Person #1588: 3 Posts

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  1. Harvard is Diverse Too (1 Reply)

    Almost half of Harvard’s student body is now people of color. Slightly more than half at MIT. So…

  2. We Pretty Much Agree (0 Replies)

    Certainly, the Massachusetts Legislature and the Governor are wrong on this. Allowing casinos to be built is terrible public policy and I’d rather see jobs created in just about any other way. And it doesn’t pass the smell test to argue that casinos are in any way a good way to raise revenue.

    However I would continue to argue, apparently, that the unions are not “wrong on this.” The unions have no obligation to oppose the legalization of businesses that might have bad societal impacts. To the contrary, they have a responsibility and collective interest in new job opportunities for union members regardless of the associated societal implications.

    I also can’t believe all the progress we’re flushing down the toilet.

  3. As Usual (1 Reply)

    You put an absurdly negative spin on what I said here.

    What you apparently want us to see as “money for the unions”, I would argue is much better characterized as “good jobs for workers and members of the union.”

    It’s not “greed” to support construction job opportunities. It’s the legal, moral and ethical responsibility of an organization created by workers to further their own interests. It’s not the responsibility of trade unions to decide whether a particular new business is good or bad for society. That’s the job of politicians and all of us as participants in democratic government.

  4. "The Unions"... (1 Reply)

    Is a pretty vague term.

    First, you’re conflating the construction unions (who wholeheartedly support the casinos) with the hospitality and service unions (like Unite-HERE and SEIU) who are much more on the fence about casinos. For the construction unions building casinos is unquestionably “good” even as the other unions probably would prefer better jobs. Even the service and hospitality unions still support building casinos over the other options on the table (build nothing? more hotels anyone?).

    Regardless, this isn’t a matter of the unions “picking the wrong friends.” Unions that organize casino workers are seeking to make existing jobs better. The boss is not and never will be their friend. That doesn’t mean a union should or would oppose the new boss’ efforts to open a new business.

  5. Unions Do (1 Reply)

    In my experience the construction unions support nearly 100% of all proposed new construction (as long as the developer has agreed to or his forced by law to hire union labor).

    Generally Democratic politicians do the same (at least those who want to continue receiving the union’s political support). When, in the rare instance, a Democrat makes a truly principled argument against a particular project, the unions usually forgive them but they don’t forget.

    By your logic, wouldn’t Senator Warren oppose casino development?

  6. Huh? (1 Reply)

    So what?

    Of course, unionized employees picket (and take other actions typically part of collective bargaining) in order to further negotiations of wages, benefits and working conditions.

    But this has absolutely nothing to do with the debate over whether to build new casinos.

  7. Then You Tell Me... (2 Replies)

    … in what way are casinos worse than the lottery for the players and the communities in which those players live?

    Certainly, the odds of winning with the lottery are terrible. The number of jobs (a couple per convenience store) are lower. The state revenue raised from the lottery is about $1 billion (thanks in large part to the criminally low 72% pay-out) while three casinos would contribute about that same amount as a 25% tax on their profits (even as they offer a much more reasonable 90%+ pay-out to the player).

    I don’t actually support repealing the lottery because prohibition doesn’t work. But supporting the lottery “for the children” is pretty regrettable public policy and I’d almost rather have three resort casinos than the lottery on every corner.

    Convince me I’m wrong…

  8. Unions & Casinos (2 Replies)

    There’s really no mystery here, jimc. The union support for casinos comes primarily from the building trades union and primarily because of the construction jobs.

    But, but, you ask, “aren’t there literally hundreds of other big projects that bring jobs.”

    Well, maybe not “hundreds” but, yes, there are certainly many other big projects (Olympics 2024!) that promise jobs for union members. Most unions support those too.

    To be fair, I don’t really think it’s the job of unions (particularly construction unions) to concern themselves with social policy at the expense of jobs opportunities for their members.

  9. That's Right (2 Replies)

    The opinions of anyone who hasn’t actually been involved intimately in this case – opinions which are usually developed based on news accounts – are by definition only partially-educated. Sorry, David, but I’d put your opinion and mine in to that category as well.

    Instead you believe anyone can be an expert and/or that all opinions should be given equal weight, regardless of their level of expertise and knowledge on an admittedly complex matter?

