Subscribe via email


Monthly Archives


Post Categories

Tag Index

1st Corinthians 1st Peter 1st Timothy 2nd Corinthians 2nd Peter 60 Minutes 1970s A. G. Sertillanges Abby Abortion Absurdity Academia Accordance Adoration Advent Aesthetics Affluence Agenda Aging AIDS Alan Keyes Alasdair MacIntyre Alexander Solzhenitsyn Algebra Al Gore Alienation Alvin Plantinga America American Culture American Enterprise Institute Americanism Amnesty International Anand Giridharadas Andrew Hacker Andrew R. Grainger Andy Rooney Angela Merkel Anglicanism Anthropocentrism Anthropology Anti-Bullying Anti-Christ Anti-clericalism Antigonish AP Apologetics Apostle Thomas Appearances Archangel Raphael Archbishop Charles Chaput Archbishop Harry Flynn Archbishop Sean O'Malley Art Asininity Assassination Athanasius Atheism Audio Books Austria Authority Avery Cardinal Dulles Balkanization Banality Barack Obama Barbara Bellar Barney Frank Beatles Belgium Belief Ben Johnson Berlin Wall Bias Bible Bible.org Bible Explorer Bible in English Bible Software Reviews Bible Translations BibleWorks Bill Cottle Bill O'Reilly Bill Whittle Bishop Robert Morlino Bitterclinging Black Friday Blackmail Blessed Sacrament Bloggers Unite Blogging Bloomberg Bobby Jindal Bob Schieffer Bono Book of Tobit Book of Wisdom Books Bosco Peters Boston.com Boston Bruins Boston Globe Boston Pilot Bourgeois Ethics Boyhood Boys Bozo BP Brendan O'Neill Bullying Bureaucracy Burial Cacophony California Campaign Funding Cancer Canon Law Cap 'N Trade Capitalism Car Seats Catechesis Catechism Catherine Lawless Catholic Church Catholic Culture Catholicism Catholic Lane Catholic Schools Causation CBA CBO CBS CCD CEB Celebrity Celebrity Psychopath of the Week Censorship Certain Urgency Charismata Charity Charlie Baker Chattering Class Chernobyl Chicanery Children Children & Media China Chris Christie Chris Squire Christendom Christian Art Christianity Christina Harms Christmas Chuck Colson Church Citizenship Civics Civility Civilization Civil Rights Civil Unions Clarence Dupnik Clergy Sexual Abuse Close to the Edge CNSNews Coercion Cognitive Dissonance College Culture Comedy Commerce Clause Commonweal Communism Community Commuting Competition Compromise Computing Condoms Confiscatory Taxation Conflict Congregationalism Congress Congressional Powers Conservatism Constantinople Constitutionality Consumerism Contempt Contraception Conversion Coping Cosmology Counterculture Cover Up Creativity Credentialing Credo Cremation Criminality Crisis Magazine Cult Culture Culture Wars Dad Daily Mail Damien of Molokai Dante Darfur Darwinism Dave Bainbridge David B Hart David Brooks David Frum David Linsky David Mills David Thompson Daylight Saving Time DDC Death Debt Deficit Commission Deficit Spending Definitions Dehumanization Democracy Democratic Socialism Democrat Party Department of Education Dependency Der Spiegel Despair Deuteronomy Deval Patrick Development Devotion Dichotomy Disbelief Discernment Discipline Discrimination Disease Disorder Dispensationalism Disrespect Dissent Dissipation Diversity Divinization Do-Goodism Doctor Assisted Suicide Douglas Farrow Dred Scott Drinking Dualism Earth Day Easter Eastern Religion eBooks Ecclesiology Echo Chamber Economic Crisis Economics Ecumenism Ed Markey Ed Morrissey Ed Schultz Education Edward Feser Edward Winslow Egalitarianism Eleanor Clift Election '08 Election '10 Election 2012 Electronic Publishing Elizabeth Scalia Elizabeth Warren Empathy Empiricism England Enlightenment Entertainment Entitlement Entitlements Environmentalism Envy Ephesians Epiphany Episcopacy Episcopal Church Epistemology Equality Equating Eric Holder Eschatology ESV Eternity Ethics Eucharist Eugenics Euphemism Europe European Union Euthanasia Evangelization Evolution Evolutionism Ewald Stadler Experience Experts Extortion Ezekiel Facebook Faith Faith & Reason Faithfulness Fall of Rome Family Fascism Fashion Fast & Furious Fatherhood Fausta Wertz FCC Fear Felix Just Feminism Fidelity First Amendment First Things Folly Forgiveness Founding Fathers Fourth Estate FOX News Frances Titchenor Franciscan University Fraud Fred Baumann Freedom Free Lunch Free Speech Free Will Friendship Funerals G. F. Handel Gabrielle Giffords