Culture War Dispatches

from a Progressive People's Republic

Friday, February 26, 2010

Profiles in Courage

When the Republicans were in power, it was called the "nuclear option." Now it's called "reconciliation," or "majority vote" in today's euphemistic Boston Globe headline, "Democrats lay path to pass [health] bill in majority vote." The Globe quotes Nancy Pelosi: “We need to have the courage to get this job done." The reason she needs courage is because the bill is so unpopular with voters. A better headline might have been, "Democrats lay path to pass bill in defiance of majority of voters."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Candidates Simmons and Decker live outside Gallucio's District

Two Cambridge City Councillors have announced they are in the race for Anthony Gallucio’s State Senate seat. Strangely neither of these candidates resides in the district.

According to the Cambridge Civic Journal, Marjorie Decker’s home address is 61 Walden Street, Cambridge in Ward 10, Precinct 1. Decker page

Denise Simmons lives at 188 Harvard Street, in Ward 2, Precinct 1. Simmons page

Neither of these precincts is in Sen. Gallucio’s district, which is a rather bizarre one, taking precincts from the three counties of Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex. Cambridge precincts include: ward 3, precinct 2; wards 6 and 7, ward 8, precincts 1 and 2; ward 9, precinct 1; ward 10, precinct 2. Senatorial Districts

According to Massachusetts law, candidates for the State Senate, “Must be an inhabitant of the district when elected.”

The Cambridge Election Commission confirmed that Decker and Simmons would have to move before Election Day, which is on May 11, 2010.

Curiously the requirements for State Representative are more stringent; candidates “must be a resident of the district for one year preceding the date of the election.”

Elections: A Candidate's Guide to Special Elections

I can think of a few explanations:

A. It’s possible that both Councillors have a second address that they plan to use for the election. (Sort of like those college students who try to use their uncle’s address to get in-state tuition.)

B. They might both be so clueless that they didn’t check the candidate requirements. After all Marjorie Decker forgot to get the signatures required for her re-election to the City Council and had to run a write-in campaign.

C. They might both have the hubris to think no one will notice.

D. They might both intend to move into the district in the next three months.

Correct answer will be revealed in the not so distant future.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Willfully ignorant on next century's climate

The Boston Globe editorial staff takes GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker to task for what they term his “willful ignorance” about climate change. When pressed by a reporter to declare a position on global warming, Baker apparently replied, “I absolutely am not smart enough to believe that I know the answer to that question.” One might quibble with his choice of words, but it’s sensible and appropriately modest for a non-scientist (and a scientist as well) to admit that something as complex as predicting the Earth’s climate centuries in the future should be approached with skepticism.

The Globe will have nothing of it: “A governor who has not informed himself on the science that links carbon dioxide to global warming is going to be an unconvincing proponent of [green] technologies.”

Which science would that be? The stuff about Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035?

The Globe continues:

Baker would do well to listen to fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I say the debate is over,’’ the California governor said in 2005. “We know the science, we see the threat and we know the time for action is now.’’ Terminator, we have a student for you.

Given California’s impending financial implosion, I hope Mr. Baker doesn’t enroll.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

American Thinker!!!

AT posted my first column. 53 comments so far, but who's counting?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Purple Loosestrife on the Loose

It is not a news flash that purple loosestrife has been crowding out native species in the northeastern U.S. since it was introduced in the early 1800s, but if a scientific study of invasive species at Walden Woods mentions global warming as a possible cause, the story is catapulted to both the Globe’s front page (2/4/10) and its editorial page (2/7/10).

The ecosystem at Walden Pond may be different than it was 150 years ago, but this is hardly incontrovertible evidence that we must rush through ineffectual trillion dollar carbon taxes to reduce manmade CO2. All plants prosper with increased CO2, and it may well be true that the “warming trend gives nonnative plants an edge.” This however does not validate either of the two essential tenets of the theory of anthropogenic global warming, that warming is both manmade and catastrophic.

By the way, although a long-term warming trend is not under question, I’d like to see the footnotes verifying the Globe’s cited warming trend in Concord of 4.3 degrees F in the last 150 years; the IPCC’s number for the planet is closer to 1.5 degrees F. Have the Boston suburbs really experienced three times the warming of the global average?