Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, October 31, 2014

Ebola and the Bike Ride, by rockync of The Swash Zone

I applaud Kaci Hickox for defying the reactionary political hacks and demanding release from a mandatory quarantine but I also fear for her safety. The pols and the media have managed to create yet more hysteria and hype which of course has brought out the craziest of the crazies. 

The comments concerning Kaci have run from take her nursing license, send her back to Africa to charge her with murder if anyone becomes infected and dies of ebola in Maine. 

Kaci does have the support of much of the actual medical community. HERE is a article from the New England Journal of Medicine which reads in part: "We have very strong reason to believe that transmission occurs when the viral load in bodily fluids is high, on the order of millions of virions per microliter. This recognition has led to the dictum that an asymptomatic person is not contagious; field experience in West Africa has shown that conclusion to be valid. Therefore, an asymptomatic health care worker returning from treating patients with Ebola, even if he or she were infected, would not be contagious. Furthermore, we now know that fever precedes the contagious stage, allowing workers who are unknowingly infected to identify themselves before they become a threat to their community." 

The ANA (American Nurses Association) has also made a statement HERE in regards to mandatory quarantine. This reads in part: 

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) opposes the mandatory quarantine of health care professionals who return to the United States from West African nations where Ebola is widespread. ANA supports registered nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, in her challenge of a 21-day quarantine imposed by state officials in Maine, her home state." 

There have been a total of 9 cases of ebola on American soil. Thomas Duncan is the only one who unknowingly brought it with him from West Africa and subsequently died of the illness. Of all the people he was in contact with, including family members who shared living quarters, only two people were actually infected with ebola from Mr Duncan and that was the two nurses who either broke protocol or were inadequately prepared by their hospital administration. Of all the people they came in to contact with, NONE have come down with ebola. The other six ebola cases were all Americans working in West Africa who were knowingly returned to the US for treatment in Atlanta, Nebraska and Oklahoma. No health care workers have become infected from treating these patients and they have all recovered. 

Now that the flu season is upon us, let's take a look at that. Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans come down with the flu. Of those 20,000-40,000 die from complications of the flu. Every year people go to work and interact with others while knowingly or unknowingly being infected with the flu. Unlike ebola where you have to symptomatic to be infectious, with the flu you have a 1-4 day incubation period and you can be infectious at least one day BEFORE symptoms appear! 

Can you imagine applying the same hair-brained logic to the flu as to ebola? Mandatory quarantine if you come in to contact with someone who has the flu. If you go to work with the flu and your co-worker's 90 year old Aunt Louise dies two weeks later from complications of the flu, you should be charged with murder. And if you won't stay home and you have an Asian strain of flu then we should just pack you up and send you and your flu to Asia! 

People need to get a grip and community leaders need to grow a brain - caving to public hysteria and pandering to the fear mongers because it is an election year is some of the WORST reasons to make unreasonable demands on decent, caring people who go above and beyond to do the work they love. 

We DO NOT have an ebola epidemic in the United States and there has NOT been a state of emergency declared anywhere in the United States due to ebola so therefore any mandatory quarantine is a criminal offense called unlawful restraint or kidnapping. 

This is the same kind of ignorance and irrational fear that led to witch burnings and the Grand Inquisition.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Farewell Mayor Thomas Menino

From "The Right Stuff" "Is that a man? You're damn right it is."

Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s longest serving mayor, has died at 71

Our beloved mayor, Thomas Menino, "The People's Mayor," passed away today.

My daughter and I had dinner at the table next to him and his family just two months ago at Saraceno Ristorante (his favorite) in Boston's North End.  We minded our business and didn't bother him, but as he and his party got up to leave, he looked our way, and my daughter and I waved and blew him kisses.  He warmly acknowledged our greeting, and waved back at us.

I was also in his company a year ago when when he dropped in on the luncheon that the mayor's office gave every year for North Enders celebrating their Italian heritage.  He knew that lunch would be his last as Boston's mayor, but none of us could have imagined it would be the last he'd attend.

Mayor Menino was Boston's longest serving mayor who oversaw tremendous changes in the city he loved. Among the many issues he supported, he was a strong supporter of LGBT rights and of marriage equality, and boy did he love our sports teams.

When Boston was horrified by the marathon bombing in 2013, Mayor Menino was in the hospital recovering from surgery.  He left the hospital, when anyone else should be recovering, and showed solidarity with the city he loved.  And the city loved him.

