Thursday, March 30, 2006
In Wellesley a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise has opened downtown. The shop’s owner skirted town licensing requirements by removing all the seats from the store and operating strictly as a takeout operation, which he claims does not require a license. The town disagreed and took him to court, but lost its case there.
According to the Globe one town official called the joint “a barnacle on the face of progress”.
Apparently Wellesley is a progressive community.
Anyway, if a newspaper catches an official in such a regrettable quote, perhaps they should deliver a full measure of public humiliation by printing the name of the person who said it.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Richard, [Richard Chacón, Boston Globe Ombudsman]
Re: the Sunday article in the BostonWorks section entitled "Same-sex couples face unique adoption hurdles", the story reads:
Still, an atmosphere of retrenchment distracts from a wider truth -- more same-sex couples are raising children than ever before. What was once unheard of is now a fact of life. Forty percent of same-sex couples aged 22 to 55 are raising children, about 5 percent of whom are adopted, according to the Williams Project, a UCLA Law School think tank. If you include children born in once-heterosexual marriages, raised by single parents and parents of all ages, up to 10 million children are estimated to have a lesbian or gay parent.
Based on the context and the documents available at the
According to the CIA World Factbook, the
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So the statistic reported in the Globe story implies that roughly 1 of 6 children in the
Richard, I doubt this.
The attached report is the only report I can see from the Williams site that pertains to the entire US:( see http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/Policy-Census-index.html )
The report states in the executive summary:
More than 39% of same-sex couples in the
The 250,000 figure does not originate with this report but is attributed to a document entitled "The Gay and Lesbian Atlas", as explained on page 10 of the report:
Same-sex couples in the
Many same-sex couples in the
So, Richard, will you please find out where the "up to 10 million children" figure came from and what it refers to? It seems to me that this report is off target by 40X from its sources, even if these sources are deemed as credible.
Readers, I will post any responses I receive.UPDATE: Richard Chacón, the Globe Ombudsman, checked into this question, and the Globe does have an outside source that has published this claim. Is is a believable source? The figure in question originates in a document that is not available on the Internet. I'm getting a copy of this document, and will have more to say when I have read it.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Here is a humorous Reuters story in today’s Globe entitled 'Chirac bolts EU summit over switch to English' about French President Chirac's walkout yesterday of an EU
Lest we be too quick to scoff, our own politicians are equally capable of deafness to “the language of business” when the politics of cross-border takeovers dictate otherwise.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The sender of this eamil is an executive producer of 'Good Morning America'.
Drudge's site doesn't preserve stuff forever. Let's save this one for Posterity
Priceless. Of course ABC is such a highly professional organization that this personal venom would never poison their coverage of Bush, right?
[CORRECTION: The column's author is DAVID Shribman, who is the former Washington Bureau Chief of the Boston Globe and is now editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
…he led by moral example, by making people believe they could and should be better and raising the standards -- mostly by believing higher standards were better and by living himself at a very high standard….Did he personally raise a lot of money? Well, no. Was he a legendary lecturer? No. Was he a beloved figure on campus in the Mr. Chips sort of way? No. Did he spend his weekends building hiking trails or barreling down ski mountains…? No. That's four ''no" answers. But the answer to the fifth question was an unambiguous ''yes."
That question: Was he a great college president?
He was a great college president because it was his conviction that it wasn't worth having a college that itself wasn't great. I remember hearing him argue once that we should shut down one particular department -- a particularly popular department -- because it wasn't good enough and because every effort we made to make it good enough had failed. He thought in terms of ''pinnacles of excellence": We can't do everything, he would say, so we should do only what we can do very, very well. That is a good lesson, not only on a college green.
[He] once wrote that American college students were rich in idealism and altruism but poor in role models. ''They are not so much indifferent to idealism as uninspired by their elders," he said, ''not so much misled in their values as left to flounder on their own." He wanted to make sure the cure was on campus.
Shribman says that at one time this fellow aspired to become president of Harvard. From the description, it sounds like he wouldn’t be considered for the job today.
Shribman is writing about the late Jim Freedman, former president of Dartmouth college.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Correction: Because of a reporting error, a Sunday book review of 'The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977' referred to a policy that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon 'set in motion before his death.' Sharon remains in a coma after suffering a stroke in January."
UPDATE: Regarding yesterday's front page picture (but non-story) the Globe website carries the picture (which appeared in the printed Globe of 21 March) with an AP story dated 20 March. The story says that Governor Romney is expected veto the slot machine bill if it passes.
The bill Romney would veto is the same bill that got all that free and uncritical front page publicity in yesterday's Globe, right? Hmmmm.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Who sponsored this rally on the Boston Common...and the puff coverage in the Globe?
Today’s Boston Globe carries a large color picture of a rally favoring expanded legalized gambling. The rally took place on Boston Common in front of the State House, but the Globe does NOT carry any article about the rally, and nowhere says who sponsored the rally or how many people attended. The photo caption identifies the demonstrators as “elected officials, union leaders, horse owners and breeders, and others”. This sounds like a story, but you won't find it in the Globe.