Gaia Galatians Garage Light Gay Marriage Genesis George Carlin George Orwell George Tiller George W Bush George Weigel Georgia Warnke Gerry Dembrowski Gerush92 Glenn Beck Global Warming Gnosticism God Good Good Friday Good Samaritan Gorecki Gospel Gospel of John Gospel of Luke Gospel of Mark Gospel of Matthew Gospels Gossip Government Grace Graciousness Great Britain Great Entitlement Society Greece Green Movement Grief Guardian Gun Control Gunwalker Handel & Haydn Hannah Arendt Hans Urs von Balthasar Harry Christophers Harry Potter Harry Reid Hating HCSB Health Healthcare Healthcare Reform Heaven Hegel Henri de Lubac Henry E Hudson Heresy Heritage Foundation Hidden Treasure Higher Education Hiroshima History Hitler Holiday Season Holiness Homosex Hope Hospitality HotAir Housing HTML editors Hubris Human Dignity Human Flourishing Humanities Human Nature Human Rights Humility Hypocrisy Hysteria iBreviary Idealism Ideas Identity Ideology Idolatry iEducation Illness Imago Dei Immorality Imperialism Incarnation Incivility Individualism Indulgence Infantilism Insipidity Insurance Intellect Intercession Intergenerational Theft Interiorizing Culture Iona Iowahawk Irony Irresponsibility Isaiah Islam Italy J.E. Dyer J. Gresham Machen Jack Wagner James Pethokoukis James V. Schall Janet Daley Jay Rockefeller Jazz Shaw Jefferson Starship Jeff Jacoby Jeremiah Jesus Christ Jewish Advocate Jews JFK Jill Stein Jimmy Carter Joanne Hogg Joe Biden Joe Carter Joe Scarborough Joe Wilson John Henry Newman John Jalsevac John Kerry John Locke John McCain John Roberts John Sommerville John the Baptist John Ziegler Jonah Jonathan Last Jonathan Sperry Joseph Stalin Journaling Journalism Joy Joyce Judaism Judgment Judgmentalism Judiciary Jurisprudence Justice Just War K-8 Kant Kathryn Lopez Keith Olbermann Ken Cuccinelli Kermit Gosnell Keynesianism Killing King David Kingdom of God KKK Knights of Columbus Knowledge L'Osservatore Romano Labor Laity Language Larceny Law Lazarus Laziness Learning Lectionary Leftism Legacy Legality Lent Leprosy Letter to Hebrews Letter to Romans Leviathan Liberal Education Liberalism Libertarianism Liberty Libraries LibraryThing Libretti Libya Licentiousness Lidwig Feuerbach Lies LifeSiteNews LifeWay Light Light Dawns on Marble Head Limited Government Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Liturgy of the Hours Logos Lordship Love Luciano Storero Lumen Gentium Lying Macintosh Magi Manhattan Declaration Mara Hvistendahl Marcel Guarnizo Marco Rubio Margaret Becker Margaret Marshall Marketing Mark T. Coppenger Marriage Martin Cothran Martin Heidegger Marxism Mary Eberstadt Mary Magdalene Mary Rose Somarriba Massachusetts Massachusetts SJC Massasoit Materalism Maternity Mathematics Matthew Hanley Matt Labash Mattress Girl MaybeToday.org Mayflower Meaning Media Ethics Media Hype Medicaid Medical Ethics Medicare Memory Mercy Methodology Mexico City Policy Michael Hanby Michael Moore Michelle Bachmann Michelle Malkin Mike Pence Milos Forman Miracles Misanthropy Misbehavior Miscenegation Mitch Daniels Mitt Romney Moammar Qaddafi Mockery Modernism Modernity Modern Scholar Mom Moral Doctrine Moral Imbecility Moralism Morality Moral Philosophy Mortimer J Adler Motherhood Mother Teresa Motives Movies MSBA MSM MSNBC Music NAB NABRE Nancy Pelosi Nanny State Naomi Achaefer Riley Nasta & Yulia Natick National Council of Churches National Day of Prayer Nationalism National Review National Socialism Natural Rights Nature NEA Negligence New American Bible New English Translation New Marriage News Product Newsweek New Testament New York Times Niall Ferguson Nigel Farage Nighttime Nihilism Noli me Tangere Nonsense Now Reading NY Times O Antiphons ObamaCare Occam's Razor Occupy OEB Old Testament Olive Tree Ontology Operation Rescue Opinion Ordinary Time Organ Sales Origen Original Sin Orthodoxy Osama bin Laden OWD Paganism Papacy Parables Parenting Partisanship Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry Passion of Christ Pat Caddell Patheos Pathology Patriarchy Paul Erlich Paul Ryan PC Study Bible Pearl of Great Price Pederasty Pedophilia Pentecostalism Permissiveness Perpetual Outrage Perseverance Personhood Pete Jermann Peter Augustine Lawler Peter