Yesterday I spent the day in Leominster Massachusetts birthplace of Johnny Appleseed for their annual Johnny Appleseed fair manning the WQPH 89.3 FM Queen of Perpetual Help Shirley Fitchburg booth promoting Catholic radio for people and praying decades of the rosary on the spot for people’s intentions both online and in person.

At the festival I did a few interviews for WQPH. We talked to Adam Webber of the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network which provides help for homeless families.

If you want to donate to MIHN their website is here.

I also spoke to Brother Alexis who while from Fitchburg has spent the last 2 1/2 decades in Italy.

I’d also like to thank him for joining me in many of the rosary decades that I prayed for others.

Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: Which is another way of saying no one is.

The Incredibles 2004

Last Sunday when I woke up after getting home from Denver I turned on the TV as I got dressed for the Madonna Della Cava festival and noticed a commercial playing attacking Charter Schools and question 2 which began with the words.

“400 million dollars, that’s how much charter schools will drain from Massachusetts public schools this year”

Under normal circumstances this would be more background political noise that I would ignore but I had just come back from the Amplify choice conference put on by the Franklin Center where we spent a day and a half listening to speakers talk about Charter Schools both in Denver and across the nation.

And having attended said conference I knew that best the “Save our schools” crowd was being deceptive and at worst they were lying through their teeth because that statement ignores a cogent fact about charter schools…

Charter schools are public schools.

That would seem to be a rather important fact for that argument but an ad saying: “400 million dollars, that’s how much money will be spent on some public schools instead of others this year”  is unlikely to scare voters.

From that point the ad argument doesn’t get better.

400 million syphoned from local districts that desperately need it.

Except for the fact the Charter Schools are still part of the school districts that they are located in.

400 million that won’t fund more science and technology…

Actually the 400 million will just fund science and technology at a different school as anyone who joined me in visiting the Denver School of Science and Technology last week would know and met Sheila…

…and some of her classmates

The three wise young women
The three wise young women

…would see that science would not suffer, it will prosper.

arts or preschool, counseling or smaller class sizes

In fact charter that money would not only fund smaller class sizes which are the norm at charter schools but would fund them for groups that traditionally don’t get them as this enrollment chart shows:

In fact the STRIVE charter schools in Denver enrollment is 97% of color reflecting the neighborhoods they operate in.

$400 million unavailable to the 96% of students who don’t attend charter schools

That sentence is funny , it would be just as accurate to say to describe the $1.013 billion budgeted to the Boston Public schools as….

$1.013 Billion dollars unavailable to students who don’t attend Boston public schools”

…which again isn’t going to scare anyone.

The “save our schools” ads when they finish with

“Let’s improve public schools for all students, not just a select few.”

Forgetting for a second that by this argument your public school should not get a new lab because said lab is not for all public school students, just for the select few that go to it. It ignores that fact that the rising tide of Charter schools tends to lift all boats as evidenced by the results in Denver before expansion of charter schoolsDenver mid 2000'sand after
denver after

What is this ad actually arguing? It’s arguing to keep schools that are failing from having to compete with schools that are not, and it’s counting on the fact that most of the people seeing this ad, did not attend the Franklin Center #amplifychoice event this year.

Or to put it another way this “save our schools” ad is completely dependent on its audience being uneducated and uninformed about the results charter schools bring to protect failing public schools

Rather ironic isn’t it?

If you want to find out more about charter schools check out the #amplifychoice hashtag here or check out these posts at DaTechGuyblog:

Denver Day Two The Zoo and then Six #AmplifyChoice Conference Interviews

Denver Day Three Part 1: Panels and speakers

Denver Day Three Part 2: Da Writers at #AmplifyChoice

Denver Day Four Part 1: #AmplifyChoice on the Road


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also this is week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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At Pintastic NE 2016 There were some big names in Pinball one of them is Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball

That’s Dr. Rick Lewis of the silverball Pinball Museum with him.

This is his Wizard of Oz game in play

and here are the guts

The Charity Project Pinball that places machines in children’s hospital around the nation returned

And there were plenty of individual players like Howie

and Mike

But it wasn’t just individual players, there was also associations like the Southern New Hampshire Pinball Club.

If I had a few extra bucks and more time I’d have joined on the spot

And there were plenty of parents and children there which is why Maggie the Clown, Lee Lee and Jane were there

But in end the real stars are the volunteers and organizers who brought plenty of their own machines for people to play for hours on end at their own expense, helped keep them running and full of credits for all three days and then after many days that ended at 3 AM had to get up early on Sunday to pack up their machines to take home.

So give a bow to Gabe who goes through so much for all of us to have a great time.

Today I saw the Market Basket Movie food fight, several thought:

  1. The Movie focused a lot on the distribution crew, which makes sense, they took the biggest risks and without their willingness to take the big hit, none of this stuff works.
  2. The film talked a bit about the June vs December business, thoughts to the contrary I do believe that Arthur S would have won if he made his move in the Winter not only because it would have squeezed the workers harder but it would have meant there would have been no pressure on Pols to move.

  3. Some of the strategies of the work slowdown were simply brilliant and simply involved applying the skills the management team already had. It also pointed to the power of social media

  4. Seeing Maggie Hassan on the screen talking about the layoffs that prompts the pols to get involved was greatly frustrating to me as it reminded me of the missed opportunity of the GOP to get behind these people in a work action that was basically Pro-capitalism

  5. The movie didn’t touch at all on the attempts of the unions to get involved and unionize the workers and the employees decision to tell them to get stuffed. That is a significant part of the story and its exclusion needs an explanation.

  6. The willingness of customers to boycott really did a lot to win the day, it’s shows what a difference customer choice makes.

  7. Finally the single most important point of the movie is the Market Basket culture, it’s of hard word and dedication rather than entitlement. That culture is why they won, why they recovered and is the thing to celebrate.

On the way out of the picture I interviewed one of the people who saw it with me

The one odd thing to me was opening at 1:20 PM. It means that any Market Basket worker on 1st shift or 2nd shift couldn’t go to see it.

Today in Fitchburg the Market Basket story which I wrote about extensively comes to the silver screen in the movie Foodfight Inside the Battle for Market Basket:

Food Fight Trailer from Jay Childs/ JBC Communications on Vimeo.

That the GOP didn’t jump on this labor event, which was a pro-capitalism one, was a missed opportunity of epic proportions.

by baldilocks

Right, duty, whatever one wants to call it, I voted today in the California Primary Election. No Party Preference, crossover ballot—Republican. Who did I vote for? Ted Cruz. I figured that readers would want to know.

I first registered as a Republican immediately after the 2000 General Election in which I voted for a Republican picardelectionmemecandidate for president for the first time. This was after a decade-long exploration of the two major political parties and paying closer attention to current events than I had done before that period. Back then, I remained a registered as a Democrat on purpose until after I voted in order to send a tiny message to the party whose principles bore no resemblance to my own. Sixteen years later, the circumstances are similar: this was my first vote as an independent. We’ll see what happens next.


One of my real-life friends tells me that Hillary and Bill Clinton are in town, holding a rally a quick bus ride from my apartment, among other places in LA.

Hillary Clinton is holding multiple campaign events across Southern California on Monday, the eve of the California presidential primary.

Clinton attended a “Get out the Vote” rally at La Fachada Plaza Mexico in Lynwood. Then, she headed to Leimert Park Village Plaza for another rally, followed by an event at Long Beach Community College. The former secretary of state will then head to the Greek Theatre for a concert later in the evening.

The concert will feature singers Christina Aguilera, John Legend and Stevie Wonder.

Clinton has reached the number of delegates and superdelegates needed to win the Democratic nomination, according to an Associated Press survey of delegates.

I get my hair trimmed at a shop about two blocks from Leimert Park and was considering going for a clean-up cut today. Glad I found out about the Clinton event beforehand. Traffic makes me nuts—even when I’m not driving. So do Leftists.

Oh, have I mentioned that my hair is about an inch long? Not so baldilocks anymore. A lot grayer, though.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

A week ago DaWife and I went to the Leominster Knights of Columbus for a fundraiser for a charity called Cameron’s crusaders
camerons crusaders 004

In additional to the meal and the band there were various items to be auctioned off.

camerons crusaders 005

The Charity supports families of sick kids helping to cover the incidental expenses of Hospital trips from gas to meals. I spoke the organizers of the event:

If you went to see the movie Miracles from Heaven you’ll get the idea of what kind of things they’re talking about.

Their website is here. They’re worth your support.

Haven’t done an “Under the Fedora” piece for a while so here goes.

The Difference between a national story and a local story is illustrated in Minneapolis:

A woman was sexually assaulted by a group of four men and a teenager while walking along a south Minneapolis street Saturday evening, according to a safety advisory issued by Minneapolis police.

The victim was walking in the Lyndale neighborhood around 9 p.m. when a car full of men called her over to their vehicle. They spoke briefly and she continued walking, police said.

A short time later, the five men returned and approached her on foot. They forced the woman to go to an area near 32nd Street and Blaisdell Avenue S., where they sexually assaulted her, police said.

Now this is definitely a local story and not a national one, why because of this sentence

Police released the following descriptions for the five, all identified as Somalis, with dark complexions.

Yup nothing to see here USA move along.

Over at Stacy McCain’s site there is a story about another alleged rape:

Nor are people thinking about what they are doing in the real world in an age where everybody’s cellphone has a video camera, where anything a guy does in his dating relationships may become the subject of an online rant by an angry ex-girlfriend, where a guy meets a girl at a party and has what seems to him a consensual hookup only to discover, nearly two years later, that she’s telling the world that he’s a rapist.

Rosie’s account of that night is a classic “he-said/she-said” situation. Her story of that (allegedly) “horrific” June 2014 encounter seems entirely plausible, and Jason Lee Weight’s (alleged) behavior is indefensible. Rosie says she filed a report with police “a long time after” this encounter, but a lack of evidence made prosecution impossible.

But his main point is more cultural in terms of a warning to young men who do their thinking below the waist.

What you need me for is to explain the meaning of “crazy.” If a guy meets a girl at a party, how does he know if she’s crazy? Well, if he says “let’s go back to my place” and she says “yes,” that’s probably a sign she’s crazy. No sane girl would say yes to such an invitation. The dude might have herpes. He might be a rapist.

She barely knows this guy and she’s leaving the party with him? Crazy. Then she goes back to his place, goes to his bedroom, takes off all her clothes and thinks he’s not going to have sex with her? Crazy.

This is what I’ve explained to my sons. There is a direct correlation between (a) a woman’s willingness to engage in casual sex, and (b) a woman being crazy. As a general rule, the quicker she drops her pants, the crazier she is. Every guy is prone to believe that his own personal charm suffices to explain why this woman he just met is willing to leave the party with him for a quick hookup. “He shoots! He scores!”

Yeah, he’s a natural-born winner. The ladies can’t resist him.

That’s what he’s telling himself anyway, as he blazes past the flashing yellow lights and warning signs: “CAUTION: CRAZY WOMAN.”

The Greeks called it hubris, this arrogance that leads a man to destruction.

My father’s “if she’s good enough to sleep with, she’s good enough to marry.”

Speaking of this topic yesterday I attended one of the national rallies to defund planned parenthood  parenthood,  and for the first time in Fitchburg we had a number of counter protesters, mostly Bernie Sanders fans, who had signs calling for free condoms etc.

As a pair of them were leaving, both college age women they passed by me closes and shouted how they would be having a ton of abortions.

It occurs to me that these are the woman that the Pump and Dump crowd that Stacy McCain has referred to are counting on and in a very few years we might see one of them on feminist tumbler making the same charges that Rosie did.

As I said many years ago:

In short men.  It’s been a long fight but the sexual revolution is over…

….We WON!

While our friends on the left insist that men not have to pay a price to enjoy the favors of a woman, there are some thing that they believe deserve swift punishment:

Ciccotta first encountered trouble at Bucknell when, as president of the College Republicans, he invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus.

The visit from Yiannopoulos, whose tour of US campuses has caused easily-offended leftwing students to organize therapy sessions in his wake, led to panic from Bucknell administrators and faculty, who organized a range of bizarre restrictions on the event.