So let me ask the obvious question:
“If a rally in support of more gambling is newsworthy enough to rate a large color picture above the fold on page 1 of the Globe, why doesn’t it also rate a couple of paragraphs of coverage somewhere in the paper that gives readers the basic facts about the rally? Or is this merely a case of the Globe awarding entirely free and favorable publicity to one of Beacon Hill's favorite causes?”
Of course what you don’t have to say when “there is no story” is that the Commonwealth already handles over $4.5 BILLION per year in legalized gambling bets through the Lottery alone. That amount represents $13/week for each citizen of
"As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, 'Rahmbo' is essentially managing 40 House races from a war room a few blocks from the Capitol, helping with candidate recruitment, fund-raising and 'rapid response.' One minute he's ordering a colleague to plant an editorial trashing a Republican front runner in his hometown paper ('Write this down!'); the next, he's telling one of his hand-picked candidates that the guy's stump speech lacks passion..."
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Everybody is entitled to a bad day, and today personal favorite columnist Joan Vennochi really steps in it in her Romney-bashing column entitled “A tale of two Mitts”. The beginning of the column completely slips into media hubris:
Romney can run for president, but he cannot hide from the
Our great passion is Romney's big fear. We love presidential politics, especially when a presidential campaign features a local candidate. Talking
Our portrait of a presidential candidate helped Michael Dukakis in the early stages of the 1988 campaign. It did not help John Kerry in the early or late stages of the 2004 campaign. And it stands to undercut a Romney presidential bid in 2008.
“Did not help John Kerry”? Hah! Excuse me for coarseness, but to quote Monty Python, "I fart in your general direction!". Maybe the Globe newsroom did not help Kerry, but they certainly gave their best effort.
For an example take the Globe’s 2 week episode of ‘omerta’ concerning the Swift Boat charges. Was the Boston Globe newsroom anything other than the Kerry campaign’s most reliable cheering section? To her credit, Joan in her Op Ed columns reported earlier and more accurately than the news sections of the Globe about the limitations and problems of the Kerry candidacy. Nevertheless, the excerpt above simply reeks of media arrogance and self-importance. It could have been written by Oliphant.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Wednesday’s Globe has a column and an article about our enforced unanimity with respect to the equal merit of gay adoptive parents. First the column, of Jacoby:
…the political agenda driving this affair is the one favored by the Human Rights Campaign and its many allies in the media and state government: the normalization of homosexual adoption. So important is that agenda to its supporters that they will allow nothing to stand in its way -- not even the well-being of children in dire need of safe and loving families…Millions of Americans would readily agree that gay and lesbian couples can make loving parents, yet insist nevertheless that kids are better off with loving parents of both sexes. That is neither a radical view nor an intolerant one, but if the kneecapping of Catholic Charities is any indication, it may soon be forbidden.
Topping that is the Globe’s story of the gay student group at
Ropes's work for Catholic Charities spurred lengthy discussions among Lambda members about complicated legal and ethical issues, since many students support gay adoption but realize lawyers must represent their clients regardless of whether they share their beliefs.
James Taranto cuts through the supposed complexity:
…the complaint about Ropes & Gray goes against one of the most basic premises of the law: that lawyers are not responsible for the actions of their clients, and that everyone is entitled to seek legal representation.
I don’t know whether to be reassured that the budding lawyers considered the issue or frightened that their commitment to “the normalization of homosexual adoption” apparently trumped all their other concerns.
This adoption putsch is another case that shows why the mention of
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
John Garvey, Dean of the
It seems surprising that the state would want to put the Catholic Church out of the adoption business….Why would the government do that?
One reason is that the Church refused to go along with the effort, enshrined in these regulations and blessed in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, to give gay families the same legal rights as straight families.
But Catholic Charities did not obstruct that effort; it only declined to assist it. Is our commitment to equality so strong that we are willing to put Catholic Charities out of business because it won't promote an agenda that it views as morally wrong?
The issue is not whether the Church or the state has the better of the debate over gay families. When freedom is at stake, the issue is never whether the claimant is right. Freedom of the press protects publication of pornography, blasphemy, and personal attacks. Freedom of religion is above all else a protection for ways of life that society views with skepticism or distaste.
Garvey’s piece stands out for its reasoned argument compared with another column by a member of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and a Globe editorial chastising Governor Romney for planning to introduce a bill exempting religious institutions from this requirement. The editorial is particularly unreasonable. Here is a classic example:
Romney is governor, not a Catholic bishop. And he is considering a run for president, not pope. He should be defending the law, not proposing loopholes of discrimination.
A first step would be for Romney to ask Catholic bishops to reconsider whether the Church's own strong position on caring for vulnerable children deserves as much weight as its opposition to homosexuality.
Can you follow that? The first step in defending the law for the Commonwealth's head of government is to hector the Church about its own interpretation of its teaching and tradition. The Globe apparently sees no inconsistency here. I honestly believe this type of incomprehension stems from the complete compartmentalization of religion that occurs in deeply secularist institutions such as the media. This makes me thankful that the Commonwealth is a democracy, albeit one with an intrusive judiciary.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
The driver in question was Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar.