How sad it is that one year after retiring from politics he passed away, leaving his family and Boston with such a terrible loss.

He was lovingly called "Mumbles Menino," because of his habit of talking fast and swallowing his words, so that sometimes it was difficult to understand him.  He also was a malapropist, once using "ironic" rather than "iconic" when describing one of Boston's sports teams.  We laughed with him, not at him, and that's because he never forgot who he was or where he came from.  He was a humble, caring, good man, something rare in a politician.

He will be missed.

Charlie Pierce:   Thomas Menino, R.I.P.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Virulent Left Wing Progressivism


A visitor to  a blog claimed that the once-sensible state of New Hampshire has been ruined by "Massholes" who've moved to NH and voted for more government and higher taxes.  These "Massholes," according to the writer, have "infested and infected" New Hampshire with their "virulent leftwing progressivism." 

Let's examine that claim to see how much truth there is to it, shall we?  And in doing so we can discover through evidence if New Hampshire has been "ruined" by former Massachusetts residents.

Massachusetts has an enviable record as one of the best states for quality of life markers in the United States when compared with conservative red states, whose records in quality of life are deplorable.  

"You get what you pay for." 

That saying applies to when you want to buy anything. You want to buy something on the cheap, you get cheap, shabby and, in the long run, worthless goods. Nice things cost money.  Cheap things don't.  The people who denigrate states like Massachusetts sneer, snark, stamp their little hooves, and say "Masshole!" as though that changes the reality that Massachusetts AND New Hampshire are excellent states in which to raise families, work, and spend leisure time. The facts will show that New Hampshire, where a great many Massachusetts residents have relocated, is also among the best states to live for many quality of life reasons, as is all of blue New England.

It's Mass. envy, and then some.  

The facts will show that liberal states, by and large, deliver better quality of life markers than do the conservative states.  This causes some folks cognitive dissonance, so they throw poop around, hoping that most of their readers will believe burying facts under crap will make the crap true.  Oh, it's true, alright, it's true horseshit.

We can start by looking at which states do the best in science education.  There is only ONE U.S. state that gets "best in the country," and guess which state that is? IT'S MASSHOLE!  The worst states?  They're what we traditionally see as conservative red states.  Is science education important to the survival of a country. What do you think?

States Ranked Best to Worst on Science Education

 Massachusetts leads the way in science and math education

"If Massachusetts were a nation, its eighth graders would rank sixth worldwide in mathematics and second in science, behind only Singapore."

Virulent Leftwing Progressivism at work.

Massachusetts's population is the best educated in America.

In Massachusetts, 39.1% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, more than 10 percentage points above the national rate of 28.5%. Additionally, 16.8% of adults have a graduate or professional degree, again the highest percentage in the nation. Although the median annual earnings of $53,765 for those with a bachelor’s degree is very high, adults with either a graduate or a professional degree earn far more. Their median earnings exceed $70,000. Academic success is not limited to adults, as nearly 97% of individuals between the ages of 16 and 19 are either enrolled in high school or have graduated — one of the country’s highest rates.

Most educated states.   Look at the chart and see which states are the best and worst.  Hint:  the worst are the states that consistently vote for conservative governments.  Is education important to the survival of a country?  

Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, also has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.  How's that for LIBERAL family values?  And the states with the highest divorce rates?  Take a look:

Massachusetts Has The Lowest Divorce Rate In The Nation

So "Masshole" has the best scores in the U.S. for math and science and it has the lowest divorce rate. Are you counting? That's THE BEST in important educational subjects AND family values! 

 But wait, there's more!

Massachusetts and New Hampshire, two lowest states in teen birth rates.  Highest states?  Guess. 

So the "Massholes" who relocated to New Hampshire brought their excellent family values along with them, bringing ruination to the Granite State! 

The 10 States with the Best Quality of Life 

BTW, Massachusettes is No. 7 on the list and No. 1?  New Hampshire!  All those "Massholes" who moved to New Hampshire? Look at what they've done to the state! Ruined it to the point where it's considered THE BEST QUALITY OF LIFE STATE IN AMERICA.

But wait!   There's even more!

Here's another list of best quality of life states in U.S., and Massachusetts is in the top ten with New Hampshire coming in at NUMBER ONE again!