The college Republicans were prohibited from filming the talk, and students were not allowed to ask Milo any questions verbally — they had to be scribbled on the back of index cards. Yiannopoulos was also prohibited from speaking to students one-on-one after the event and was escorted out of the building by campus officials as soon as his talk concluded.

After organizing the event, Ciccotta faced a backlash from Bucknell’s faculty. After suggesting, in a private meeting, that the event with Milo had been Bucknell’s “best ever,” he was told by the college’s Student Media Advisor that his attitude would “isolate” the people who worked under him at the college’s radio station.

He was later threatened with having his position as host of a political talk show on campus taken away over an alleged “conflict of interest.”

After all there is nothing worse than being a conservative.

There are very few things less surprising than conservatives being punished on campus for being conservative, this is one of them via the lonely conservative:

Good grief, thanks to Obamacare health insurance rates have been skyrocketing for years. Instead of leveling out, it’s only going to get worse. That’s coming from the woman who helped the implement the train wreck.

ObamaCare rates will skyrocket next year, according to its former chief. Enrollment is tumbling this year. And a big insurer is quitting most exchanges. That’s what we learned in just the past few days.

Marilyn Tavenner, CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, revealed that she expects ObamaCare premium hikes “to be higher than we saw previous years,” including last year, which saw double-digit rate increases across the country.

and here is another via Instapundit and Weasel zippers

Gotta love leftist hypocrisy.

Via Investors:

Labor Markets: Hundreds of employees at the University of California at Berkeley are getting schooled in basic economics, as the $15 minimum wage just cost them their jobs. Too bad liberal elites “fighting for $15” don’t get it.

A week after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s $15 minimum wage boost into law, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees announcing that 500 jobs were getting cut.

Glenn uses he word:  Unexpectedly here I suspect that the same could be used to suggest that most of the leaders of those pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage have positions that will never be lost because of the wage hike.

People have accused Curt Schilling of many things but there is one change that he have convicted himself out of his own mouth affairaphobic!

Speaking to Bannon, Schilling said, “I’m not transphobic, I’m not homophobic.” He added, “As long as you’re not sleeping with my wife, I don’t care who you sleep with.”

How DARE Curt Schilling advocating restricting the sexual freedom of people to exclude the choice of having sex with his wife on the trivial grounds that he’s married to her?  But I’m not worried in a few years will have laws on the books that will protect the rights of people who wish to have sex with people outside of their marriage from financial penalties from angry spouses and anyone who things otherwise will be branded as a bigot by the media.

Finally there is an interesting debate at PJ Media concerning a parent who took her kids to Dairy Queen and then immediately threw away her kids ice cream when they failed to thank the person who gave it to them.

I think it’s the mother’s call here but I guarantee you there is a near 0% chance that they will neglect to say “Thank you” on their next ice cream run.

This was kinda fun, maybe we’ll do it again next week.

A couple of weeks ago I got out of work early so I headed to Denny’s to get a bite to eat.

It was dead empty but I met a young man named Adam who waited on my table.

We talked a bit about his life and his attempt to do his best to support his young son.

During our conversation it turned out that he is a member of a Christian Rock Band named Skidbone out of Leominster ma.

One of the hardest things to do is to make it as a small band but as friend Jerry Wilson will tell you Christian Rock is a genre that is growing.

Here is a sample of their music

I’m not a judge of music but they managed to win the best EP rock at theakademia.com

Now if you like what you hear and want more of it, they are on facebook here and twitter here. You can get their music at here , here, here here and here.

And of course there is Amazon.com if you want to give me a cut of the sale.

Once you become a father, no matter what your age, if you choose to be a man, you no longer live for yourself, I wish the best of luck to Adam in his attempt to earn the support for son both by his job at Denny’s and by the band.

Unless you are in Leominster overnights you can’t help out with the first, but if you like the music you hear you can certainly pitch in on the 2nd.

Sheriff-Lew-Evangelidis-Dean-Tran-Charlie-Baker-and-friend
Sheriff-Lew-Evangelidis-Dean-Tran-Charlie-Baker-and-friend
Saturday Governor Charlie Baker spent the Day in Fitchburg Massachusetts stumping with longtime City Councilor Dean Tran who is running against even longer time city Councillor Steven Hay for the State Rep seat vacated by newly elected mayor Steve DiNatale.

The final stop on the governor’s trip where he would speak for Dean and meet voters was Destare gov 2 002 a small nightclub/bar at the corner of main and Cushing street where believe it or not 30 years ago at the ripe old age of 23 I opened a comic book/hobby shop which is now their downstairs storeroom.

Fitchburg didn’t have the reputation it does now but it seemed like every other month till I moved it my shop was broken into and robbed, so I asked the Owner if he had any trouble since opening up several years ago. He said quite the opposite he had seen no trouble at all which, along with good food, good drink and excellent wi-fi speed explains his success.

I arrived around 1 PM and set up laptop and mike where I would record the first two segments of DaTechGuy off DaRadio podcast (available by clicking the fedora in the corner or emailed directly if you subscribe). Within a few minutes sign holder for Dean Tran led by the indomitable Mary Lotze formerly of the Twin city Tea party and now head of the Fitchburg Republican Committee.gov 2 001

As time passed the number of sign holders grew outside while the club started to fill up. About 20 minutes before the governor arrived I noticed a group of well dressed men sitting by the window. It tuned out they were from a protestant church in the Cleghorn part of town which once housed the large French Canadian population who came down from Canada to work the now shuttered factories that once dominated Fitchburg when it was a hub of manufacturing from shoes to Machine Guns, but is now one of two sections of down where the Spanish population is concentrated. Minister George Rodriguez consented to an interview:

Alas the lith ion battery in my primary camera choose at the end of that interview to die o I switched to my broken (no stills, no zoom) but still functioning emergency backup camera for the rest of the day. I used that to record this interview with Ed Vargus who was in attendance promoting his program to get kids off the street using skateboarding which I recorded later in the day

but include here because it fits with the Minister’s talk about getting involved with the community.

Fifteen minutes after the interview with the Minister the Governor arrived.

The governor was accompanied by his wife and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis one of the most popular elected republicans in the area and one of the few actually taller than Charlie Baker. Despite the recent squabbles concerning the state committee (more on that here) he warmly greeted, and was warmly greeted by, those standing out.

When the Governor and the Sheriff came in they worked the crowd greeting and talking to people who attended. It’s worth nothing that they gave time to the attendees rather than simply making perfunctorily statements.and shaking hands which is one of the reasons for his popularity.

After about 15 minutes of that the guests of honor took the stage, first the Sheriff, then the Governor and then Counselor Tran who was the object of today’s exercise.

The Sheriff emphasized in his speech public safety without which none of the other things that make a city great can be achieved and his work with Counselor Tran on that subject. The Governor stressed his own beginnings as a selectman where everybody knows where you live an knows when you’ve voted a way they dislike and let you know about it and talked of how Dean’s background would be of great use as a representative. When Counselor Tran took the stage he talked about bread and butter issues but two things stood out to me.

When talking about jobs he stressed how jobs in Fitchburg meant families could stay in Fitchburg echoing the Chris Christie “Grandparents” speech which in my opinion should be a staple of any GOP speech on fiscal responsibility.

But what really stood out to me was his American Dream story by which he could come from a 3rd world country, come to America, succeed at business, be the first minority counselor in Fitchburg and then run for state office with the endorsement of the most popular governor in the Entire United States.

There was some jocularity as well. Dean is of short stature and both the Governor and the Sheriff tower over him and there was some good natured ribbing along those lines but in terms of public service they all stand tall together.

I had hoped to ask the governor a few questions about his popularity (Is it a function of the no drama, get things done work ethic, the possibility of him being considered for a national ticket, an his efforts to slowly increase the number of elected republicans to at least get enough to sustain a veto in one house but Gov Baker took no questions and frankly didn’t give me a first look. Sheriff Lew was friendly but noting another commitment that he had to attend apologized leaving right after the speech. I had better luck with Counselor Tran himself.

.

I have a long memory , when we were fighting Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg Counselor Tran was sympathetic to use while his opponent was whole hog for Planned Parenthood so there is no question where my vote is going on Tuesday.

One oddity. This special election is the day of the Massachusetts primary (Supertuesday) so one might think the increased turnout and the Trump phenom would help Counselor Tran but it’s also worth noting that there are separate ballots for the presidential primary and the local election so it’s unclear how if at all, that will affect the outcome. This came out in my conversation with Mary Lotze in a segment which I recorded as part of my Podcast and include here

As I said before It’s a good sign that the governor is stumping for a social conservative despite the State committee kerfuffle it remains to be seen if he, the sheriff, the LT Gov (who attended an earlier event that I was unavailable to cover) and the increased turnout will be enough to give us our first GOP state rep out of Fitchburg in a while.

That dear voters is up to you.

*************************************************************************

For the first times since I lost my job an Stacy McCain lost his Twitter right we’ve had a setback in our quest for $61 to make a living back here at the blog. Yesterday DaTipJar was completely and utterly silent. So as we find ourselves seeking a new $61 today our deficit for the year climbs back to 21 days and $1335 dollars.

In fairness my email blast went out late do to covering the Governor (post later today) an helping my son move so I didn’t spend the day promoting the blog, furthermore it was saturday and I suspect that our traffic consisted of our core readers who take a peek before going an enjoying the weekend.

yet if less than 1% of yesterday’s readers kicked in $15 each we would have made out goal for the day with ease.

Again I say to those who have kicked in thank you so much, for those who can’t afford it, don’t worry about it but I do ask you to promote the site.

To those both able and inclined I’d really appreciate it if you’d help us close that gap by hitting DaTipJar.




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A few days ago when writing about Charlie Baker’s attempts to eliminate conservatives from the Massachusetts Republican Committee and noted that his mailer on the GOP state committee didn’t mention the special election for State Rep on the same day where the GOP has a chance to pick up a seat with a strong pro-life republican Dean Tran facing Planned Parenthood supported Steven Hay.

Tonight I got the following email

Hi Members and Friends,
 
I know that many of you do not go on facebook, so I am sharing this information on this message.
 
Governor Charlie Baker will be in Fitchburg at 2:00pm at Destare, 320 Main Street this coming Saturday, February 27 to spearhead a rally for Dean Tran for State Representative.  This is one of the Fitchburg events that Charlie will be involved in with Dean Tran.  They will tour Fitchburg, visit Dean’s campaign headquarters and go to Destare for an enthusiastic rally in support of Dean.
 
I will keep you posted as I hear additional information and changes in the event.
 
Hope to see many friends on Saturday!!

As you might guess I’m very pleased to see this and it suggests that moves in the state committee notwithstanding he is willing to spend political capital to try to elect Republicans statewide, even social conservatives, after all the Governor of a state is a defacto leader of all the members of his party no matter where in that party a member is.

It’s of course going to take more than one special election to remove the veto proof majority in either house of the Massachusetts General Court but one must begin at the beginning and if we see these trips repeated in November than Charlie Baker will have done more for conservatism in Massachusetts than any governor in the state for generations.

At the very least it suggest that while he might have supported Chris Christie for president he isn’t going to repeat his mistakes as governor.

Yesterday was election day and there are several stories to tell.

On the local level Steve Dinatale left the Massachusetts State Legislature to run for mayor of fitchburg and his choice was rewarded with 74% of the vote in a city that has not been shy about voting for republicans like Scott Brown.

I hope Dinatale stays in the Mayor’s office a while, he’s a sensible fellow who will do a good job plus any attempt to advance further in state government would require a choice between his Catholic faith and the Democrat party and I suspect that choice is the reason why the city will get the benefit rather than the entire state.

Their loss is our gain.

Andrew Couture is a good guy and I think he should consider running for city council.