    To me, the very idea that we should base complex public policy decisions (much less decisions about who should lose their job) on the opinions of those without any real, first-hand knowledge of the matter seems ludicrous. Persistent and severe Somatic Symptom Disorder is a real thing whether non-experts understand it or not.

    “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

  10. Please (2 Replies)

    So, your premise is that no children (no matter how badly they are being abused by their parents) should ever be “aggressively taken by the state.”

    If that’s not your operating premise (which I assume and certainly hope it’s not), then we are talking about complex and difficult decisions about the degree to which a particular child is suffering from parental abuse. Decisions that often, as in this case, involve expert judgment calls by large teams of medical professionals, social workers, lawyers/judges, and state officials.

    No matter how much you’ve read about this case, I find it highly unlikely that your partially-educated opinion is more “correct” than the judgment calls that have been made by dozens of experts with more direct knowledge of the circumstances in this case.

    To suggest that there is “absolutely NO excuse” for the decisions made in this case and that “many people should be fired” is extreme hubris at best.

  11. Oh Yeah? (1 Reply)

    many employees would prefer to keep the insurance they have through the exchange since the job is temporary in nature.

    Says you? That makes absolutely no sense.

    Your theory is that people would rather continue to pay for their own health insurance coverage through the Connector rather than receive free or heavily subsidized insurance through their new employer? In order to avoid a little paperwork they’d rather pay hundreds of dollars a month to obtain their own coverage? Yet, despite this dynamic you purport to understand, Tolman, Coakley, Grossman, Berwick and Kayeem (but not Healey) still managed to hire employees who decided they would accept their employer’s offer of insurance rather than keep the insurance they already had?

    That all sounds pretty unlikely to me.

  12. Respectfully Disagree (2 Replies)

    Your experiences as an unpaid campaign volunteer aside, I believe employers (of full-time paid staff) have a moral obligation to offer a health insurance benefit to their paid staff.

    Interestingly, the state employer mandate and Fair Share penalty were repealed last summer in anticipation of the new ACA employer mandate (which itself was delayed but was supposed to go in to effect this year). Also, of importance, the federal mandate coves only employers of over 50 individuals (the state’s law was for employers of 11+ people).

    So, there’s no legal violation here.

    But experts in health care reform are well aware that an enforced employer mandate is a vitally important component of reform, addressing the “free rider” problem, helping to lower costs, and crucial to ensuring high rates of insurance under the ACA (and RomneyCare) systems.

    On her own webpage, Maura Healey says:

    Maura believes that every resident of our state deserves affordable, high quality health care…. It is critical that we protect patients’ ability to access quality, affordable care while taking steps to drive down costs… She will continue to make access to high quality, affordable health care a top priority for the Attorney General’s Office.

    It’s at least fair, I think, to note that Healy fails to “walk the walk” here by failing to live up to those principles when acting as an employer of her campaign staff.

  13. I apologize (1 Reply)

    For the personal attack.

    But you should know that it comes from a place of real disappointment in your “arguments” on the issue of marijuana policy, particularly in contrast to your usually well-reasoned comments on most other issues.

    Just last month, for example, you offered the following “insights”:

    Doesn’t pot induce laziness and procrastination? Sure such a person might graduate, but the overall message of success is not really compatible.

    Only marijuana seems to have behind it what feels like an ideological compulsion to satisfy our inner hippie.

    I don’t have to inhale fumes from somebody gambling in the room I’m in nor do I have to worry about a gambler driving safely.

    You obviously know quite a bit about the Constitution and public policy. And, generally, your views are progressive with a libertarian bent.

    Yet, you persist with the utterly nonsensical and rapidly shifting arguments against a rational policy of marijuana. A policy of legalization that is supported by the large majority of both progressives *and* libertarians across the country.

    It just frustrates the heck out of me that it’s so difficult to conduct a reasonable debate on marijuana policy in this country. Even with people who are reasonable in so many other debates.

  14. What Are You Talking About? (1 Reply)

    This amendment is about the use of federal monies and has absolutely no First Amendment implications at all. Your ill-informed and emotion-laden opposition to intelligent marijuana public policy is seemingly preventing you from stringing together a coherent argument here. I’ll limit my comment to three sentences that hopefully make more sense than the three sentences you cobbled together in this comment.