Kreeft Peter L. Berger Peter Sanchioni Peter Seewald Peter Thiel Phenomenology Philosophical Naturalism Philosophy Pieta Pieties Piety Pilgrims Pink Floyd Planned Parenthood Plato Plenty Plymouth Plantation Poland Political Correctness Political Discourse Political Economy Political Resistance Political Science Pop Culture Criticism Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Leo XIII Pop Music Pornography Postmodernism Poverty Power Pradis Prayer Preaching Priestcraft Priesthood Principles Priorities Prison Fellowship Prisons Privacy Private Schooling Privatization Pro-Lifers Procrastination Producers Progressivism Propaganda Property Property Rights Propheticism Prosperity Prostitution Protestantism Pseudo-Morality Public Discourse Public Order Public Schooling Public Spending Punishment Puritans QotD QuickVerse Racialism Racism Radicalism Rape Rape Culture Rationality Rationing Ravi Zacharias Reading Reality Rebecca Reconciliation Redemptionis Sacramentum Reform Regeneration Regensburg Regulations Relationships Relativism Religion Religiosity Religious Art Religious Dialog Religious Liberty Religious Repression Rent Seeking Repentance Republican Party Rerum Novarum Resomation Responsibility Resurrection Revelation Revolutions Rhetoric Richard Fernandez Richard John Neuhaus Richard Nixon Richard Wright Rick Santorum Rick Wakeman Rick Warren Righteousness Rita L. Marker Robert Barron Robert R. Reilly Robert T. Miller Rock Music Rod Decker Roe v. Wade Roger Vinson Roman Empire Romans Romanticism Romneycare Ronald Reagan Ron Dellums Ross Douthat Rush Limbaugh Ruth Ruth Marcus Ryan Messmore Sacrality Sacramentalism Sacraments Saint Augustine Saint Francis Saint Francis de Sales Saint Ismeria Saint Jerome Saint Maximilian Kolbe Saint Nicholas Saint Paul Saint Paul School Saint Peter Salvation Same-Sex Marriage Sanctification Sanctity Santa Claus Sarah Palin Satisfaction Scandal Scapegoating Schooling Science Scott Brown Scott Harrington SCOTUS Sean Bielat Self Discipline Self Knowledge Sentimentality Sermonizing Sexuality Sexual Revolution ShareThis Sharon Angle Sigmund Freud Sin Singing Slander Slavery Smoking SNAP Social Contract Social Engineering Socialism Socializing Children Social Justice Social Studies Sociology Socrates Solidarity Solutions Sonia Sotomayor Soteriology Soul Southern Poverty Law Center Soviet Union Speeches Speech Police spiked-online Spirituality SSM St. Augustine Church St. Patrick Church Standardization Statism Stem Cells Stephen Kinzer Stephen Prothero Sterilization Stewardship Strange Fire Stress Study Study Bibles Stupidity Subjective Objectivity Subjectivism Subsidiarity Suffering Sunday Readings Supernatural Superstition Symbolism Syncretism Tabernacle Talk Radio Taxation Tax Shelters Teaching TEA Party Technology Ted Kennedy Ted Koppel Temporizing Temptation Terl Bryant Tetragrammaton Thanksgiving The Catholic Thing Theism Theology Theology of the Body Theosis Theotokos Therese of Lisieux The Telegraph TheWeek.com Thinking Thomas Aquinas Thomas F Madden Thomas G. Guarino Thomas Jefferson Tim Cahill Time Timothy Dalrymple Tolerance Tom Coburn Tony Blankley Tony Melchiorri Touchstone Townhall.com Trade-Offs Tradition Training Transcendence Transhumanism Transparency Treasure Trinitarianism Trivia Troy Donockley Truth Tunisia Turkey TV Tyranny U.S. Senate U2 UFOs Unbelief Unintended Consequences Unionism United Church of Christ Unity Universal Declaration of Human Rights Universalim Universities Upon this Rock USA Today USCCB US Congress Usurpation Utilitarianism Utopianism Vatican Vatican II Verbal Engineering Verbum Vice Victimhood Victor David Hanson Violence Virginia Postrel Virtue Vocation Voluntary Insanity Voters Voting Vulgarity w.bloggar W. Norris Clarke Waiting Walk for Life Wall Street Journal Walter Russell Mead War Warren Buffett Washington Post Watergate Wealth webEdit Weekly Standard Wesley J. Smith Western Civilization Wicca Will-to-Power William Callahan Will of God Windows Live Writer Winter Wisdom Witchcraft WordPress Words WORDsearch WORDsearch 5 WORDsearch 7 WORDsearch 8 WORDsearch 9 WORDsearch 10 WORDsearch 11 Work Works Worship WWJD Yes Yom Kippur Youth ZBS Zero-Tolerance ZfEval-Searching Zondervan