In Kentucky in a race Democrats were expected to win Matt Bevin, Mitch McConnell’s favorite punching bag was expected to lose and the media already had their narrative written

Bevin, who polls show is trailing by a small margin, appears on the verge of joining the list of tea party-aligned candidates whom establishment operatives will blame for years to come for losing a winnable race. Like other Republicans damaged by the party’s Obama-era civil war, Bevin took untenable positions in the primary that Democrats have turned against him in the general. And the Republican businessman’s strategy and decisions throughout the campaign have baffled longtime political observers.

As you can guess they hedged his bets with a single line

They think pollsters might be missing the anger of rural conservatives who are most likely to vote, which is what happened in the media polling here in 2014.”

The polls showed him down five, but you know what, people forgot about, a person named Kim Davis

As he travels around the state, Bevin’s body man hands out postcards describing Bevin as “the only candidate for governor that has stood up for traditional marriage and religious liberty.” Bevin has also made appeals to born-again Christians, urging them to vote to counteract the political activism of “agnostics and atheists” and telling them to “stand firm” for their beliefs.

The Advocate made it very clear which sides the Democrat Conway & the Republican Bevin are on:

Conway, on the other hand, is so staunchly pro-[gay]marriage, Kentucky’s former top lawman got choked up when announcing in 2014 that he would not appeal a federal judge’s order recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state. “If I did so I would be defending discrimination. That I will not do,” Conway said, which you can watch in the video below

Bevin visited Kentucky clerk Davis in jail, where she spent time this summer for refusing to grant marriage licenses to any couples, citing personal religious beliefs against same-sex marriage. Bevin’s support for Davis became a tentpole of his campaign strategy

Alas for our liberal friends the voters of Kentucky clearly knew which side they were on too and it wasn’t close

Bevin was able to defy pundits, political insiders and polling — including one released by his own campaign in October that showed him losing — and emerge a winner Tuesday night.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Bevin won 107 of the state’s 120 counties on his way to a nine-point victory.

The real fun part are paragraphs like this gay blogs like this:

Kim Davis’s attorneys at the Liberty Counsel sent out a press release congratulating Bevin which included a statement from Davis herself:

“I congratulate Matt Bevin on his win. I am ecstatic. He is such a genuine and caring person. I will be forever thankful that he came to visit me while I was in jail. At a clerks’ meeting he hugged me and said he was praying for me. I am looking forward to his leadership as our new Governor.”

Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver clucked as well:

“The election was not even close. The lopsided victory for Matt Bevin stunned most political pundits. There is no question that the issue of religious freedom and same-sex marriage played a role in the results. The people favor traditional values and marriage, and they are tired of the political elites represented by Governor Beshear who are out of touch with ordinary, God-loving citizens. We look forward to working with Governor Elect Matt Bevin to accommodate the religious convictions of Kim Davis and other Kentucky clerks. Finally, we will have common sense and the Constitution prevail in Kentucky.”

Apparently Judge Bunning can jail a clerk for her faith but you can’t jail the electorate.

Expect the MSM to spin this result as having nothing to do with Kim Davis.

Update: Out of curiosity I did a google and yahoo for any comments Alison Grimes might have made on the Kim davis case. I didn’t find anything.

On what I’m sure is a totally unrelated note in a year while Bevin won the governor’s race Grimes managed to be re-elected Secretary of state by two point margin.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

In my hometown paper there is a story about a crooked former democrat speaker of the house.

Sal DiMasi (remember him?) — a former speaker of the Massachusetts House, who is serving time in a North Carolina federal prison after being convicted of accepting some $65,000 in payoffs to facilitate approval of a state computer contract.

I really should have specified DeMasi, after all “crooked former Democrat speaker of the house in Massachusetts” is a description that a whole lot of people fill.

The writer Peter Lukas notes that Mr. DiMasi is in rough physical shape is very old and full of cancer. He’d really like to move to a jail closer to home, Governor Baker has no problem with it however as a federal prisoner it’s not his say, so he needs friends close to the White House perhaps the Gay community

While the gay community once honored DiMasi, it has since abandoned him.

For instance, the gay community spent an enormous amount of time, money and energy seeking a taxpayer-funded sex change for Massachusetts prison inmate Michelle Kosilek. All Kosilek ever did was savagely murder his wife when he was a man named Robert.

DiMasi paved the way for the legalizing same-sex marriage, which was a step toward the transgender movement, but the gay community has done nothing for DiMasi in return.

or maybe an ex governor close to the president:

Patrick was asked one time if he would intervene with his friend, President Barack Obama, to show compassion to DiMasi. Patrick bristled at the question and said, “I’m not going to get involved in that at all.”

“How come?”

“Because it is not my jurisdiction, and I have plenty of other things to do.”

Given that this corrupt pol bears responsibility for bringing Romneycare and Gay Marriage to Massachusetts and all the evil that has come from both nationwide even as a Christian I have a hard time feeling sorry for him, however it’s not folks like me that Peter Lucas is outraged over. He’s wondering why all those people who celebrated all of these things are not willing to lift a finder to make it a little easier for his family to visit and allow him to die a little closer to home.

The answer is really easy.

Historically our friends on the left have always used useful idiots providing financial and political aid to them in order to advance a common cause. Historically as soon as their usefulness ends so does their financial and political support. The same thing has happened here. Sal DiMasi has suffered the same fate that useful idiots have for over a century.

He simply isn’t useful anymore.

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opiate awareness 2 036Yesterday at the upper common of Fitchburg Ma a group of over 70 people turned out for an event highlighting Opiate Awareness and the people and families who are affected by them.

I arrived near the time things were about to start and talked to Lauren who seemed to be in charge.

There were several speakers, one of them was our state rep Steve DiNatale who is running for Mayor

And the Police Chief

The stress of the event was addiction as a disease and coping with it. Nobody talked better on the struggle between being firm and being kind than Tami Arguelles founder of the local group: Help for our Community.

The need to find the balance between loving and caring for a person, while not enabling or approving is for the families and friends of the addicted the hardest thing.

They had some ceremonial events the lighting of candles

The Releasing of Balloons

and a moment of silence

.

Some spoke about their loss like Ed.

Other were there simply to stand for their lost loved ones. I spoke to the police chief after the event:

and I spoke to two former addicts one before things started:

and the second after, this was Reverend Hollaway who had spoken before

What really truck me about both of them was their words about the Just Say No campaign from the 80’s. This type of thing was routinely laughed at by our friends of the left but both of these ex addicts noted that a direct statement, a solid “NO” makes a difference.

But the real story to me was that every police car in Fitchburg is equipped with Narcan which can be the difference between life and death for a person.

The other half of the coin of course is the prevention, the chief talked about getting old prescription drugs out of the house but the other part of the game is something quite simple and direct. If you see someone dealing drugs on your street corner in your neighborhood don’t just ignore it and figure it’s not your business: Say Something. Call the police, tweet the police, help them protect you.

If you don’t want the cost of the Drugs and Gangs, stand up and fight, even if it’s just a phone call. The harder you make it for the dealer, the more likely he’s going to at worst move on, or at best find themselves caught.

The event made the front page of the Sentinel, you can read it here.

Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary


September 8-15th 2015

Please join us in the festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Activities are as follows:

Tuesday September 8th:

Our Lady’s Birthday
Madonna Holy Rosary Church, 118 Theresa St. Fitchburg

6pm- Living Rosary To sign up to be part of the Living Rosary contact:

Birthday cake and ice cream Joan Conroy (978-343-9278)

Saturday September 12th:

Feast of the Holy Name of Mary Madonna Holy Rosary Church, Fitchburg

  • 10am – 3pm Day Retreat – Fr Leonard ($25 offering)
  • 10am – 4pm
    • Festival in Church Hall
    • Catholic Book Fair
    • WQPH Radio-a-thon
  • 3 – 3:45pm Confession – Fr Leonard Mary MFVA of EWTN
  • 4sandrpm Holy Mass – Fr Leonard Mary MFVA of EWTN

Sunday September 13th:

Fatima Anniversary

9am HolyMass St Francis of Assisi Church, 441 Fellsway W. Medford

10:30am Breakfast Anthony’s, 105 Canal St, Malden

Susan Campbell Trainor (781) 391-7374 for tickets ($25 per person)

Special Guest: Fr. Leonard Mary MFVA of EWTN

Monday September 14th:

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

St Bernards at St Camillus Church, Fitchburg

Noon Holy Mass with Fr. Leonard Mary MFVA of EWTN

Luncheon to follow in lower church

Roland & Carol Vallee (978)343-4927 for tickets ($22 per person)

Tuesday September 15th:

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows For lost children

St Joseph Church, 114 High St., Medford


6pm Living Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and Divine Mercy Chaplet

Followed by Mass celebrated by Fr. Leonard Mary MFVA of EWTN . Contact Sandi Arjune (781) 333-4800

For more information or to volunteer to help

www.prayersforlife.org

info@wqphradio.org

781-218-2834

Intercessory Prayer

  • 9/8/15 Living Rosary: Joan Conroy (978) 343-9278
  • 9/12/15 Day Retreat: Chris Toloczko (508) 856-9416

WQPH Radio-a-thon: Peter Ingemi and Knights of Columbus

market basket 008Yesterday we were in need of some groceries so I stopped by the Market Basket down the road from my house, bought what I needed, picked up a bargain or two that was on sale and then left.

That story would normally not be blog or tweet worthy, but the fact is one year ago there was a real question if Market Basket as a company would survive. Even after Arthur T and the workers won the hit the store took combined with the debt needed for the purchase was in question.

So Saturday when I visited I took my camera to see exactly what was going on.

And talked to two employees about the strike and aftermath.

Now a job at a supermarket is not one that’s very exciting but when you are facing the loss of a job or the knowledge that you’re going to be paying more every single week for your food. A boring day at the market becomes something to be appreciated.

Be thankful for boring times, because it’s exciting times when the trouble comes.

opiate awareness 001If you go to the 5th street diner these days you’ll find a purple flag flying from the sandwich sign:

that flag symbolizes Opiate awareness. On Aug 31st 2015 you’ll be seeing a lot more of them on the Upper common of Fitchburg and around the state.

opiate awareness 008

I spoke to Ed Zannino about the event:

This is something that mean a lot to Ed and Tina as they’ve lost a son under these circumstances and given Fitchburg’s transformation in my lifetime from a manufacturing city to an illegal drug hub we’re going to see a lot more of this and the people of the city had better be prepared.

IMG_0377Yesterday all over the country protests took place at Planned parenthood locations highlighting the horrors that we’ve seen from the planned parenthood videos that have been released not only selling organs of children but revealing the slaying of born alive children to get bit of them for profit.

In Massachusetts while there were large protests in Boston and Worcester and Springfield. I choose to attend the small protest in my city of Fitchburg in front of the planned parenthood location there as it was not only the closest but it started at Noon rather than 9 or 10 AM. the closest.

Because Fitchburg is the smallest of the protest cities and unlike the other Planned parenthood locations no abortions take place in Fitchburg it tends to draw small crowds from 15-30 protesters given the day I was curious as to how many people I would see.

I arrived about 11:15 and sat in my car reading in the parking lot across from PP, waiting to see when the first person would show up, at the same time there was loud music in Spanish behind me. Apparently in the city park by the river a small festival was going on and occasionally a spanish family would turn up and head down there.

Around 11:40 I say my first “Choose Life” license plate turn up. It was a family I’d never seen before and they consented to an interview.

As it got closer to Noon a few people I recognized tricked in, I asked one about the turnout and she joked. “you know us Catholics, we like to show up at the last-minute.”

She was right in one respect at about 11:55 people started showing up in quantity many of them from my new parish St. Bernard’s Parish at St. Camillus church including our Pastor and Religious solitary nun, but the turnout wasn’t strictly Catholic.

I saw many faces that I didn’t recognize including Sarah whose family had signs that I absolutely loved. She spoke to me next.

At about five past 12 the crowd was over 60 and things began. Dr. Mark Rollo was the primary speaker.

And he was followed by Tom Harvey who despite the very blue state legislature is taking the fight there and looking for help.

After the speeches the organizers began in prayer, including the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. In one respect this worked out pretty well because the 25 person Protestant contingent kept holding the signs while the 50 person Catholic contingent was praying, although our protestant brothers did occasionally break into song and prayer as well.

