Saturday, August 15, 2009

City Council Update


I know people only glance over these messages so I will get to the point fast. After careful consideration I decided not to run for reelection to the Chelsea City Council. My term ends in January and I will be serving until then. I made the decision because I could not fully commit to another 2 years at the moment and did not want to leave mid term. I made the official decision a few weeks ago and their are now two people running for the seat so their will be a choice for those of you who live in the district. In fact many races are contested in Chelsea which I believe is a great thing. A democracy can not run without elections and competition. I currently do not have an endorsement for my seat, I just hope for a fair clean election.

My constituent hot line will remain active and in January the voice message will change to a normal message, it will still be a great way to get a hold of me. I will be writing a blog in December looking back at the last few years, now does not seem to be the time to do so as I will be serving for a few more months.

For those of you who have been concerned everything is OK, there is nothing wrong. I just have some educational/vocational plans for the near future. I plan on remaining active in the community.

Thanks again for all your support,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meet the new protesters: Same as the old protesters

Over the past few weeks and months there have been many protests against the Obama Administration. Obama is raising taxes, Obama is not an American, Obama wants to kill your grandmother and steal her money. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda the hits keep on coming.

This brings up a very good question, are these conservative outliers UnAmerican as Speaker Pelosi so daftly put it?

I would have to disagree with the Speaker and apparently put myself in line with President Obama, Senator Specter and others on the left who say that this IS AMERICAN . Americans protest things, that's what we do. You want to tax my tea, fine I'll throw it in the harbor how do you like that tea England? Sure there have been zany protests over college courses and of course there have been gravely serious protests in the past as well such as those involving civil liberties for women, minorities and most recently the LGBT community. Congressmen get arrested for protesting the atrocities in Dafur on a semi regular basis it seems, this is nothing new.

After the 2000 election the prospects for Democrats in Washington DC dropped significantly. In short order the Democrats lost control of the Senate (this went back and forth a bit) lost ground in the House, stood at a disadvantage on the Supreme Court and lost the Presidency because a few older citizens in Palm Beach thought Pat Buchanan was Al Gore. Liberals did not have much of a stance on reaching people on the radio and for the most part opinion shows seemed to have a conservative slant (granted the Liberals had "main stream media" but main stream media does not organize citizens.) Faced with these offsets and seeing the country tilt to the right with policies like the Patriot Act and later on the war in Iraq liberals took to the streets.

While it never quite reached the level of the Vietnam protests 30 years previous there were lots of protests all across the country and even the world. Universities held sit ins, people stormed DC on a regular basis, button makers made a killing on anti Bush buttons. All the while the Republican machine sneered at the protesters. UnAmerican they were called. Rebellious, stupid, insipid, silly. In my minds eye the personification of this character is a Snidely Whiplash type character with a handlebar mustache, his right hand twisting the end of the mustache as he counted his money with the left hand.

Of course the Conservatives and the Republicans would take it to the streets, their party is on the outs and central leadership is lacking. Yes I would appreciate their outbursts to be a little more civil, take a look at Thomas Paine and of course Henry David Thoreau who literally wrote the book on the subject (essay whatever.) This is what they believe in, I would hope they care enough about their country to be upset over it...

To be fair WE ARE pushing through legislation at a fast pace. They have a point that the Democrats are using the fiscal crisis to advance their own goals and agenda I would feel bad for them if it was not for the fact that George W Bush used 9/11 to push and pass his own agenda as well. So I do understand the shock, I do understand the concern, I mean seriously who among us has been able to read the thousands of pages being produced by Congress on this very subject. Its very similar to the buildup to the war with Iraq where many Congressmen went along with the flow only to change their minds later, although I'm not going to name and names but I think we all know who they are.

I think Liberals are just upset because Sarah Palin and John McCain figured out what Twitter is. They are upset because Conservatives figured out you could use wood and paper to make handy protest signs. They are annoyed that there is no more George W Bush to push around. That Republican law makers can have exciting extramarital relations as well both of the wide stance variety and of the international visa variety. The tables have turned and the liberals are doing all the work while the conservatives man the peanut gallery and I have to tell you it seems like some of the liberals are feeling a little jealous right about now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank you for not smoking, oh wait, what?

