Person #1588: 3 Posts

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Uhhh? (1 Reply)

    How about that girlfriend? He’s 80 for Pete’s sake. He should have seen her coming a mile away.

    What are you talking about?

    It sounds an awful lot like you’re suggesting Sterling (his “real name” is whatever he changed it to legally not his given name) was set-up by “that girlfriend.”

    Which sounds an awful lot like complete BS to me.

  9. LOL (3 Replies)

    A new low point for you here, Dan.

    For anyone with half an understanding of government structures, it’s pretty obvious that the U.S. system is much more “conservative” than those in Canada and Western Europe.

    Most strikingly, the very article you cite directly contradicts your supposition that “more conservative leaders” is the reason for the relative difference in middle class incomes. In fact, they cite the following as the major causes of the growing discrepancies between the U.S. and Canada/Europe:

    1) Education: Lessening relative levels of education among the American workforce (hmmm, I wonder if the cost of private higher education has anything to do with that?)

    2) Our lower relative minimum wage.

    3) Our lower relative number of workers represented by labor unions; and

    4) The fact that “governments in Canada and Western Europe take more aggressive steps to raise the take-home pay of low- and middle-income households by redistributing income.”

    For you to cite this development as evidence of the need for *less* progressive policies in the U.S. really is ironically hilarious.

  10. Two Websites At Once (1 Reply)

    Though I agree this hasn’t been the most transparent process, the Globe has indicated their intentions. And it’s certainly not to phase out altogether.

    They have released an “internal” memo about the changes (see e.g.:

    According to that memo, the intent seems to be to keep as essentially a digital version of the newspaper with as its’ own, quasi-independent news operation. From the McGrory memo:

    Third, we’ve begun the tough but critical work this week of further separating and to create a pair of even more distinct and distinctive sites that will live happily and healthily apart. And yes, they’ll even compete with each other. The intention over the next many weeks is to move all Globe-originated content – staff blogs, chats, videos, and more – to, where it can be widely read by a larger audience not hindered by a paywall. This will allow to reflect the full, vibrant, lively personality of this entire room. At the same time, will remain a news site at its core, but with a sharper voice that better captures the sensibilities of Boston. We’ll have a few openings on that we’re looking to fill with more content originators (forgive the parlance), and we’re encouraging all producers to create as well as aggregate more vibrant content. As part of the separation, we’ll relocate the entire enterprise in the media lab, all producers and editors, in a move that is targeted for next week. The redesigned will launch on mobile late this month and on desktop in early April.

  11. Dawkins (1 Reply)

    On the other hand, scientists like Dawkins thinking they’ve disproven God are also annoying-albeit far less influential.

    The atheist/agnostic distinction (semantically) is a dispute for the ages. I know Sagan claimed he was an agnostic and that he hated the term atheist. Me, I prefer atheist to agnostic (in the sense that I don’t know if God exists and that, to me, is enough to be an “atheist” in the absence of any contradictory evidence).

    But, that aside, you’ve really misquoted Dawkins here. Dawkins doesn’t think he’s disproven God at all. In fact, he regularly and eloquently acknowledges that disproving God is impossible. For example:

    We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can’t disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can’t disprove, we can say that God is very very improbable.

  12. Polling (1 Reply)

    I have e little more faith in polling data than jconway or others do here, apparently.

    All the polls show Coakley as the clear frontrunner with Grossman second and the others virtually unknown. See e.g.:

    Yes, yes, it’s early, Yes, yes, this is mostly name recognition. Yes, yes, polling has its limitations in predicting final votes.


  13. So? (2 Replies)

    Your theory is that (thanks to the misinformation spread on this blog), it’s a myth that Coakley is the frontrunner with Grossman a closing second?

    Your theory is that the reality is that Kayyem is the real front runner with Grossman and Berwick fighting for second and Coakley a struggling fourth?

    The pundits and the polls are failing to reflect the real story on the ground?

    That all seems “not especially” likely to me.

  14. I Don't Think So (0 Replies)

    The ‘rat trail’, if proved existent, would frankly be worse than the crimes of Iran-Contra.

    This seems silly to me.