We had a few people yell at us but for me the highlight was one woman who stopped by and asked why we don’t do more than just pray and protest. She was amazed to hear about the various efforts to help pregnant women that are sponsored such as Bellmont Abbey College’s program for pregnant college students and the work done locally at Visitation House.

IMG_0345

It’s the part of the story that is rarely told.

In the end the count got up to 80 as local people who had attended the Worcester event turned up but other than one other new media person who interviewed me there was no sign of press. This was apparently consistent with the national coverage as the media either pretended we didn’t exist or avoided mentioning the videos that promoted us to come the exception being in Louisiana thanks to Bobby Jindal who beat Planned Parenthood at their own game.

The efforts of American journalist to hide and downplay these videos makes them complicit in the actions in them and unlike the German’s after world war two they don’t even have deniability.

I suspect the fight will go on long after I’m gone but the day will come when our descendants will look at us the same way as we look at Dietrich’s character above.

Update: Glenn put it well:

TRADITIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE, HOWEVER, WAS LESS THAN MASSIVE: Massive Planned Parenthood protests across US.

If this had been a black lives matter protest it would have been everywhere in the new but as more black babies are aborted than born in the US in a sense a “black lives matters” protest is exactly what it was.

Name a company and we could get them. Except one. We were never able to get a Market Basket employee to jump ship.

Arthur (Jay) DiGeronimo Jr.

Lorenzo: The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.

A Bronx Tale 1993

 

 

One year ago at this time the one and only story in New England was the Market Basket Strike.

For those of you from outside the area basically there was a power struggle between two cousins both named Arthur Demoulas.  One Arthur T who was deeply involved in the day to day operations of the highly profitable company and treated his workers and managers so well that when the majority of 9 person Board of Directors,  despite high profits in bad times  headed by supporters of his cousin Arthur S finally succeeded in forcing out his cousin,  the workers went on “strike” in support of Arthur T.

Within a short time the shelves started to go empty and the workers started protesting (off the clock).

It was the most unusual protest in US history to wit:

I’ve heard this sentiment from every Market Basket person I’ve talked to from managers to baggers they don’t want a union and it was made plain during the protest

When word got out at a Friday rally at Market Basket headquarters that representatives of an unidentified union were passing out cards to protesting employees, it was Trainor who responded: “Really, do you think we need a union?” The crowd responded with a resounding “no.”

“There is no union in this country that’s stronger than this crowd right here,” Trainor said. “So take your cards and go home.”

So basically you have a workforce not complaining about wages, not complaining about working conditions, not calling for a union but instead protesting against business decisions that they believe will hurt long term profitability.

There is one way to describe a protest like that: Pro Capitalist.

It was like covering a tea party rally.  It’s why I suspect they were getting flak from some left wing sites and the overwhelmingly Democrat state legislature was slow to fall behind them.

I saw a huge opportunity here for the GOP

If I was Rick Santorum I’d be in Massachusetts at the next rally. If I was Reince Priebus I’d be asking why Elizabeth Warren & the left are AWOL and suggest it is due to being owned by the unions.

And if I was Kirsten Hughes I’d run through that gap in the line the left has left unguarded and I’d go all in for the Market Basket Workers and vividly illustrate the GOP’s support for the working man.

However the GOP did nothing.

Eventually vendors started scooting ,  20,000 layoffs came, and viola:

Suddenly the prospect of 20,000 to 40,000 voters in two states controlled by Democrats going to the polls angry with an election less than 90 days away was a reality.

And so Governor Patrick and Gov Hassan of New Hampshire decided to get involved.

In the end, a year ago this month Arthur S sold out to his cousin Arthur T.  Within a few days the stores were re-stocked  and Arthur T was back in the stores greeting customers who waited in lines to shake his hand.

And it’s thriving:

The company is on track to record total revenues of about $4.8 billion in 2015, top executives say, the most in its nearly 100-year history. It is also in expansion mode, opening five new stores in the last year, some with upscale accents such as massive gourmet cheese islands, expanded organic food offerings, and outdoor cafe seating. Two new stores are under construction in Plymouth, Mass., and Rochester, N.H.

Now imagine for a second if the GOP had taken my advice, There are twelve GOP candidates polling at under 10% in NH.  What if Lindsey Graham had given kudos to the Market Basket Workers on the senate floor.  Picture if Rick Perry saying Arthur T would be a hit in Texas.  Imagine Carly Fiorina noting him as an example of a CEO who gets it.  Think of Scott Walker using Market Basket to compare Union vs Non-Union shops.  Ponder Rand Paul praising the Market Basket low-no debt model.

What if in 2014 Chris Christie came to NH and used Arthur T as an example of hands on management or Ben Carson showed up describing it as the difference between doing and saying or Ted Cruz giving a speech talking about Market Basket as a non-government success story.

And I didn’t even mention Rick Santorum.  Could you see Rick Santorum at a Market Basket rally in 2014 saying they are the model of how to create success in America.  It was a story absolutely tailor-made for his campaign.

What would any of these guys give to have the chance to go back a year and knowing what they know now, give that speech?  Where might they be in the polls today?  A non-union, pro capitalist, anti debt, tea party like labor action and we just let it go.  There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an opportunity like that a wasted.

Sigh if only.

Postscript, I was searching on the net and I did find one presidential candidate that noted the end of the Market Basket strike on his web site an tweeted about it at the time.

By an odd coincidence he happens to be leading in NH by 7 pts in the latest Boston Herald poll.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Take a little trip to Shreveport, Louisiana this morning, and her neighbor city, Bossier (pronounced BO-shur).  We are flooding down here.  Days, weeks, and months of heavy rain across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have resulted in critical conditions for the Red River.

This map from local news channel KTBS shows the watershed area for Red River.

fig2
Graphic via KTBS

Flooding has been occurring all along the river over the past few weeks and is now coming to a head today in Shreveport where the river is expected to finally crest at 37 feet, seven feet above flood stage.

As this event has unfolded over the past few weeks (my first blog post about it was May 17), the city has come together in a morbid fascination of how high will it go?  What will flood?  While the Red River has always been a popular destination for fishermen, and has hosted the Bassmaster fishing tournament more than once, with the floodwaters bringing fish up into new shallows, locals have been fishing out of what used to be parking lots and city parks.

Many neighborhood subdivisions are now flooded, including the home of Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator who has fifteen inches of water in his home. Sheriff Prator worked to save his home at night and worked to save citizens in his jurisdiction during the day, refusing government resources for himself while working to help others.  Photos of his flooded home can be seen at The Shreveport Times.

River Bend BPSO
River Bluff subdivision (photo courtesy of BPSO)

One neighborhood, now flooded, is drawing both sympathy and scorn from people because it was developed inside the levee.  Defying common sense, buyers decided that since the river hasn’t flooded in twenty years, it was probably safe.  Never underestimate the power of a river.

In downtown Shreveport, we watched from the rails at the city park as the river rose higher and higher.  Over the coming days, there would be yellow caution tape placed across the entrance to the park, then steel barricades; then the barricades were moved back, and back.  Now the water is running into the road and threatening the science museum and Riverview Hall where the symphony performs.

What the local media has called “looky-loos” have flocked to flooded areas to witness this historic event.  The Red River last flooded in 1990 at 34.5 feet.  In 1907 it reached 36.9 feet which is the record we are breaking today as the river is now at 36.89 feet.  The highest Red River has ever been recorded was in 1849 when it reached 45.9 feet; since then there have been a series of locks and dams built along the river so levels of that magnitude would be unlikely today.

IMG_3022
Riverview Park in Shreveport. The water should be on the other side of the tall rose sculptures. The water has covered the stage and terraced area where concerts and fireworks displays are held.

One are of concern locally has been the War Veterans Home which is located on the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway near the river.  Officials have been monitoring water levels closely and hoping the residents there will not have to be evacuated.  Officials have been working to pump water that has accumulated across the highway back into the river .  The parkway has been closed on both the Shreveport and Bossier sides as officials build temporary levees in Shreveport and pump water in Bossier.

vets home
The Arthur Ray Teague Parkway. Flooded river to the right, War Vets home is the blue roofed building on the left. Officials are pumping water back into the river. (Photo courtesy of Katy Mayeaux, Facebook)

The Louisiana Boardwalk, a major outlet shopping facility located along the river in Bossier City is taking on water and parts of it have been closed.  Bass Pro is located there and walkways around the store have been closed, but officials there want the public to know that shops are still open.

Governor Bobby Jindal flew into town to check things out.  He flew over the river and offered sage advice like the importance of keeping infrastructure like water and sewer plants safe.  He also reminded folks to check on their neighbors.

It has been heartbreaking to see reports of stranded and flooded animals and wildlife.  Officials have rescued livestock, domestic pets, and even an alligator found under the car of a Louisiana State policeman.

The cleanup will be tremendous.  Officials are telling residents to expect dead animals, mud, silt, and ruined grass.  The river, once it crests sometime today, will remain at this level for a couple of days then slowly recede.  River traffic has been closed for weeks as the water rose, and is unlikely to be reopened until later this summer.  As of right now, many roads and highways are closed including the Parkway as mentioned previously, and parts of I-220, both major thoroughfares; this is creating traffic congestion throughout the twin-cities.

Many of us will be glad when the river finally crests and we can look forward to it receding.  As we’ve gone through this, the crest has been raised several times.  Last week they predicted a crest of 33 feet and it’s been adjusted accordingly almost daily.  Families in neighborhoods across the two cities are anxious to start the clean up and get back to normal.  The mess we can deal with; the water, we cannot.

None of the still photos capture the drama of this event like this video from Sky Pixel LA:

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport where she has been covering the historic 2015 Red River Flood.

 

 

“First we must cross the river,” Benito was saying.  “Do you believe me now when I tell you that you must not attempt to swim it, or even get wet from it, or must you try that too?”

“What happens if I just dive in?”

“Then you will be as you were in the bottle.  Aware and unable to move.  but it will be very cold, and very uncomfortable, and you will be there for all eternity knowing that you put yourself there.”

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno  1976

 

Well it’s official, a letter writing campaign by a clique at my parish managed to get our 20 something year old pastor removed and transferred to Winchendon and replaced by the 60 something Pastor currently there..

When I first heard about this effort several weeks ago I figured it was just the normal ruffled feathers that come with a big change. After all our previous pastor had been at our church for 14 years and was both a strong speaker and a powerful force.  Any person replacing him would have some problems so when our new pastor came in, only a few years past ordination it was likely quite a shock to some of the older families.

However when I talked to Fr. Mike I found out this was a lot more serious than I thought. Despite the lack of anything resembling wrongdoing a concerted effort was being made to remove him. He noted that I was welcome to write a letter supporting him to the Bishop (which I did) but remembering that there were a few feathers ruffled when Fr. Bob first came in 15 years ago I figured it was going to be a lot of noise that the Bishop wasn’t going to take note of.

Boy was I wrong.  The Parish and the Diocese has managed to shoot itself in the foot big time.  The number of losers in this sorry affair  is rather numerous:

1. Bishop McManus:   By giving into a clique he not only gives the impression that he can be swayed over minor disagreements over staff & spending but he makes himself vulnerable to this kind of pressure from cliques in other parishes in the future.

2. The Priests of the Worcester County Dioceses: If a priest is guilty of misconduct the it is incumbent on a bishop to act quickly and decisively to remove him, but if the priests of the parish get the idea that the Bishop is going to melt over a few letters concerning parish operations & spending that can’t be good for either morale or operations.

3. The Seminarians: What do you think young men studying to be priests in this Diocese are going to think hearing about this?  Will they dare to be dynamic and challenge their flock to get out of their comfort zone and follow Christ or will they be inclined to play it safe, intimidated, worried that any move that might make those with money or influence in a parish upset?

4. Vocations: It’s hard enough to generate vocations in the east these days.  This example of a young priest being chewed up and spat out by a parish isn’t going to make it any easier.

