaire. Those are the events I hope to focus my efforts on explaining.
I’ve been interested in and writing about the uniformity in view-point among the Boston media concerning the matters surrounding Whitey. I did notice while attending the trial all of the Boston media people except one, Dave Boeri, seemed to enjoy a cozy relationship with each other. There was no sense of all being other than on the same team looking at the case through the same eyes and cooperating with each other.
In reading the recent books about Whitey by the Globe writers I noticed how much repetition there appeared to be. It seemed that much of their works came from the same sources. I thought it unusual that four people wrote two books when they could very well have combined and written one, or, each gone their separate way and written four.
General Wesley Clark on the Ed Show on MSNBC yesterday made the incredible statement that our attack on Syria is not an act of war. Aside from making me wonder how such a man could rise to the level he did in the military, it shows how the government is pulling out every trick in its book to go after Syria.
Secretary of War Kerry says this act of war is an unbelievable small strike. It is now being supported by Hillary Clinton. and all the leaders of Congress such as Pelosi and Speaker Boehner. How is it that all the leaders are so anxious to take this unprecedented act of war which runs contrary to the view of the majority of the American people?
1. This is an act of war. We are attacking a sovereign nation with implements of war. It is like the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor, or the Germans invading Poland, or our previous invasions of Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Whatever reason or justification is given it remains an attack on a nation that has not attacked us.
2. The ostensible reason for us now attacking is not that the use of poison gas by Assad is something that is so unique it calls for us to go to war is false. When Iran was our enemy, Saddam Hussein used it against the Iranians and we shrugged.
The Congressional calendar notes that Congress does not come back to Washington until September 9, 2013. It also shows that on September 13 Yom Kippur begins at sundown. Therefore I have to figure Obama will be given the go ahead for the attack at the latest on the 13th. We won’t go to war with Syria until the Ides of September.
The Syrians will have a couple of weeks to disburse its forces but as retired Marine four star general James Cartwright said on television Sunday: “most of the targets associated with the limited strike are fixed. Buildings, facilities, areas, so they’re going to be there. . . . We’re not going to strike the stockpiles of chemical weapons. . . . because the dispersal of the gases and chemicals would affect large areas around that activity. . . . You want to go at the facilities. Go at the places where production is done. Go at the places where potentially they would move across channels of communication, bridges, things like that, that would allow them to move it. They’re looking at the command and control in this area. . . . They’re not going to move.”