Tag Archive: Ed Markey

In Case You Need to Know How to Vote on Tuesday…

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 (9:51 pm), by John W Gillis


The coveted MaybeToday.org Election 2012 endorsements and voting guidelines are here at last. Readers will certainly want to use these statements to inform their own decision-making prior to the upcoming election. For example, any of my neighbors in Precinct 8 of lovely Natick Massachusetts could print out this post and take it with them to the Morse Room in the Morse Institute Library next Tuesday, for use as instructions on precisely how to cast one’s votes (I think that would be legal, but I have to admit I’m not sure – please check with the voting officials before pulling this out at the polls! It might be classifiable as campaign-related material, although I have no involvement with any campaign). Others may find it less directly applicable to them in places, but hopefully still plenty helpful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends – or enemies, I’m not picky – I’m bi-partisan!

For President of the United States: Republican Mitt Romney gets my vote, and my unhesitating endorsement. I admit to starting out this campaign season as a simple anti-Obama voter (sensibly enough, I would hope the reader would admit), but I have grown considerably in my opinion of, and confidence in, Mr. Romney, and I look forward to seeing him inaugurated in January, which I am quite confident will be the outcome of this election. I have been particularly impressed with the graciousness with which he has tolerated the slanderous campaign against him by the Democrats. He has been a model of the idealized leading citizen envisioned by America’s Founding Fathers. Go Mitt!

For U.S. Senator from Massachusetts: incumbent Republican Scott Brown gets my vote, as well as my reluctant endorsement. I’m not a big fan of Scott Brown, but as was also the case when he ran for this seat in the 2010 special election, he represents the only even remotely sane option on the ballot. Of course, this is often the case with Republicans running against Democrats, but challenger Elizabeth Warren truly represents the worst of the Democrat Party. She is a relentless “I’m on the side of the little guy” demagogue who, as a professor at Harvard Community College University, pockets a salary of over $300,000/year for teaching a single course, while calling for the government at all levels to increase tax-supported “funding” to schools in order to make education “more affordable” to the kind of people who do her laundry. At the risk of sounding “sexist” by mentioning her physical appearance, I must say that her startlingly high cheekbones remind me of a legendary American cultural hero I once saw on a $3 bill (I think it was Chief Wild Eagle), but that’s just not enough to convince me she has what it takes to execute an honest political office. Good grief.

For U.S. Representative from the Fifth Massachusetts Congressional District: Framingham Republican Tom Tierney gets my reluctant vote, over perpetual incumbent Ed Malarkey. I would vote against Ed Malarkey purely on account of his idiotic (hence, predictably successful) campaign to double-down on the screwball idea of Daylight Saving Time – a social engineering adjustment that cost businesses billions of dollars in wasteful compliance costs when it was implemented a few years ago, and continues to screw up the works for various information systems today. However, Ed has much more to answer for than that. Tierney, for his part, looks to be almost as bad a candidate as Malarkey. He’s the very definition of a RINO, who I have to assume registers as a Republican only for the chance to (repeatedly) get on the ballot and garner some anti-Malarkey votes. On the other hand, at least he’s had a real job. Nonetheless, he will be trounced once again by party-line voters who have no idea who he is, and that will be no great loss, except as an opportunity to put a genuine alternative to insipid progressivism on the ballot for this important seat.