5. Steve DiNatale Mayoral Campaign:  Steve has been a good state rep for the city and to my knowledge has absolutely no knowledge or involvement in any of this, but the facts won’t matter.  He is a lector at this parish and one of our most prominent members so people will assume he does.   It’s a no win situation. If he comments on this in any way he is likely to divide the people in his parish base,  If he says nothing than people will make assumptions about what he thinks, what he did or didn’t do.  And that’s just inside the parish, the rumors going around the Catholic community in town certainly aren’t going to help and gives an easy in if any of those running against him choose to use it.

6. St. Anthony’s Knights of Columbus Chapter: Our council is barely a year old, a divide in the parish can’t be good for recruiting within the parish and certainly isn’t going to make Catholic men from other parishes without councils anxious to join us.

7. St. Anthony’s School: Our Elementary School will be trading a young dynamic priest, who was the chaplain of the Fitchburg Fire Department.  A priest from the video game, email and cell phone era for a priest in his 60’s. Boy that’s going to be a draw for young families choosing between the catholic schools in the area. And hey, if parents if you have a choice between enrolling your kid in a Catholic school where the parish is divided or a school where it is not, where are you going to go?

8. Our incoming pastor: I’ve met Fr. Leblanc & know him slightly.  He seems a nice enough man but not only does he gets thrown into a now divided parish but he’s on the spot. Does he make his own decisions on how to do things, or is he looking over his shoulder?  Does he make changes, does he stand pat?  It’s going to take a lot of effort and prayer to get things where they should be. And what if the folks who got rid of Fr. Clements decide they don’t like what HE does? What if the money doesn’t start coming in? Does he get the blame?

But the biggest loser of all is St. Anthony of Padua Parish:

Our reputation among priests is likely shot (what priest will want to go to a parish that makes trouble for them)?

Our reputation with the Diocese is likely shot (Nobody likes to deal with whiners and given that we escaped the last church closings by the skin of our teeth, if there is a future church closing in town we’ve likely moved to the front of the list)

Our reputation among potential parishioners is likely shot (what Catholic moving into town will want to jump in the middle of this high school clique nonsense?)

And our reputation among ourselves is shot.  Who is going to want to get involved in any group or club or activity that they aren’t already part of?  After all if a pastor who makes a decision that somebody doesn’t like can be replaced,  how much more expendable is a mere parishioner? Much easier to just show up on sunday, put in the envelope and go home, or just decide to head off to a parish without High School drama queens.

All of this is a distraction from the primary duty of the church. To Teach and preach the word of God and put it into action in the community.

It will take an awful lot of prayer, supplication and humility on the part of the parish to recover from this disaster & if it doesn’t the worst part will be the knowledge that the responsibility for the fall of the parish and the waste of the hard work of Generations of faithful Sicilians who built up St. Anthony’s doesn’t fall on some outsider.

It will be because we put ourselves there.

Yesterday was VE Day an unofficial holiday when we remember those who risked their lives for the good of society fighting in Europe in WW 2.

Oddly that day made me think of National Teachers day which was May 5th.

To most this might seem odd.  National Teachers day would be a day to remember the best teachers we ever had like Mrs. Teresa Mahoney who I had for both 4th & 7th Grades way back in 1972 & 1976.  She introduced me to poetry from Arthur Guiterman’s Pershing at the Front which made me smile to Countee Cullen’s Incident which made me think.

However given the situation teachers find themselves in today the VE day comparison might be apt.  Exhibit A  the 2nd largest city in New England Worcester MA:

School safety liaison Rob Pezzella says schools and police have already implemented a measure officials announced last week by stationing officers at the district’s high schools. Additional measures could include metal detectors.

 The new security measures came in the wake of a series of weapons-related arrests at or near some of the high schools over the past few weeks.

What incidents?  Incidents like this.

Worcester Police arrested a 16-year-old student at Burncoat High School after they say a loaded handgun and ammunition was found in a container in his locker.

And this

Police on Wednesday arrested five Worcester Vocational Technical High School students after a witness reported seeing them with guns in a school parking lot.

At Worcester North High a vice principal was assaulted trying to break up a fight and some teachers are near the breaking point

What my colleagues and I experienced this week went well beyond any “disturbance” or “challenge” we’ve dealt with in the past. It did not happen without signs pointing to the inevitable eruption in our hallways. Control has been eroding for some time, and the reasons are many. North may be a brand new facility, but it brings with it all the baggage an urban high school carries: a high poverty rate, understaffing, children with intense mental health issues and a reluctance to hold students and families accountable for unacceptable behavior.

A full time officer is now on duty .  Counselor at Large Mike Gaffney put it this way

“Instead of a learning environment, the emphasis has been to keep children (often young adults), with no interest in an education, in the schools to show an increase in graduation rates. Instead of a safe environment, the emphasis has been to reduce detention, suspension, and expulsion actions for the purpose of showing an artificial reduction in disciplinary issues. Meanwhile, these disruptors with no interest in an education bully, attack, and assault teachers and other students. Our children should not be forsaken for a statistic.”

In fairness to Worcester this is neither a new nor a local problem only as the national results of search for “Teacher Assaulted” in Google or Yahoo will quickly demonstrate.  Nor is the focus on stats vs. teaching confined to Worcester as those who were willing to stray from the media narrative of the Trayvon Martin case could tell you:

Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin’s death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for “decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.” What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.

Stats vs actual learning is at the heart of the Common Core debate as well, but that conversation is a week’s worth of pieces in itself.

As for Worcester, I’d like to say that these crisis has resulted in a renewed focus by the bureaucracy  not just on the protection of teachers and students but on the purpose of schools teaching mathematics,  science, history,  English & poetry, alas it seems the focus in Worcester remains on perception and gestures:

On Friday, Worcester photographer Troy B. Thompson visited the high school and invited all students to participate in his “No Evil Project,” which seeks to break down the stigmas of labels.

Along the same lines as Thompson’s community-wide project, which is currently being featured at the Denholm Building, students wrote out three labels they feel they represent and pledge an act of kindness.

I can’t imagine Mrs. Mahoney doing this.  Her generation was the generation of the Great Depression & the Second World War.  They knew what hardship, suffering and loss were and understood that there was a cost to everything worthwhile.   Rocking back on your chair (these were the days before one piece desks & chairs) would cost you a nickel for the Catholic Missionaries and those were the days when a rap across the knuckles with a ruler was not going to generate a call to DSS.

National Teachers day was once a simple day when we remembered our favorite teachers like Mrs. Mahoney who helped make us who they are, but will the day soon come when we think of National Teachers day as a remembrance to spare a thought for the modern teacher who faces an environment fraught with dangers & priorities for the good of society.

Just like VE day.  Except we’re not winning.

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Yesterday the big international news of out of the Church was the Pope daring to speak aloud an uncomfortable truth

“In the past century, our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” the Pope said at a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian massacres.

“The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people,” he said, referencing a 2001 declaration by Pope John Paul II and the head of the Armenian church.

The Turks are not amused:

“The pope’s statement, which is far from historic and legal truths, is unacceptable,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted. “Religious positions are not places where unfounded claims are made and hatred is stirred.”

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican’s envoy in Ankara, and then announced it was recalling its own ambassador to the Vatican for consultations.

The ramification of this statement will be felt for decades but I saw something today that will have even larger ramifications.

Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday and at St. Bernard’s Parish at St Camillus Church there was an extra mass at 2 PM.

Yesterday was in the 60’s and sunny.  It was the first really gorgeous Sunday of the year.  It was a day of cookouts (in fact the local Market Basket was practically out of hotdog buns.)

Yet when I got to the church at 12:30 the place there was a large crowd not only in adoration before the blessed sacrament but waiting for a chance to receive confession from one of the six priests hearing them.

The number of people taking confession was so large that the mass at 2 was actually delayed as one of the priests was literally stopped on his way to get vested by people who hadn’t had a chance to confess while a 2nd continued to hear confessions past the mass’ start.

And when mass was done and most of the extra priests had left the congregation adored before the blessed sacrament praying the traditional prayers for Eucharistic Adoration in addition to the chaplet of divine mercy.

Why is this such a big deal?  Just a few years ago half of the parishes in Fitchburg were closed, yet on the best Saturday Afternoon of the year so far given six priests and 90 minutes there wasn’t enough time for the entire crowd to have confession before the scheduled time of Mass.

And mind you this is in Massachusetts in the most liberal state in the entire US, the father of Gay Marriage.  If this is what’s happening in the Bay State what is happening in places more devout?

To a lot of people in media, the Catholic Church in America are the university professors who dissent or the pols who reject its doctrines.

But if I’m correct and what I saw yesterday was repeated nationwide then the cultural change within the church as the EWTN generation replaces the vatican 2 generation the Catholic Church in America will be ready and willing to stand up courageously at a time when it will be needed most.

 And it’s that faith that will change the world.

Saturday after doing Conservatively Speaking on WCRN AM 830 and a home show with DaWife we stopped by Dario’s Restorante on River Street Fitchburg a new restaurant that occupies the spot the French Marceau Diner & Variety did for decades.

KODAK Digital Still Camera Years ago this was an area of factories where the French & Greeks from the neighborhood worked with the Italians who came from the other end of town.

Today it’s a much tougher neighborhood than when location at the Corner of River Street & Sheldon street was an intersection point for Greektown, Cleghorn (the French Canadian Section) and Main Street. Most people who come to the street do so for the DQ ice cream stand less than a block away or to visit one of the half-dozen used car dealers in tKODAK Digital Still Camerahe small area.

But when you walk inside you will find an oasis amid an area past its prime. You will find two rooms a back area next to the parking with a mix of tables and wooden booths with a counter station and a Front area with a mixture of booth and a front area with a series of old-fashioned diner stools facing a classic soda dispenser and bar.

Now ambiance is always nice but when it comes down to it what matters is the food. The menu is not large but with more than enough variety to satisfy the hungry diner.

We started with an appetizer called Garlic Twists

The twists were delicious but just as good if not better were the greens that a person might mistake as a garnish but that came sprinkled with cheese and an oil/butter. It was almost a mini side salad that really complimented the twists & Marinara dip.

As it was lunchtime and my wife would be working in a few hours she decided to go with the steak sub.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

While I wanting to try from the dinner menu ordered the classic chicken parmigiana.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Now while the still images wets the appetite I think the video conveys things even better.

The side Salad with the steak was a surprise. The wife gave me a taste of the veggies and they were of a very high quality.

The pasta was baked rather than boiled, it had a good flavor. The Chicken Breast was a big as it looked and & I found it delicious. The only critique if any would be I’d have liked a bit more tomato sauce.

There were some good dessert selections but my wife did not have the time and after that prodigious chicken breast I had not the capacity for it.

Our meal came to $33 and was more than satisfied for my money.

Now there are a few drawbacks. The Restaurant is only open till 9 PM Mon-Thursday. Till 10 PM Friday & Saturday. (Closed on Sunday) Furthermore the amount of parking available is less that one might desire. The place is not open on Sundays

My verdict?

If Fitchburg is going to come back, we need to reward places like this willing to take a chance on the city and its neighborhood, particularly when they provide a high quality product for a reasonable price.

Dario’s a a good place, it deserves your patronage.

Today Fitchburg was in the news because of a fire on river street that took out a bunch of businesses.


There’s no word yet on what caused a four-alarm fire that gutted a strip mall in Fitchburg overnight.
Flames broke out in the complex on River Street around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and quickly spread to the roof. Part of the building collapsed.

However there is a story from last month that is much more significant to my city:

The dream of making it in Fitchburg is over for Sky He, the owner of the Cheng Du Asian Bistro. Last week he shut down his Main Street Chinese restaurant after being open for only 84 days.

“I lost money every day,” said Sky, who opened the restaurant on Nov. 21

Mr. He opened his restaurant on Main Street in Fitchburg. Now there was a time in my youth when there were multiple restaurants, department stores and even a supermarket on main street.

However the culture changed, the state changed and cities became more concerned with “sensitivity” than contesting the drug gangs with predictable results:


The restaurant made the news last month after Sky pursued an armed robber who fled with about $300 on Jan. 19. The robber jumped off an embankment toward the Nashua River and broke his ankle in the fall. The fire department ended up rescuing the robber. Sky said he was able to get back $148 the robber had allegedly hidden under a rock while waiting to be rescued.