More "Masshole" influence in New Hampshire!

Forbes Magazine lists Massachusetts in the top 20 states for business

Being a good state for business is so "Virulent Left Wing Progessivism!" Innit?


According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Massachusetts has the nation’s highest level of first-trimester prenatal care, and the third-lowest infant mortality rate (Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Missouri are about 50 percent higher). It also has the second-highest rate of child access to both medical and dental care, the nation’s lowest child mortality rate, and the lowest teen death rate.


It goes without saying that Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of uninsured residents—5 percent, compared to 16 percent nationally, and a whopping 25 percent in Texas. On life expectancy, Massachusetts ties for sixth-highest, about five years longer than the worst-performing states. In another political universe far, far away, you might describe a place like this as pro-life. A few other metrics of social well-being: The Bay State has the second-lowest teen birth rate, the fourth-lowest suicide rate, and the lowest traffic fatality rate. The birthplace of Dunkin’ Donuts has the sixth-lowest obesity rate.

Best Value in U.S. Health Insurance Is in Massachusetts

"A new report from U.S. News and World Report takes a crack at answering this thorny question by closely evaluating near 6,000 health insurance plans across the U.S. that sell "non-group" coverage to individuals and families. ... Bless USNWR, they also evaluated the value of plans state by state. We already know that Massachusetts has among the highest health insurance premiums in the nation. Surprise, surprise, though, U.S. News and World Reports concludes that Massachusetts health insurance plans "consistently offered broad coverage and protection against a potential flood of medical bills..."

(Did I mention the excellent championship sports teams this "Virulent Left Wing Progressivism" state has spawned?)

Oh wait!  Have a glass of our excellent water.

The most corrupt states?  Masshole isn't there.  But eight out of the ten most corrupt states are conservative.

Massachusetts makes the top 20 of America's happiest states, ahead of traditional southern conservative states.  Where does your state rank?

2014’s Safest States to Live In

"By safety, we’re not referring exclusively to protection from violence and crime. The term encompasses various categories, among them workplace safety, natural disasters, home and community stability, traffic safety and, of course, financial security. Choosing a new place to call home can be challenging. But knowing which states offer the safest environments and the biggest bang for the buck will be useful."

Massachusetts comes in at #1 and New Hampshire #2 for safest states to live in.  

Here's another study that confirms why Massachusetts is among the safest states to live in:


Study shows Massachusetts has third-lowest gun death rate in US

Massachusetts Ranked 5th Overall Best State in Nation

"New Hampshire comes out on top, followed by Vermont in 3rd, Massachusetts in 5th, and Connecticut rounding out the top in 10th. Maine follows at 14th while Rhode Island is stuck in 29th place. 

 Another separate report released last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge showed something of a similar comparative picture in one key indicator: economic mobility. 

 A joint project of economists from Harvard University and University of California, Berkley, that working paper demonstrates states in the south have the worst social mobility in the nation. To determine relative odds for mobility, researchers measured how individuals' incomes stacked up against both their parents and peers. 

 The Great Plains region had the highest opportunity for advancement, followed by the West Coast and Northeast. Boston had the fourth highest opportunity for mobility, among the 50 largest metropolitan areas, while the bottom 10 cities were all located in either the Southeast or Rust Belt."

And Massachusetts doesn't even make the top 10 highest taxed states in the U.S.

I could go on and on about very liberal Massachusetts and all the excellent qualities of life that this liberal state has achieved to date, but I think you get the idea.   

People who write anti-Massachusetts statements obviously don't know what the hell they're talking about.  How could they if they believe that all the areas Massachusetts excels in are RUINING not just Massachusetts, but New Hampshire as well. People, obviously, blinded by an ideology that will never acknowledge how very well liberal states do--even LEAD THE NATION--in areas that are vitally important to the well being not only of states but of America.  

The people who call Massachusetts "Masshole" obviously do it out of ignorance or envy.  Massachusetts, a "virulent" left wing progressive state, has delivered to it citizens many indicators that make life worthwhile and enjoyable. America would be in far better shape if it followed the lead of Massachusetts.

After reviewing the facts, one would have to come to the conclusion that a person would have to be a real ***hole to call Massachusetts a "Masshole." And, as all the information shows, any American would be fortunate to live in a "Virulent Left Wing Progressive" state.