    According to Hersch, “The rat line, authorized in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition.”

    So, if proven, we have a case of the Obama Administration (primarily through the CIA, we’re told) directing a covert operation to funnel weapons to the Syrian rebels. The same rebels that Congress supports.

    Iran-Contra, by contrast, involved much greater separation of powers issues.

    The Reagan administration sold weapons to Iran in direct violation of our national interest and of the official trade embargo. They then funneled the proceeds of those sales to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Congress, with the Boland Amendment, had explicitly and clearly prohibited the Administration from further funding of the Contras.

    I honestly don’t see how you could possibly see the “rat line” as at all worse than Iran-Contra.

  15. Religion (1 Reply)

    Though I’m by no means an expert, it seems to me that religious differences explain the Syrian civil war (and Turkey’s interest) most easily. Money, power, and national security issues are also, as always, in play.

    But, most simply, Assad’s government is Shia Muslim while the rebels are mostly Sunni. Turkey’s government is primarily Sunni and, not surprisingly (?), sides with the rebels.

  16. Seriously (1 Reply)

    And to summarize:

    1) Demeter leads with “I guess they’re friends but” in order to discredit and dismiss what was genuinely a heartfelt, well-reasoned endorsement from the Environmental League of Massachusetts. This is unfair.

    2) Tolman is and always has been a leading progressive voice in Massachusetts. To imply that being a Democratic commentator on Fox 25 (not Fox News as Demeter claimed) is contradictory or somehow hypocritical is absurd. And unfair.

    3) Discussing Tolman’s work for Holland and Knight is fair enough. To rely on an out-of-context quote from the Boston Herald’s Joe Battenfeld as the sole source of “debate” on this topic is ridiculous. And unfair.

    4) The nonsense about how Tolman has run (or, I guess, “toyed with running”) in six races in the last 25 years is just that. Nonsense. And unfair.

    5) Fundamentally unfair is demeter’s characterization of a progressive candidate with a demonstrated record of public service as “someone who been making a lot of money and connections in a corporate law firm while staying in the public eye as a Fox commentator and running for multiple offices.”

  17. Here's Why (0 Replies)

    Pretty baseless attack

    I said I liked Healy and appreciate her work on marriage equality where even the AG (whom I have critiqued on other grounds) did a great job. I simply stated I don’t see this office being visible protecting consumers, the environment, or workers rights. If you could point to cases where she has fought for these things that’s one thing, fighting for marriage equality, while laudable, is wholly unrelated to the environment.

    And bashing Sen. Tolman for ‘losing’ his LG race is unfair since he ran with Harshbarger who lost. Bashing him for appearing on Fox is also unfair since the local affiliate isn’t Fox News and his views stated on those programs are entirely his own and entirely progressive. He authored our clean election law and ran following it’s guidelines. He has passed legislation protecting our environment, advancing gun safety, and cleaning up our politics. He and his brother have actually been union members and walked picket lines I do not doubt their commitment to organized labor.

    Healy may very well share these commitments, but her record achieving victories advancing them is far more limited. I’ll proudly vote
    for her if she wins the nomination, she will make a good AG, but Tolman will make a great one and that’s the difference.

    jconway @ Thu 3 Apr 7:44 PM

  18. Some Evidence That's Changing (1 Reply)

    There does seem to be some recent evidence that those attitudes are changing andquickly. Pew just release a poll from last week showing that a significant majority (61%) of Republicans 18-30 now *support* same-sex marriage. Overall, despite the staunch opposition of older Republicans, a full 39% of Republicans said they favor allowing same-sex couples to marry.

    Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Republicans tend to be even more conservative than nationally (on average). Understandable, given their small numbers in our blue state. Still, polling shows 30% of MA Republicans think same-sex marriage should be legal with 9% not sure. And only 34% say legalizing same-sex marriage has had a negative impact on them (with 61% saying it’s had “no impact at all”).

    With this evidence – and the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee solidly pro-choice and in support of same-sex marriage himself – I think it’s somewhat unfair to suggest it’s truly impossible for Tisei to be hopeful that the majority in his party will support same-sex marriage at some point fairly soon.