For Governor’s Councilor, Second District: I will be abstaining, as this Council should simply be abolished.

For Massachusetts State Senator, Second Middlesex & Norfolk District: I will also be abstaining on this choice, as incumbent Democrat Karen Spilka is running unopposed for her fifth term in the Massachusetts Senate. As a rule of thumb, I do not vote for candidates running unopposed, unless I specifically want to encourage them. I have no such desire to encourage Ms. Spilka.

For Massachusetts State Representative for the 5th Middlesex House District: Republican challenger William Callahan of Natick gets my vote, although I’m not sure why, except that he’s not seven-term incumbent, Natick Democrat David Linksy. Linsky isn’t a bad guy, but he’s very much the insider, and he strikes me as too much of a typical liberal: the sort who seem incapable of understanding that there might be actual alternatives to threadworn liberal solutions, habitually dismissive of those who don’t “get it”, where “it” is nothing but the pious orthodoxies of post-modern liberalism. It’s time for David to return full-time to private law practice. As for Callahan, he told a local newspaper that he was running on a “transparency” message, but I’ve found it almost impossible to find out anything about him other than that he’s ex-military (National Guard – retired as a colonel). Whatever. If he’s willing to run and serve, he’s worth a shot.

For Middlesex County Sheriff: Ernesto Petrone gets the nod over Democrat Peter Koutoujian, for no other reason than that Petrone is unaffiliated with any political party, which means that we belong to the same non-party. Let’s face it: one less Democrat occupying a political office in Massachusetts is a step toward establishing a more truly democratic (small-d) political environment in the state.

For Middlesex County Clerk of Courts: Democrat Michael A. Sullivan is running unopposed, and the “No Voting for the Unopposed” rule is to be applied.

For Register of Deeds, Middlesex Southern District: Maria Curtatone is running as an unopposed Democrat, which almost disqualifies her from consideration on two counts right away. But she goes down swinging wildly on strike three, when the 48 year-old identifies herself in a biographical sketch provided to e-the-People as “the proud parent” of two children. This smacks very clearly of the fashionable, transgressive, “post-gender” pieties that are coursing through the atrophied veins of the Democrat party and other lodes of progressive group-think these days. Any woman who has neither the sense nor the decency to identify her relation to her children as “mother” should be kept out of public positions of influence, as far as I’m concerned.

On QUESTION 1 – Right to Repair: I am advocating a NO vote on this question, seeing as compromise legislation has been worked out and signed into law since this question went on the ballot – otherwise, I would have supported this effort. The compromise agreement should be honored.

On QUESTION 2 – Legalizing “Doctor Assisted Suicide”: NO. This is such bad law that it is hard to know where to start in criticizing it. The sick, the despairing, and the dying do not need to be told that it is time for them to put themselves out of our misery. The medical profession is already fatally compromised by its embrace of abortion, but this would further erode the premise of its existence. Suicide is a tragedy, and those who destroy themselves – and mark my words: suicide destroys the self, not the evil circumstances of pain, suffering, and whatnot – they have absolutely no idea of what the personal consequences of such a self-repudiation are. I imagine they suppose it “ends it all”, but that would require that the human being be purely material, having no spirit (i.e. intellect and will). That is a dubious assumption, to say the least, and you cannot make the spirit to be as if it never was, simply by killing the body. This is beyond foolishness; the worst sufferings are spiritual, and everybody with a shred of honesty and self-awareness knows it. Why is it that, just when the human race finally has the technology to effectively ameliorate so much of the pain and suffering that have long defined the descent into death for the ill, it has suddenly become fashionable and “compassionate” to promote self-obliteration on account of the fear of pain and suffering? I smell a rat.

On QUESTION 3 – Medical Use of Marijuana: NO. That this is nothing more than a Trojan Horse should be fairly evident to everyone eligible to vote on Tuesday, unless they’re stoned. The War on Drugs might be a disaster, but marijuana’s War on Intelligence is no suitable replacement.