Sky said he’s seen other crime problems as well, such as customers caught by his security camera stealing the tip jar at the front desk, and street violence in the surrounding neighborhood.

He said he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next, but he will not open another restaurant in Fitchburg and sees the area as a difficult place to run a business.

If you’re city or state turns to liberalism, this will be your future.

You have been warned.

The Biggest winner from this blizzard is Charlie Baker

One of the things that happen if you are a GOP member in Massachusetts is you come equipped with a pair of horns by the media.  It  takes great timing, an extraordinary event,  or a bad Democrat candidate for them to disappear.

Baker won election thanks to good timing and a bad Democrat and this blizzard, right at the start of his term, constitutes both good timing and an extraordinary event for him.

This blizzard plays to all of his strengths, a problem to be solved, a steady hand in a crisis and a fellow who is normal.

That’s Charlie Baker all over.

Even more importantly people who would normally never see these qualities in action couldn’t help but see them as his press conferences where regular and necessary TV.

This images and the narrative of his strengths are now firmly in the mind of the voters, even the low info ones and it will take an awful lot to get it out.

The question is, once we’re all dug out will those in the political game realize it and act accordingly?

As Ferguson continues to be in the headlines over Michael Brown (and  Zemir Begic continues to be out of them) there was a story last week that got very little attention.

It was only fitting that the heart and soul of the Lunenburg High team, Jeremy Nash, ended his high school football career in style.

Nash, a talented senior quarterback, put the Blue Knights on his back, throwing for 146 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 131 yards on 18 carries en route to an 18-13 victory over St. Bernard’s on Friday evening in the 17th overall meeting between the Thanksgiving-week rivals.

Ok so two high school teams who have a mere seventeen year history played on Thanksgiving weekend (delayed because of last week’s storm).  This kind of thing goes in small towns all over the nation.  Hmm why on earth would a high school football game between two teams who haven’t even played that long be worth mentioning.

 

Because last year at this time newspapers were all over the Town of Lunenburg

The football team had been accused of teasing a biracial football player on the team over his race culminating in “Knights don’t need Niggers” spraypainted onto foundation of the family’s home.

Well this story went viral.  SI covered it, Good Morning America covered it, the governor got involved, there were op eds all over concerning the racism is Lunenburg .  The FBI was called in and the football team was made to forfeit the rest of the season along with the Thanksgiving game.

However once investigations took place, it turns out once the FBI started to investigate, the football team was quickly cleared and suddenly the parents became suspects. At the time I recorded this commentary.

One of the things you notice about graffiti is it’s never really neat or ordered, but this graffiti was right along the stone foundation, not a drop was on the siding that would have been much harder to clear

As soon as it became apparent that this was a hoax, the national media that was so interested in talking about Lunenburg decided it wasn’t newsworthy anymore.

You see the primary suspect in this story is no longer the largely white football team in a small town but the mother of the supposed target of the racist graffiti. It is no longer a story about racism, it is about yet another race hoax. If the team had still been the suspect and racism been the theme and the DA a republican the decision to not press charges would be a source of national outrage and coverage but remember the rule we stated yesterday.

I submit & suggest it’s because all of these stories involve Democrats and their national memes and Democrats understand that when it comes to such stories MSM immediately recognizes them as unnewsworthy.

So like the Democrat combatant in the war on women currently doing his legislative work behind bars, the race hoaxer who turned her community upside down with a phony race card and the Democrat’s DA decision not to prosecute are simply not newsworthy.

On the bright side the NE Patriots did the team a good turn a few months later:

The Lunenburg football team was treated to a private tour of the Patriots Hall Of Fame and welcomed with open arms, a change from last fall when the team was demonized and some players called racists.

As fingers were being pointed at the team, their season was canceled.

It turned out they were anything but racists.

After a lengthy investigation, the district attorney said no charges would be filed, even as police called the victim’s mother a ‘strong suspect’ in the case.

And even though the police and Eric Holder’s Justice Department both revealed that the family that caused the town to lose it’s thanksgiving game, placed a scarlet “R” on every player on the football team and on the town in general in national and international eyes, not a single fire was set, not a single business was ransacked, not a single rock was thrown at the police station for not avenging the town’s honor and not a single person injured.

Imagine that.

Two things.  If you are not familiar with the case you will find a good chronology at the Sentinel & Enterprise that did a find job covering the story.

Secondly given how close the election for governor was I wonder if the Attorney General Martha Coakley’s decision not to press charges caused a few voters in the local area who have had no problem voting for democrat reps and state senators to cross the aisle last november?

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One might consider the title of this post a tad provocative, after all the events in Ferguson Missouri involve a shooting death followed by rioting, while in Westminster MA all that being debated is banning cigarette sales in the city.

However there is one aspect of these two events that is identical, the objection to how a representative government is acting, and that objection requires the same solution for those upset.

In Ferguson the community that has been the loudest in opposing the local police & mayor etc have been rather apathetic at the ballot box and have been so for years.  These aren’t the days of Jim Crow, if they don’t like their local representation in the city they could be voting them out or at least making sure there is a political cost for making what they consider bad decisions.

They have not.

While the circumstances aren’t as dire in Westminster and the odds of riots and blood taking place in the city are lower than the chances of Bill Clinton taking and keeping a vow of chastity it’s very much the same situation.

Where were all of these people who were so angry now when the members of local government who are pushing this ban were being elected and appointed?  Were they attending town meetings?  Were they pushing other candidates?  Were they filing petitions?  Were they running candidates or standing as candidates themselves?

They were not.

So while I have sympathy for the store owner at the center of this fuss, if you are  a person in Westminster who possess this move by the town remember it was made possible by your apathy.

There is however one huge difference between Ferguson & Westminster.

No matter what your position is on the Officer’s actions or young Mr. Brown’s nothing that comes out of Ferguson will bring Michael Brown back from the dead.

While in Westminster if the people don’t like the decision to force smokers to go to a neighboring town or city to buy their tobacco products (made possible by those amazing new inventions called the Automobile and the Bicycle they can vote out the people in charge in the town and vote in new people to replace them, presumably the store owners in Westminster will still be there by that time.

If you live in a free society and you don’t take advantage of those freedom and allow people who wish to restrict your freedom, it’s on you.

As a Massachusetts conservative watching the national media go wild about the election of a Republican Governor completely ignoring the lack of coattails (hell the lack of coat) is a source of frustration.

Charlie Baker is a nice guy and he means well but his election is not likely to have more than a cosmetic effect

The best way to explain the problem is to think of Baseball and the difference between buying a championship and building a dynasty.

In Massachusetts there are two conflicting views of the party, the establishment that is interested in the top of the ticket. It produces for those at the top patronage and excellent resume fodder in the hopes of getting a national political position.

Because of that goal they can’t take the time to build a farm team, every year that passes brings up a crop of people in Red States vying for those same jobs with resumes filled with actual positions in government.

They need that governorship today, they can’t wait around for the GOP to start winning seats in the statehouse, in fact a strong GOP controlled house and or senate will simply mean a crop of rivals with strong resumes in government as well.

Then there is the grass-roots Tea Party activists. They aren’t looking for a job from the government. They are looking to be able to keep their own jobs and business intact and be able to afford to have a decent life to raise their children here without either being hit in the pocketbook or because of their religious & social values.

For them it’s the bottom of the ticket that matters since until there is a change in the state senate and house all a GOP Governor can do is delay the day of reckoning.

So the idea is to start at Single A, city councilors, school committees. Recruit candidates to fill those spots. Then in four or five years those people can run for mayor, country offices, register of probate etc. the Double AA of electoral politics at the state level while a new grew group of people are recruited for the single A offices. After a few years the AA polls will start running in the state house and senate and positions like secretary of state & AG and within a few years viola you have a full slate of viable candidates not only for the Governor’s office but for congressional and senate seats.

Until the Massachusetts GOP decides to embrace the base GOP leaning votes will continue to leave the state and sooner or later there won’t be enough left to allow even a Republican as socially liberal as Charlie Baker won’t have a prayer ever again.

If you are a conservative in Massachusetts there isn’t a lot to cheer about this morning.

Yes Charlie Baker has won the corner office which means that Big Government in Massachusetts will be run by an honest man who is a competent manager, that’s an improvement.

However he had all the coattails of a streaker at a football game which isn’t the way to build a party, of course considering how little we heard of other GOP candidates one might conclude the state party’s concern was winning all the patronage of the appointed positions by the governor without electing any of those icky conservatives to office who might rock the boat.

There were two bright spots in the evening.

Ballot Question 2 which would have expanded the bottle bill went down to a crushing defeat, while ballot Question #1 passed 53-47 removing the onerous Gas tax linked to inflation allowing taxes to go up without a vote (A hearty well done to all involved particularly Marty Lamb there).

It is that result, combined with Democrats sweep at the state house and the left’s victory on Question 4 which mandates businesses provide earned sick leave for employers that really explains the mindset of voter in Massachusetts. It’s about what is in front of their faces & nothing else.

If Question two, the bottle bill expansion passed every person would have to pay that extra nickel (to start) whenever they purchased a non carbonated drink and to get that nickel back they would have to carry that bottle to a redemption center. It would affect people across party and class and racial lines which is why it lost by almost a million votes out of 2.1 million cast. 73-27%

Question one had even more dire consequences, a Gas tax linked to inflation would mean a regular tax increase every year forever. Every person & company who drives a car or truck and pays for gas was would be affected. Because there are a large amount of people who don’t drive and therefore didn’t see the effect on them (in the form of increased prices for good) the margin was smaller but enough of the general population still fills their tank weekly to allow the question to pass by 53-47% the margin being just under 120,000 votes.

But Question 4 Sick Pay law that passed by 18 points (59-41) was another story. Most voters didn’t understand what it means to supermarkets like Market Basket Restaurants like Singapore and even pizzeria’s like Espresso’s in fact all you might see if you are a bagger, a busboy or a pizza driver all you know is you’ve just got an hour of paid sicktime for every 30 hours you work up to a maximum of one paid 40 hour “sick” week a year. That’s likely why it passed by almost 400,000 votes.

Even when the supermarket inch up their prices the Restaurant cuts your hours and the pizza place decides not to hire the votes won’t make the connection that the cost of that effective 2-3% pay raise that you forced them to give is going to have to come from somewhere.

That disconnect from reality is why the same “highly educated” voters who repealed the onerous Gas tax can re-elect almost every single state senator and representative who voted to impose it upon them without batting an eyelash.

The folks at the statehouse will learn from that result and be smarter next time. They’ll make small gradual changes, and reach into your wallet more subtlety, not stealing over their weight or attracting attention.

They know if they do they’ll be all right, the votes who might notice and the business that employ them moved out of Massachusetts a very long time ago.

I’ll give Governor Baker a chance, but if he doesn’t attempt to build the party on the local or state level my advice to young people of talent when it comes to Massachusetts will remain the same.

Get out while there still isn’t an exit tax to do so.

Sir Humphrey: Bernard, what would you say to your present master as the next Prime Minister?
Bernard: The Minister?
Sir Humphrey: Yes.
Bernard: Mr Hacker?
Sir Humphrey: Yes.
Bernard:
As Prime Minister?
Sir Humphrey: Yes. [notes Bernard checking his watch] Are you in a hurry?
Bernard:
No; I’m just checking to see it wasn’t April the First.

Yes Minister Party Games 1984

In late November I’ll be celebrating the 7th anniversary of my blog. In those seven years there have been two instances where I woke up in the morning and was so surprised at what was being reported that I presumed I was still asleep and dreaming. The first was when Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize:

Being a normal and sane man I assumed I was still groggy or maybe still asleep and then turned on the TV.

Apparently not being George Bush counts for a lot. From what I’ve seen on Morning Joe even the White House seems a bit embarrassed.