I am running behind on my blog series about Freedom Tour 2009, I am going to try to wrap it up this week. First off the posts will be much shorter, they were too long to write and too long to read. Second I am going to skip over some of the stories I tried to weave. For those waiting for the cliff hangers the thing that I saw that shocked me in CT was my fathers old van that my brother nick named Barny because it was eggplant purple, when they gave it to charity it was barely running but there it was in CT. Also we fired Michelle for a different GPS voice but they all sounded the same and all kinda stunk.

In case you need to catch up

Day One, Quincy

When we got to RI I immediately noticed the giant bridges in Newport and how much nicer they were then the bridges we have back home. I also noticed the giant church like slot hall. When we got to Newport almost every hotel in the city was booked because of a giant tennis event because apparently Newport is the tennis capital of the world, or so said the gentleman at Motel 6. I found the room to be hilarious because it was so utilitarian and stripped of any amenities, even the tv was just plopped on a desk almost hanging off the side. My favorite part of the room was the no smoking signs , they were conveniently placed on the bottoms of upside down ash trays, just in case you needed to catch a drag to let the fact that your in a smoke free room sink in I'm sure.

Rhode Island cemeteries are huge, I mean HUGE. The Newport one was big and the Providence one would of had its own zip code under different circumstances. All the pictures in this blog are from Newport due to the more interesting things we saw down there.

William Ellery was the first signer we went to visit, buried in Newport RI and apparently within a half mile of his home which was a common theme. What was amazing about Mr.Ellery was the fact that his grave site is surrounded by a nine foot steel fence. Not a wrought iron fence but a recent fence , I would say less then 30 years old. Some of the signers were literally on the sides of their father in laws graves and yet Ellery gets his own fortress, its curious to say the least. I think its a sad way to spend eternity, surrounded by fence.

Another curious site was this house right on the edge of the cemetery. The distance between that obelisk and the window of this home is less then 5 feet (yes I checked) and it is lined up with the window to boot. When I was younger I used to laugh at my cousin who would refuse to breath while we drove past the cemeteries in Everett and I would buy a home near a graveyard but this would be a little too much for me. Whats even weirder is they both seem to be from the same time period. At least he has a quiet neighbor I guess.

Down the street there were many more period homes and half of them were painted in monotones. One color for the whole house, no accent color. This has to be the reddest house Ive ever seen and I resided in a rose colored house for ten years! At least my house had white accents...

After Newport we headed over to Providence to wrap up the Rhode Island leg of our trip. This was one of the biggest cemeteries I have ever seen in my life, it had its own road map and took us several minutes just to DRIVE the length of it. Stephen Hopkins was buried under a medium sized obelisk that luckily was already photographed on another site. We managed to use our tree identification skills to find the tree that was in the online photo. We also managed to find the site of the founder of Brown University who had his own little chapel which is currently in very rough shape.

After hitting up the cemetery in Providence we headed to Brown University for lunch. Ive never been to Brown but can not understand how anybody lives there in the winter time. The gradient on the hills was so low that they had warning signs posted all over the place. In 80 degree heat it was a pain, in sleet I could imagine people losing their grip and falling to their death on the jagged ice below. Brown reminded me of a mini Harvard in the sense that their yards are very similar and the architecture looked alike as well especially when compared to the Gothic Revival of Yale.

Lunch was pretty good, we went to this Greek place that was pretty good but not outstanding. The condiments were sitting in the table in their original containers, including the olive oil. Now it was not a fancy place but it sure was more done up then a diner I expected my salt to be in a shaker and my olive oil (Greek remember) to be in a container of some sort. Maybe it's just me. After several days of heat and humidity and being away from a reliable source of iced tea for so long I was getting a little cranky and the thought of tackling that hill again was putting me in a funk. That's when I saw the holy grail, Tealuxe ! I always thought that only two existed in the WHOLE WORLD. Boston and Cambridge, but low and behold here it was in Providence. First I found my fathers old car and now this, surely this was a miracle. Walking inside I immediately noticed it was larger then my local haunt in Harvard Square and the staff was larger as well. On any given day their is a tea rotation of four different teas and I was very happy to see that Golden Monkey was on tap today! Golden Monkey only shows up once a week tops and here it was, right in front of me , miles away from home. No this was no miracle, this was Providence.

The day ended back in Boston where we hit up my brothers graduation party. Pool, air hockey, lots of food, beer, video games, it was a good night. Great way to end the day, I was ready to tackle New Hampshire.