Posted tagged ‘boston’

When Life Goes Well

October 31, 2013

NBC released a new poll yesterday.  No surprise, releasing a poll is like printing money.  These poll’s message, however, was not a surprise although it gives reason for great concern.  Public confidence in Congress, Republicans, Democrats, and the President have all sunk to new lows.  So tell me something that is a surprise.

How about a new Snowdon revelation that NSA intelligence gatherers penetrated the Australian China Embassy in order to gather information on the Chinese while appearing to be Australians.  Pretty brave.  Pretty unethical and short term in NSA thinking.

Or, would you believe that Linday (yes I’m running for reelection) Graham is putting a Senate hold on all nominees including Janet Yellen for the next Federal Reserve chairwoman.  Why?  It seems Grahams clock is still stuck on Benghazi and until certain people testify before a Senate committee, Graham “holds” will stay in place, he says.

Dysfunction, mean spiritedness, and gross ignorance of what needs to be done, all describe the focus of the news we see and hear everyday.  Bummer.  Does anything go well?

Yes.  Last night in Boston, the Red Sox won baseball’s world series.

For sure it was only baseball but baseball has often been held up as a metaphor for the greatness of American life.  The Red Sox victory (from last to first, through controversy with dedication and hard work), for sure, could be seen as a metaphor what American life has been in the past, and more importantly, what life could be in the future… if America stopped shooting itself in the foot.

These low poll ratings are all deserved and all self inflicted.  The NSA intelligence gathering while necessary (given the world we live in), employed methods devoid of ethical and common sense considerations.  Ends do not justify means.  And, misapplying Senate rules meant to protect minority interests, damages both the nominees put on hold and makes the Senate a much smaller a deliberative body.

The Red Sox season and especially the World Series spoke to a different spirit and making possible what does not seem possible.

Boston Second Guessers

April 22, 2013

It is one week since the Boston Marathon tragedy and only a few days since Suspect #2 was captured.  Investigations are underway.  The answer to “why”, however, is not yet known and it may take some time to piece together an explanation.  That doesn’t stop the usual suspects from pontificating their favorite themes.

The NRA swooned that each of Watertown’s 32,000 citizens would have wished to possess a hand gun Thursday evening and Friday (or better yet, an assault rifle) in order to protect themselves.  I guess the NRA did not get the memo saying Suspect #1 and #2 were confronted with single police officer squad cars with fairly positive results (one dead, one wounded).

Senator Chuck Grassley intoned that the Boston tragedy was a good reason to not proceed on immigration reform.  Hmmm.  The US immigration problem is by numbers a Mexican problem and Suspects #1 and #2 were not Mexican (or Hispanic).

Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain along with Representative Peter King all called for treating the suspects as unlawful combatants.  Have the military take control and get the information about those who may have supported the suspects.  Hmmm.  These suspects have committed crimes under both Massachusetts and Federal laws.  The evidence is a plenty.  One suspect is dead (read not much information will be coming from him), and the other is seriously wounded (read not much information will be coming from him either until he recovers).

As far as I know, nails, ball bearings, BB’s, and pressure cookers are readily available for anyone to buy.  In addition, thanks to the NRA, black power can be bought, no questions asked, at your friendly gun dealer.  Hmmm.

The Boston tragedy needs to be handled with the combination of Federal, State, and local officials who have handled it so professionally and so well up to know.  Those preaching from a national stage intent on forwarding their own agendas would be advised to keep quiet.

Boston is not about to become paralyze with the “terrorist fever”.  Boston is a melting pot and is not going to switch to rejecting others coming into their community.  And above all, Boston is an American city whose roots trace back to the writing of the Constitution.  Boston is both capable and ready to serve justice with a thorough investigation and trial.

The second guessers need to find another venue.


What A Difference A Day Makes

April 20, 2013

Sometime today the clouds will break and the sun will shine on Boston.  With the sky blue, spring will once again be the order of the day.  Yesterday, however, was quite different.

In a surreal television experience, the nation watched a manhunt take place in Watertown.  Officials “asked” over 1 million Boston area residents to stay home and in doors.   And most amazingly, voluntarily they did.

The television projected a seamless law enforcement effort.  If what was viewed had been a practice session, law enforcement leaders could not have been prouder or more pleased with their units performance.

The media also distinguished themselves.  Reporters rushed to Boston and became their network’s live voice from the scene.  Surprisingly well, the producers mixed analysis, emerging background information, and live reports to effectively keep the viewer front row in Watertown.

And as by the script as the sun set, officials announced the end of shelter in place without having captured the second suspect.  Then almost on cue, shots rang out and the networks which were about to sign off, were live again.  And then, mercifully, the second suspect was captured, wounded hiding in a winterized boat in a backyard.

It must have been painful for the suspect.  For everyone else there was a release of joy and certainly satisfaction.  Residents cheered the police officers.  The law enforcement officials praised the residents.  It was like the climax to a great symphony.

Boston was ready to forget that the Red Sox and Bruins could not play due to the “shelter in place” request.  Bostonians who could not travel by the T (subway) were ready to get out and meet life again.  You could feel the city exhale.

Now the process of finding out why will begin.  The information available until now offers no credible reason for either the Marathon bombings or the flight from arrest.  Their motive will most likely turn out to be pathetic displaying the suspects’ minds as putty in the hands of other sick people.

It will make no difference.  The only difference that will be important is that Boston is ready to move on.

Boston’s Turn

April 16, 2013

Yesterday was Boston’s turn to feel the hurt of cowardly actions.  For reasons we do not know, and by persons unknown, there are three dead, victims of a “do it yourself” bomber.  We must be patient until law enforcement officials crack the case.  Only then will we learn the who, the how, and the why.

The perpetrator(s) might of had some reason, some statement, some revenge they wished to achieve.  Those responsible could have been supporters of a well know cause, or they may have been just someone who felt they had been wronged.  Or, like the Aurora, Colorado mass killing, the Boston tragedy may have just come from the hands of someone who had lost their mind.  In time we may know this.

Revenge and getting even will have to wait.  While there is comfort in believing this crime will not go unpunished, who to punish and how to punish cannot be selected now. That process will have to wait.

Pictures and news reports showed a grand side of Boston.  While smoke still billowed, dozens of first responders ran into the bomb zone to aid and rescue those injured.  Where someone was willing to take other’s lives, others were willing to risk theirs freely in order to mitigate the extent of the tragedy.

So, maybe the killer was someone who strongly believed something.  Maybe this person was overcome with the strength and righteousness of their belief.  Maybe their view was so strong they could not help but kill others.  Maybe.

In situations like this, I cannot help but think about Hindus and Buddhists who wished to protest the most egregious oppression.  Self immolation is a sad and dreadful way to end ones life.  Never-the-less, self immolation is about a single person’s statement.  It does not take life of another.

Yesterday wasn’t just Boston’s day.  In Iraq, over 50 car bombs exploded taking countless lives.  I am sure that when the facts behind the Boston tragedy are known, just as in Iraq, innocent victims will have died for no purpose.  Self immolation looks better all the time.