And the resignation of Pope Francis XVI

Just woke up and turned on the TV but couldn’t find the controller so only saw the pictures of the pope and talk of an election, it wasn’t until about 4 minutes later that I found out that Benedict XVI will resign effective Feb 28th.
I was rather surprised it was a contrast to Pope John Paul II who stayed on as an example of perseverance but of course it is up to the pope who decide if he is physically capable of ding the job.

Today came number 3 when I saw this headline at Hotair:

Boston Globe endorses Republican for MA governor

Granted it’s not as unusual for this to happen as a Pope resigning (after while you have to go to per-guttenburg days to find a Pope resigning you only have to go back 20 years to find the Globe going for Bill Weld.

Still the idea of the Boston Globe picking a republican is very odd to say the least, so odd that if you look at reaction from the right there is one person to blame for this and it isn’t Charlie Baker.

How bad a candidate is Martha Coakley? Boston Globe endorses Republican for Gov

Or this from Jazz at Hotair

Maybe this would have meant more if the Globe had endorsed Charlie Baker before the Republican gubernatorial candidate had opened up a 9-point lead over Martha Coakley. The latest Globe poll shows Baker as an inevitability, which gives this editorial endorsement more of a flavor of a bandwagon effect than a heartfelt choice

That’s a very fair point and the daily caller provides context

In past elections, The Globe has only backed Republican candidates in anticipation of landslide victories; Bill Weld crushed Mark Roosevelt in the 1994 election, garnering nearly 71% of the popular vote in the process.

I agree, the primary driver is the bandwagon effect but consider, you can’t have a bandwagon if someone hasn’t managed to get a lead and the Baker campaign deserves full marks for doing a better job than the last time he ran and lost, which apparently can’t be said for Martha Coakley.

And if you look a the the Globe’s editorial they make a legit case

Effective activist government isn’t built on good intentions. To provide consistently good results, especially for the state’s most vulnerable and troubled residents, agencies need to focus on outcomes, learn from their errors, and preserve and replicate approaches that succeed. Baker, a former health care executive, has made a career of doing just that. During this campaign, he has focused principally on making state government work better. The emphasis is warranted. And in that spirit, the Globe endorses Charlie Baker for governor.

This is very true of Charlie Baker but then again it was true of Charlie Baker the last time and that wasn’t enough to cause them to abandon Deval Patrick.  This time however thanks to the Gilligan effect hitting Democrats this year,  competent is the new sexy.  The Globe continues:

Baker splits from the national Republican Party on social issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The commitment he expresses to avoid raising taxes shouldn’t be mistaken for an allergy to the public sector; Baker spent the formative years of his career deep in the weeds of government — first as secretary of health and human services under Governor William Weld and then secretary of administration and finance under Weld and Governor Paul Cellucci. In those years, he learned how agencies work (or don’t) and how budgets are balanced (or not).

Do not let the emphasis in this paragraph fool you,  the only sentence that matters is the first one.  I don’t care how much he knows about “how agencies work”, even with a veto proof majority in both houses if Baker gave even the slightest indication of social conservatism on abortion or Gay Marriage  they wouldn’t care if he was going to win 99-1 and raise taxes 200% to feed the poor,  they would be condemning him as a villain worse than Hitler and carrying Martha Coakley on their shoulders.

I know some on Twitter who have said that Baker is to the left of Coakley see this as confirmation of what they’ve said.  Red Mass Group which previously expressed support for Baker has yet to update but as I’ll be attending a Tea Party event tonight, we’ll see what they have to say about the Globe endorsement.

What do I think?  I think Rob Eno made the most important point in a piece on another subject:

Yes, I know, I am king of the RINOs because I support Charlie Baker for governor, so what right do I have complaining… The reason I support Charlie is because he isn’t Bill Weld, at least when it comes to party politics.  Charlie has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to helping legislative candidates this cycle.  Because of it, we look to make great gains.

For all my disagreements with Baker on social issues he would be one of the most competent men ever to sit in the corner office and if he has some coattails and advances the GOP to the point where there is the slightest chance that the Democrats might eventually lose their veto proof majorettes in both houses and help us repeal the gas tax then he will have done more for the state than any Governor has in decades.

Something that can’t go on forever won’t and the veto proof governance of Democrats for my lifetime has turned Massachusetts into a state you go to get an education and then get the hell out.  ASAP if Baker can win this election (remember all this talk not withstanding he hasn’t won anything yet) and change this situation then he will deserve the support of the party and its faithful and the tanks of the state for years to come.

Of course if he does that then the Globe will certainly not back him a second time.

 

 

 

“Now now now…. Raquel, RA-quel. Now there’s something you have to understand here. It’s really simple. Now these are the people that BUY the TICK-ETS. And they’ve been waiting a LONG time to talk to ya’, and you should go right ahead and do that because this is part of the job.”

Jimmy Stewart as told by Raquel Welch 

 

This week the Politichicks put out their hot list of conservative men Ted Cruz was (deservedly so) the big overall winner.among choices that included Pol, Radio Talk Hosts, bloggers and authors.

The pool of voters was small and there was no category offered for Supermarket Chain owners but Monday at the Market Basket on Water Street Store number 14 a larger pool of voters left no doubt that the winner of their hot contest would be a short balding man by the name of Arthur T. Demoulas.

Less than three months after his removal as CEO of the Market Basket Chain and just 20 days after his successful purchase of the said chain from his cousin’s side of the family Mr. Demoulas was in Fitchburg visiting store #14 as part of his regular rounds to see first hand how things are at various locations.  Under normal circumstances it would be just another routine visit like all the other ones he has done over the decades.

That’s not exactly how it worked out.

The employees delight at seeing the man for who they had spent a summer risking their jobs fighting for could hardly be restrained.  He greeted them, spoke with them, shook their hands and posed for picture after picture.  One 20-year-old worker in between stocking shelves took great delight in taking out her smart phone to show me the her selfie taken with her CEO bursting with the enthusiasm of a person who just got a kiss from their favorite rock star.

Nor was that feeling confined to the workers on shift, text messages and phone calls exploded from the location alerting workers off duty, family and friends that Arthur T was in the building.  By the time I arrived, camera in cart, a sort of receiving line had formed between the butter & margarine section and the eggs where customers and employees lined for a chance to speak to the man and have a picture taken.  A manager on duty told me he had already spent over two hours speaking to every person who wanted some of his time.

I watched as person after person came up to him and he greeted them, not as a conquering king, nor as the richest man in the store, but as a man expressing gratitude,  Thanks to customers for their support, thanks to employees for their hard work as if they were responsible for every dollar he had ever made.

Finally after doing my own shopping and seeing a brief gap in the flow of people approaching him, I asked for a brief interview which he granted without hesitation.

 

and spent the entire time giving all the credit to others and stressing the importance  if approaching each day with an attitude of serving others.

We talked a bit more off camera, he talked of how giving the customer (in the form of low prices and good service), the employee (in the form of pay & benefits) and the owners (in the form of profit) a stake in the Business’ success helps make it successful but by then my brief window was gone as more customers came in to meet the man whose face they had seen on posters, signs and news reports for the last three months.

In the end he stayed till 7 PM giving four full hours to one of the 70+ stores in his chain just to say hello.

Some might consider that a waste of an owners time, but I suspect Mr. Arthur T Demoulas understands that those hours meeting his employees and customers will pay dividends for years to come because he knows the right thing is almost always the smart thing.

And in addition to everything else Arthur T Demoulas is one smart businessman.

*******************************

Olimometer 2.52

We remain 5 grand away from making our expenses for the year and a sold $1000 away from making them this month.

If you think the coverage and commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below to meet our annual expenses.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

For 35 days stores like Stop & Shop, Hannafords and Shaws reaped the windfall from the Market Basket Work Action.

I wondered during that time if they would take the chance to drop prices to compete in the hopes of keeping these customers even if Arthur T won.

I shopped at Hannafords the afternoon a few hours before the sale was announced, it seemed to me they didn’t bother.

And now a week into the return of Market Basket comes the reckoning:

Until this summer, Casey Kett never thought much about Market Basket. Mostly, he remembers his brother nagging him to pick up inexpensive beer at the store in Portsmouth on his way to their parents’ summer home in Maine.

Then, like thousands of consumers around New England, Kett became intrigued by the unprecedented protest Market Basket employees staged to get Arthur T. Demoulas reinstated as head of the grocery empire.

And so on Friday, just two days after Demoulas struck a deal to buy out his cousin’s share of the company, Kett finally stopped in at the Portsmouth store — becoming one of an untold number of new customers drawn to Market Basket by the recent barrage of news coverage.

If somehow you never heard of Market Basket before you damn well have heard of them now, and more importantly these new shoppers like Casey are catching the workforce at their absolute best, flush from their victory and still happy every single day they are at work no matter what the duty.

So right now 35 days after Arthur S. Demoulas & family figured they finally had finished off Arthur T and his allies not only have they lost the company but it’s has under his cousin reached cult status and rather than dumping him with a debt ridden white elephant have put him in a position to reap greater profits and rewards then they every dreamed of.  And what did they get, well they went from very rich to very very rich, in other words their own lives will hardly change at all.

It must make Arthur S Demoulas sick to his stomach.

 

 

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday I reported that Market Basket was slowing coming back to normal but today I can report that the adjective slowly doesn’t cut it.

On thursday at noon the parking lot was still pretty empty

When I pulled into the parking lot at just after 4 PM it was crowded, in fact there was nothing to suggest that anything had been going on except for a man picking a perfect time to voice a grievance against the company walked on the sidewalk holding a sign urging a new boycott.

He was not being heeded as entering the store I found it crowded with 9 registers open

On thursday we saw the start of deliveries returning

27 hours later the signs of the work showed. The fresh fish section was full including crab legs, scallops and whole fish. The meat section was populated and full. The cereal aisle had spaces but there was volume on every shelf, the juice section that had been nearly empty was more than half full.

The biggest difference was the produce section, almost empty the day before fresh peppers, corn and lettuce was there. About half that section was empty.

The bread section still had plenty of gaps but it seemed it was flying off the shelves as fast as the associates could put it there.

But the real sign that all was normal was the prepared foods. The ovens were in action, cakes and breads were apparent and the very first shipment of chickens were a mere 30 minutes from going from rrotisseries to sales floor.

If Market basket has reached this state less than 40 hours after the announced deal I would not be surprised if they aren’t completely back to normal by the middle of next week.

After a late night and an early Mass I headed down to the closest Market Basket to see what people were saying and to pick up some of the groceries that I’ve done without for the past month.

I hit the parking lot at 8:10 AM and noticed several signs on the wall thanking the customers and welcoming them back. These were professional printed which implies that they had these ready for at least a day for this moment suggesting part of the delay in finalizing the deal might have been to get things ready for their opening.

The Milk Egg and cheese aisle was pretty well stocked but people were making it a point to check the dates on the eggs and perishable items. While fresh meat, veggies and the cheapest cereals were gone there was enough stock to cover most needs. You could actually tell the shopping patterns of the people who ignored the boycott by what was left on the shelves and what was not.

I talked to several customers who came just to see what was there, a woman expressed disappointment that there were no PopTarts but that of course is to be expected as the supply chain has not been re-established

Employees I spoke to were absolutely thrilled, some looked exhausted having been up all night others had got the news early this morning. A few said their personally couldn’t have held out much longer and were full of relief but all were rushing to stock the shelves with whatever they had ready to put out.

They had incredibly high praise for the customers who stood by them. One young lady told me about a homeless man who lived out of a shopping cart who would come in regularly (Since you can buy a whole cooked chicken for just $4 it’s not unusual for the homeless to stop in when they have a few dollars). He hadn’t been in the store the entire time of the strike.

One day when she was shopping at the Hannafords for her basics she happened to look up and saw him walking by in Leominster she noticed him there.

She was surprised after all “strike” or no Market Basket was open and while they didn’t have many fresh meats they did have preserved meats that a homeless man could have picked up and eaten, yet he walked all the way to the next town to respect the action of the Market basket workers. She’ll not forget that.

Around 8:30 Arthur T. was getting ready to speak and some of the meat & deli folk gathered around some smart phones to see what he had to say, by then I had just about finished my shopping and headed for the registers.