Whoa, don't jump to conclusions. The Times certainly didn't. As the [NY Times] report continued:
"According to statements taken by the police, Mr. Taheri-azar, 22, an Iranian-born graduate of the university, felt that the
"His people"? And who exactly would that be? Taheri-azar is admirably upfront about his actions. As he told police, he wanted to "avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world."
And yet the M-word appears nowhere in the Times report. Whether intentionally or not, they seem to be channeling the great Sufi theologian and jurist al-Ghazali, who died a millennium ago but whose first rule on the conduct of dhimmis -- non-Muslims in Muslim society -- seem to have been taken on board by the Western media:
The dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle. . . .
Are they teaching that at
Well not yet, but their post-graduate program on
Yet the same Sunday Times has a superb article in the Magazine section by James Traub about the lasting impact of the 1994 election, and the Democrats' hopes of undoing its legacy:
Indeed. Another notable point about the 1994 Contract is that is was largely ignored by the MSM or mentioned only in passing and with ridicule. Don’t believe me? Check the record. I have. Look in the NY Times, Time or Newsweek magazine. Virtually no coverage. This was a pre-web and pre-blogger period, so really the only play the Contract got was through conservative talk radio. It worked, though. The result was that through the 1994 election results Gingrich ideologically aligned the Congressional delegations of each party for the first time since before the New Deal (“polarized” is how the Democrats put it). It may take decades for the Democrats to recover from what this did to them. They have not started to make up the ground yet, and I doubt they will gain much ground in this year’s elections.
Read Traub’s whole article before it disappears behind the Grey Curtain.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Yes. And since 1973 the
On Monday, Governor Mike Rounds signed a bill that bans all abortions except those to protect the life of the woman.
Yes. A bill that passed in the legislature. Imagine that. We may not like it. Such a bill would not pass in
The ban, slated to go into effect July 1, will be challenged in court and possibly by a statewide vote.
Good for them. A statewide referendum, if part of their legal process, would be welcome. Whereas in
Let go of Roe, Ellen. What liberals have to lose is a unified “Religious Right” and a shield that protects the Republican Party from confronting and dealing realistically with this divisive issue. Is your distrust of our democracy so deep that you prefer to stand by policies dictated by the Courts?
Thursday, March 09, 2006
What is a reflexively progressive and thoroughly feminist newspaper to do when the times call for a report about young women, bar-hopping, and alcohol?
The tragic rape-murder of a drunken young woman in New York earlier this week prompts the Globe to carry a front-page story based on late night interviews with 12 young women in bars and night clubs [Think about it. The reporter got PAID to do this? Nice work if you can get it!]. Most likely all those interviewed were quite sloshed.
The Globe’s dilemma stems from the need to report (without sounding like a mom or a maiden aunt) that even in our progressive culture a young woman or a group of young women who become inebriated in a public place well beyond the point of losing their judgment run a higher risk from predators of all types. At the same time our thoroughly modern media must maintain a posture of secularist moral indifference and cannot take a stance that in any way reflects a particular value system [Note to the editors: Scolding young drunks will not prompt Islamists to riot.]
One way to get out of this jam is to cite questionable statistics:
Other researchers have spotted another trend: binge drinking. David Rosenbloom, director of the Youth Alcohol Prevention Center at Boston University, said studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicated the number of girls between the ages of 12 and 20 who engaged in binge drinking jumped 10 percent between 1991 and 2003. ''This is going on in the
No such luck. The follow-up question went unasked and the BS statistic was printed in the Globe either through media innumeracy or simply because it supports this article’s agenda. The article continues:
Visits to nightclubs in
Thursday, March 02, 2006
"The resignations [of 7 Catholic Charities board members] are the latest development in a high-profile collision between leaders of the state's largest religious group and a population that increasingly embraces gay rights."
I certainly don’t mean to blog incessantly about gay rights issues. But the Globe’s position of advocacy rather than journalism clearly shows in the above sentence.
No evidence is presented that the population of
The bishops have previously raised the possibility of seeking passage of legislation that would grant them an exemption, but state Representative Eugene L. O'Flaherty, House chairman of the joint committee on the judiciary, has said ''there would not be an appetite to entertain that" on Beacon Hill.
No appetite? Why not? Didn’t the Boston Globe just say that the population of
Or (just perhaps) is public support for gay rights considerably more nuanced than the black-and-white picture painted here by the Boston Globe?
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Cab Stand outside Baggage Claim Area
“The New Terminal A”
Tuesday February 28, 2006
Number of Cabs Available: 0
After just a few minutes a few cabs came by. But these cabs had to wait in the cash line to pay their tunnel tolls (no Fast Lane transducers) and the cabs would not accept credit cards.
I use Boston cabs very infrequently, but this has happened to me before.
What other major US city would greet visitors this way?
First Class City? In some ways Boston is not even a First World city.