  15. Weak Tea (1 Reply)

    These (and the subsequent ideas in your next post) are all good ones. But they are certainly “weak tea” ideas that pick around the edges.

    If I were Dictator, I wouldn’t eliminate the lottery altogether (prohibition doesn’t work) but I’d try at least some of these more radical ideas to reduce the number of people who play and the average amount spent on the lottery:

    1) Eliminate all television, radio and other advertising supporting the lottery. Cut the lottery’s advertising budget dramatically (90% sounds like a good start) allowing them only to “market” their games in-store.

    2) Significantly increase the advertising budget for the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, allowing them to run regular TV and radio ads. Their advertising should focus on compulsive gamblers but should also include “Truth Squad” advertising explaining the poor odds of winning and why playing the lottery is such a bad “investment.”

    3) Eliminate almost all scratch tickets, leaving only a couple $1, $2, and $5 tickets. No $10 or $20 or $30 (the newest) tickets. Remaining scratch tickets would have simple, easy to calculate odds of winning and “game play”. Scratch one panel and it says “Win” or “Lose” and the amount you’ve won or lost. No more “confusing” games that are designed explicitly to mask the absurdly poor odds.

    “The number one way people gamble who call our help line is scratch tickets,” said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling.

  16. That Quote (0 Replies)

    Is pretty well-known and circulated among the pro-gun folks. It’s from this 2012 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm, a leading and well-known “intellectual” gun nut:

    That same quote was used as the “Look Over There” example in this piece about how pro-gun folks misuse the Australian crime statistics:

  17. Agreed II (0 Replies)

    You’re right, fenway 49 (and jconway). Everyone human being deserves respect and I apologize for the unnecessarily harsh tone of my response.

    That said, I stand by the essence of my comment. I, for one, find it simply impossible to take someone seriously as a candidate (for Governor!) who is unable to write/edit better than Mr. Farrell has shown in this diary and on his website.

    He said he “want(s) to know if you would even give me a chance as a real candidate.” My answer to that is no.

  18. With Little Due Respect (1 Reply)

    Your website reveals that you aren’t a serious person or candidate. And that you are either a poor writer and/or are quite lazy about editing even your most public pronouncements.

    This opening paragraph, for example, is riddled with grammatical errors and poorly chosen words/phrases:

    Thank you for visiting our site! I hope that you read this message and check out my website for possible Candidate for Governor. If I decide to run I will run as an independent, I am registered as a Republican voter, however in the political world I don’t agree with all of their sides of certain issues. In Massachusetts politics it is pretty complex and frustrating. As it is in the rest of the country and world, however I am not one who makes promises then turns on them, no I don’t make promises I know I can’t achieve. I will be pulling a political move that is so old and everyone can see through it. I hate politicians that do it, like our current Governor…

    Uh, yeah. Good luck out there.

  19. Wrong Experts (4 Replies)

    The AMA continues to oppose both marijuana legalization and medical marijuana:

    Which is why those who join me in supporting outright legalization, in my opinion, are not particularly well-served in putting all their eggs in the “medical marijuana” basket. The medical/scientific evidence that marijuana is an effective “medicine” is mixed at best and there’s certainly no consensus that it is the best and only alternative in most cases.

    BUT, this is (or at least ought to be) beside the point for those of us who support legalization. Whether marijuana possession and use should be a crime is a *legal* matter. In 1917, the AMA also strongly supported Prohibition stating that alcohol’s “…use in therapeutics as a tonic or stimulant or for food has no scientific value…”. Some doctor’s disagreed and continue to prescribe it’s use even throughout prohibition. Just like alcohol, the use of marijuana as “medicine” is opposed by the AMA itself even as some doctor’s support it’s use.

    That’s why we should turn to the real *legal* experts for their opinion about the *legalization* of marijuana. While many remain reluctant to make legalization a priority these days, the following true *legal* expert organizations support legalization:
    - The American Bar Association
    - The National Lawyers Guild
    - The American Civil Liberties Union

    Lawyers are the real expert here. Not doctors.