Even with the smaller selection I found myself spending over $70 (I was short on Olive Oil) but I still paid .61 cents less for a loaf of bread and .29 cents less for the nacho chips I buy, and a full .50 less a package for an inexpensive brand of flavored water that was not available at Hannafords and I could go on and on.

I got to the checkout at about 8:35 by that time a 2nd register had been opened up and there was a small wait. I talked to the women running the checkout they had just been called in because traffic had already increased. I would not be surprised if the number of registered doubled by the time this piece went up.

Finally as I left the store around 8:40 I noticed that there were more cars in the lot at that moment early in the morning than I had seen any day during the last 30 days.

Things are not quite back to normal, but they’re getting there and in two weeks when the shelves and stocked and the people are there shopping like nothing had ever happened I’ll remember the times I walked though those empty store and thought of the people who were willing to risk everything for what they believed in.

We won’t see the like again.

*******************************

Olimometer 2.52

If you think the coverage and commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below to meet our annual expenses.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

Heard about the Market Basket Deal just a few minutes ago (11:20 PM) and here is what comes to mind.

 

Tomorrow I have shopping to do.

The financing of the deal is going to have to be paid for somehow.  It will likely have to come out of a combination of profits & prices so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some slightly higher prices short term.

The biggest danger that has to be resisted by the victorious employees is retaliation against those in their number who didn’t want to strike (with 25K workers that’s gotta be in the hundreds easy).

I suspect there will be a huge promotion at Market Basket sometime in the near future to celebrate, I imagine the grand re-opening event will be rather epic.

The Arthur S family while angry is sitting pretty, they just got a ton of money and I suspect are not liable for any of the losses over the last month as part of the deal.

I think that economics students will be writing about and doing papers on this for decades and centuries to come.

The workers who stuck their necks out will have a bond that will exist long after they leave Market Basket.

I’m wondering how long it will take the side business’ dependent on Market Basket to recover from the closing?

I hope the managers are planning to schedule any of the removed workers today because I suspect many of them started celebrating at 11 PM or so and are likely still sleeping it off as this post goes up at 7 AM EST.

It will be interesting to see how many if any, Market Basket customers don’t come back, will the number of new customers coming in to find out what was so good about the store that it was worth risking your job over make up for it?

After this week there will likely never be another “Market Basket Wars” post unless Arthur T. children don’t learn the lesson from this fight

Finally I must confess that while I’m very happy for the Market Basket Employees I’m particularly happy for me because this will make a big difference to my personal bottom line and with money VERY tight right now that’s important.

 

 

…things continue to crash and burn in a figurative sense:

A Boston fish company and one of the biggest seafood suppliers to Market Basket cut ties with the supermarket chain Monday. The fish company’s chief executive cited “one strategic blunder after another” as the reason and said the move would continue until former corporate employees return to work.

This should be no surprise to anyone who has been following this from day one and the fish guys are not alone

Paul Hatz of Watertown Greek specialty food company Extra Virgin Foods—said he was overpaid, to a much smaller degree, by more than $3,000. But the firings played a bigger role than payment issues in his decision to cut ties, Hatz said, because some of those employees were the people he had been closely working with since he began selling to Market Basket in 2011.

“When they threw out everybody I worked with, I decided I didn’t want to do business with them,” he said.

Hatz said he does about $2 million in sales to Market Basket each year.

Three other vendors spoke to Boston.com Monday and Tuesday, but did not want to publicly identify their companies because they are still doing business with Market Basket. Between the three of them, they said they have been overpaid by more than $250,000.

Now the first thought of people might be, what’s the problem we have extra dough? but it messes up the books and speaks to the incompetence of the new management team.

Meanwhile a name familiar to me has spoken up as well:


I really don’t think there’s any other viable buyer for the company,” DiGeronimo said about Hannaford’s reported bid. “It’s clear [Arthur T.’s] got the vision given what he’s done with the company these past four years. If you’ve got the food business in your blood it’s all you want. And for Arthur T., this is his life. Who would want to take the risk of buying a company with a workforce committed to another leader?”

I remember victory market, and the DiGeronimo brothers and Victory Markets. They ran a good supermarket and before Market Basket came to town it was where we shopped. There were several in Fitchburg all of which were closed once Hannafords took over and he absolutely gets what is going on:


It’s that loyalty that’s been the driving force in the Market Basket dispute. And it goes way back. The former Victory CEO saw it first hand when his stores were competing against Market Basket.

“We were always able to attract good help from other companies,” DiGeronimo said. “Name a company and we could get them. Except one. We were never able to get a Market Basket employee to jump ship.”

and has seen it first hand


Three years later when my dad died he was the only grocer in the entire industry that called me. And he made a generous donation to St. Anne’s Church in my father’s name. So, all those stories about the little things he does — they’re true.

People dont’ forget a kindness, and if a former CEO is impressed by a fellow millionaire showing kindness unsolicited, how much more will a guy with a mortgage a car payment working 9-5 for $10 n hour?

And that more than any other reason is why a month later the stores are as one person put it: “an introvert’s paradise” and the store of choice for the Anthropophobia victum near you.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this development:


NEW BEDFORD – Part timers at the New Bedford Market Basket left work en masse today, taking with them their last paycheck and a slip of paper with a number for the state unemployment office.

“It’s like a funeral in here,” said store director Bill Clark, who said that he had to lay off his part time workers, who represent about 90 percent of the store’s employees. “It’s going to be very difficult to come back from this. I see Market Basket non-existent in the very near future, unless Arthur T. Demoulas makes some sort of statement.”

However Market Basket insists they are not in fact laying off workers:

“I have issued an immediate communication for all Store Directors. All Store Directors are to let their associates know that they are not laid off,” Thornton said in a statement emailed by the company Thursday afternoon. “All Store Directors as part of their normal responsibilities are able to and often do reduce hours but they need to make clear when doing so that the individuals are still employees of DSM.

I suspect to the employees no longer getting checks that is a distinction without a difference.

Now in terms of a business decision this is a sound move. There is no money coming in therefore there is no point in scheduling hours and even better if your goal is to dump the company, the more part timers loyal to Arthur T who are no longer with the company the easier it will be to dump the place and not worry about a worker revolt.

In terms of PR of course the idea that you are dumping 20,000 workers is basically a disaster and in an election year is not something that will be pols looking to be elected and re-elected are in a position to ignore..

However I think this has reached the point where management has decided no amount of bad PR is going to stop them, I think the store is going to be sold out from under the employees and an entire new team brought it.

The only problem being of course while you can wait or starve the employees out the customers have other alternatives and it will take a lot of time effort and money to try to win them back.

However this is New England land of the low info voters, given that the voters have been wiling to elect and re-elect people who ignore and abuse them I see absolutely no reason why a buyer wouldn’t assume the customers who vote that way wouldn’t shop that way too.

Final thought, be prepared now that tens of thousands of voters are about to lose their jobs for pols to get involved who did not, but perhaps if they had gotten involved before this point maybe those tens of thousands wouldn’t have lost their jobs.

Of course if the GOP took my advice on the matter back in July thousands of young people who would likely never think of voting Republican might right now be remembering which party was on their side before their jobs were lost.

As I said at the time it was a golden opportunity for the Massachusetts GOP and the smart thing to do…

…which explains why they failed to do it.

Friday I attended the Protest at the Market Basket in Tewksbury that you might have heard of on the NBC nightly news yesterday.

I got to the event at 10 but even during the post rush hour time of the event the The Traffic on 495 was impossible and when I arrived at the event I had to park a 1/2 mile away (off of the map shown on the Save Market Basket Facebook page.

I pretty much started interviewing people as I moved forward.

There were people leaving early because of commitments and new people coming and I kept interviewing them.

I eventually got to the crowd and boy it was BIG

I extended the monopod and to a pan of the crowd:

I saw a Tea Party fellow with a flag and interviewed him.

Followed by a warehouse worker, they have taken the biggest hit from this work action.

There were many speakers:

They stood next to a stuffed Giraffe symbolizing “sticking your neck out” and the podium is the back of a large pickup truck

Which has been their makeshift platform.

The Petition that last speaker mentioned were in a tent next to the truck

There was a wide variety of speakers, here is a sample

I worked my way to the back of the crowd. There is a series of tent at the back where people were set up with water for people. While in that tent I spoke to a fellow from Jeff Kuhner show.

At the end of this interview there was suddenly a surge of people to a truck near K-Mart

It was Pizza from Dominos that had been purchased anonymously

When I got back to the tent it was pointed out that other local business had also supported the protesters

But back to the protest proper, the workers sticking out their necks vary between short term workers like Chris

To long term workers like Ken

Though this is a labor issue the workers have rejected unionizing although some Unions have shown support

(It’s not often you get unions and tea party guys on the same side.)

What has been very conspicuous has been the lack of support from the biggest democrats in the state, the congressional delegation including the senators like Elizabeth Warren have been silent as has Gov Patrick but I found one Democrat primary candidate at the rally.

Mr Devine’s presence highlights the people who have stayed away. There was however a lot of pride in those who backed them including state senators & reps (like my own Steve DiNatale D-Fitchburg) who have been public in this support but as I walked behind the podium again I got the feeling these people & their families would remember who was with them and who was against them.

Near noon they started packing up

And cleaning up

I gave a brief summary of what I saw

and as I was leaving I interviewed one last person who worked at the store where the protest took place.

At this point my wife and I went across the street to the Ray Kroc Memorial Journalistic Filing center McDonalds were I plugged in and put up a quick post. At the location we talked to several of the protesters and customers who with a single exception expressed sympathy with the work action. A few McDonalds workers also mentioned seeing Arthur T on occasion and vouched for the good nature of Mr. Arthur T.

One Hanniford employee who came back seemed to suggest that some of the Market Basket customers who have flocked to the store during the work action have expressed annoyance with the action but the think I found most amazing was being told by protesters was how many people where totally unaware of what is going on even though it’s been all over the news and the protesters where very visible.

That frankly is, in my opinion, Arthur S’ biggest advantage.

In closing I can’t see Mr. S. accepting any offer from Mr. T. If this was about money & success his cousin would still be doing day to day operations. From Arthur S. perspective his side of the family feels cheated, they eventually won in court only to see on of his side of the family switch, then he finally gets the company and there is a workers revolt causing him to retain his Cousin in charge. Then when he finally seemingly gets rid of him, the entire workforce revolts.

I think he’d burn the company to the ground before selling out, if the workers are going to win it’s going to have to mean one of the other shareholders will have to decide it just isn’t worth it.

Let’s hope for the best

The Market Basket Board has given it’s answer to today’s protests, their plan?   stall

Consistent with its fiduciary obligations, the Board will evaluate and seriously consider this proposal, along with any other offers previously received and to be received. Following its evaluation of all of the offers, it will convey its recommendations to the Company’s shareholders.

attack 

The negative behavior of certain current and former associates is at variance with the Company’s culture of putting the needs of the Market Basket customers first. It is now clear that it is in the interests of all members of the Market Basket community for normal business operations to resume immediately.

and stand pat

Furthermore, the Board reaffirmed its election of Co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch to manage the Company in accordance with the Company’s bylaws.”

If the goal is to “win” then this makes sense, they feign interest in the offer to appear to be reasonably, insist that the workers are not ” putting the needs of the Market Basket customers first” which is the exact opposite of the truth, and then back up their replacement crew.  The plan seems to be: appear “reasonable” while ducking any actual action and hope the employees will make a move allowing the Board to win the PR war.

Apparently they figure they can wait the employees out as they don’t have the wealth and the dough to  last.   Alternatively knowing that Arthur T has the same affection for the employees as they have for them, they might figure they can cause him to perhaps up his offer.

My gut says the board will eventually reject Arthur T’s offer,  and when things die down come down hard on the workforce that they now consider the enemy.  Revenge is going to trump capitalism & profit.

I hope I’m wrong because unless I am Market Basket will never fully recover.

******************

Olimometer 2.52

W e need $1100 to make this month’s goal.

If just twenty of you can hit DaTipJar for $50 or more July will end as a success.

If you think the coverage and  commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

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