2010 Midterms: The End, At Last

Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 (10:01 pm), by John W Gillis


So, the 2010 election campaign comes mercifully to a close. Not that the 2012 cycle doesn’t start in the morning, but I’ll still feel something of a respite – at least for a while. When I voted at 7:20 this morning, I was the 42nd person in my precinct to cast a ballot. That’s a pretty good clip compared to other times I’ve voted early (admittedly, I’ve usually voted after work, so I’m using a small sample). There was, however, no line.

I tried to tune it all out over the past week or so, despite being a pretty highly motivated person politically. I’m just glad I don’t have to listen to Charlie Baker’s 30-second stump speech anymore. Maybe the mists of time are fogging my memory, but I can’t remember an election year in which so much wind was exhaled saying so little. Other than the attack ads, that is. My nine-year old can recite the smears; I guess she thinks this is how politics works. There has to be a better way.

My take on the candidates for significant offices on my ballot:

Despite being sick of his stump-speech stock answer to every question he’s been asked for months, I give Charlie Baker credit for proposing real, concrete spending changes – something he did very early, and no other serious candidate in the race ever countered. It’s been hard not to notice that the non-politician in the group has been displaying all the political courage. He’s been firmly committed to spending cuts to meet the constitutional mandate for a balanced budget, over against economy-suffocating tax increases, yet without sinking into politically expedient antiestablilshmentarianism and anti-tax fundamentalism . He’s made a high priority of regulatory reform to make the state more business-friendly. It’s clear to me that he has the right mix of policy and personal ability to make state government work from a fiscal perspective, and that’s a good thing, and Charlie Baker got my vote this morning. But he was not an effective campaigner, and I hope the policy and principle alignment that has been propelling the enthusiasm in the country this political season is broadly enough expressed at the polls at home today to overcome Baker’s lack of appeal to the less motivated. Rumored big turnouts bode well for him.

If Baker doesn’t win, it will be largely because sitting Governor Deval Patrick managed to spin campaign gold out of administrative straw. When Patrick ran four years ago, I deeply disliked him as a candidate, and saw him as nothing more than a con man. A string of bumbling gaffes at the beginning of his administration did nothing to improve my opinion of him. I still don’t like his policies, but I’ve grown rather fond of him as a public figure. He completely outclassed his opponents during the campaign – especially during the so-called debates, where he clearly excelled. But he’s wrong on just about everything. He’s wrong on how to help the poor, he’s wrong on how to help the immigrant community, he’s wrong on how to help kids achieve in school, he’s wrong on how to control costs in health care, he’s wrong on how to balance the budget, and he’s wrong on what the citizens of Massachusetts need from state government. I hope this kind, charming, and naive man is out of work in January – he’ll be at the back of a mighty long line if he is, and his own short-sightedness has already contributed to the length of it.

Tim Cahill’s candidacy never held too much appeal for me, despite Tim saying all the right things about fiscal conservatism and prudence, and (at least temporarily) working outside the stultifying two-party system – and besides him being a much more likable guy than Baker. Cahill’s ship hit the rocks for me back in the Spring, when Natick took a bond vote to finance a new high school through the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority). Cahill’s major campaign talking point has been around how he, as Treasurer, has reduced the cost of building schools by managing state funding for school projects with the MSBA. He is right, to a point. Somewhere on my laptop, I have a draft of a long post examining how the MSBA has affected the school building economy in Massachusetts. I put it aside to do additional research – which never materialized – because I wanted to be as fair as I could be in my representation of it, but let’s just say that, having been on the taxpayer end of one of these projects, I’ve come to take what is a rather more complex view of the program’s worth than Mr. Cahill seems to take. While debt service costs are down considerably, and gold-plating in school building projects has been all but eliminated, the program itself creates a classic example of the government spending trough problem, with citizens literally competing for “free” money that will be paid for by being taken out of their pockets by compulsion before being returned to them “for free.” The economic incentives created by this program are to grab and spend as much of everyone else’s money as possible, before somebody else spends yours. If this is what you call fiscal conservatism, Mr. Cahill, you may want to go back to the Democrat party.

I don’t have much to say about Jill Stein except: Yikes. It’s not unusual for major-party candidates to say very little of substance during a campaign – they’re often primarily concerned with not offending any potential constituency. But a fringe candidate really has to have something to offer, and other than the requisite Green Party drivel about “green jobs” (little more than a euphemism for government subsidies for otherwise non-economically viable industries with public sector connections), and an oft-repeated overture to “educating the whole child” (whatever that means), this woman didn’t appear to have anything to say. She did knock Patrick for what she characterized as sweetheart deal tax breaks, but he properly rebuked for for failing to understand the importance of incentivizing job-providing employers to establish and maintain a presence in the state. The state should be competing for businesses, not competing against them by subsidizing bogus ventures, no matter how trendy they are in the academy.

For US Congress, I’m in the MA-7 district, which unfortunately will undoubtedly continue to be represented by “Malarkey Ed” Markey: the epitome of the lifetime politician, and everything that the ideal citizen-legislator is not. I envy folks in other parts of the state who had decent opposition candidates to vote for today. I was stuck with Woburn’s Dr. Gerry Dembrowski, and although I voted for him out of anti-leftist principle, I’d probably feel a bit guilty if he actually somehow pulls this off. I had a hard time finding much out about Dembrowski beyond the marketing pages on his web site, and when I finally tracked down a video of him in a “debate” with Markey on a local TV station, I was appalled at how childishly he acted: sneering at Markey, and taunting him like a junior high school bully. Markey didn’t seem to have any idea what to do with the guy, and I suppose his best bet was to just ignore him: that would be more than justifiable. I imagine it would be pretty hard to get anything accomplished in Congress if your strongest skill was mockery. Perhaps you could make it as a talk show host, but not as a congressman. Oh well, there’s always 2012!

EPT (Eastern Pretend Time)

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 (11:03 pm), by John W Gillis


So begins what is perhaps the toughest week of the year for me. The annual screwing up of the clocks began yesterday, and if history is any teacher, it will take me a week or so to regain my equilibrium. Until then, I pay the price. And I’m not the only one: my early-morning-bird daughter Rebecca did notRebecca, wide awake get out of bed until 9:00 (pretend time) this morning, having become obviously discombobulated over the weekend (and not being able to get to sleep until after 10:00 PM last night). In either a stroke of good luck or of insightful planning, her school had no session today, in order to hold a staff development day, so she was able to sleep in.

There has always been something inherently absurd in this collective pretending that it is a different time than it actually is, but the practice took on Markeyesque inanity a few years ago, when pretend time was extended in duration in the U.S. – not long, I might add, after parts of the rest of the world adopted the silliness. The cost in IT conformance of this clever boondoggle was ridiculous – and many systems still don’t work right for a few weeks. But, now the beginning of this formerly springtime ritual has been pushed back into the last couple weeks of winter – and hence into Lent.

I guess it was four years ago when I decided to make a Lenten commitment to attending Mass daily. My parish was offering an early-morning Mass at 6:30 AM for the season during the work week, and it seemed like a good discipline. I was completely exhausted by the end of Lent, but I soon missed daily Mass so much that I figured out a more sustainable means of participating regularly, and have gratefully done so ever since. But I’d also volunteered to read one morning each week during that 2006 Lenten season, and now I continue to be asked each year to read, though I otherwise rarely attend the early Mass now. I’m reading on Thursdays this year. So when Thursday morning comes around this week, at 6:30 Pretend Time (5:30 AM, in reality), I will ascend the two short steps toward the altar, and approach the ambo to proclaim the Word… if I can see straight. I’ll need toothpicks to keep my eyelids open on my homeward commute, twelve hours or so later.

I can understand why lots of people like to get up earlier in the summertime to get their work done early, so they can relax in the late daylight. But why do we need to collectively agree to pretend it’s actually later than it really is when we do so? And why do we need the government essentially forcing it on us – especially in the winter (as if it really matters what time of year it is when the government decides that it’s not what time of day it is).

I understand that any attempt to fit time into a taxonomy is an exercise in practicality that necessarily involves some level of hubris, but the traditional division of the day – even including the timezone concept – reflects a pragmatism of cooperation, a kind of common framework or language that allows people to understand each other. Daylight Saving Time, by contrast, reflects not a pragmatism of cooperation, but a manipulative capitalization on the dependence such cooperation has created across society. It’s an abuse of the taxonomy of time. I really think people can work out their own schedules – whether individually or in groups – without Congress declaring that Noontime will henceforth and until further notice occur at precisely one hour past Noon.