Category Archive 'Massachusetts'
09 Mar 2019
Daniel Flynn, in the American Spectator, says: Yes, you can blame Massachusetts.
William Blaxton, the cityâ€™s first settler who dwelled alone on Boston Common, invited the Puritans to settle on the Shawmut. They soon encouraged him to leave. â€œI have come from England because I did not like the Lord Bishops,â€ the first Bostonian lamented. â€œI cannot join you because I would not be under the lord brethren.â€
In the next generation, the Puritans, who depicted themselves as paragons of religious freedom (a bit of propaganda so effective that most fall for it today), executed four on Boston Common for the crime of Quakerism.
Beacon Hill, overlooking the Boston Common, served as the epicenter of the Know Nothing Party during its brief, 1850s heyday. The Know Nothings won every congressional seat, every seat in the state senate, every state constitutional office, and all but 3 of 379 seats in the state house of representatives in the 1854 elections in Massachusetts.
H.L. Mencken traveled from Baltimore to Boston in 1926 to sell a copy of The American Mercury, which contained a story about â€” gasp â€” a prostitute, to the Reverend J. Franklin Chase. The Watch and Ward Society head handed a half-dollar to Mencken, who hilariously bit the silver coin to affirm the honesty of the minister magazine buyer. He then handed over a copy of The American Mercury, which resulted in his immediate arrest â€” and the cigar-chomping Mencken throwing his remaining magazines in the air to the crowd gathered at Brimstone Corner at the edge of Boston Common where the entrance to the Park Street station stands.
Boston imagines itself as the Hub of the Universe and the Athens of America. Massachusetts executed more witches than the rest of the colonies combined, â€œbanned inâ€ regularly prefaces the name of its capital city, and Chik-fil-A, plastic bags, leaf blowers, and other annoyances of the enlightened today regularly face official opprobrium.
How to reconcile the former self-perception with the latter reality?
Todayâ€™s Proper Bostonians deny their ancestry. But a thread runs through the Puritans to the Know Nothings to the Watch and Ward Society to todayâ€™s do-gooders. Just as the Puritans, the Know Nothings, and the Watch and Ward Society regarded themselves as enlightened, progressive, and cultured, local parochial cosmopolitans imagine themselves as the vanguard of tolerance. Intolerant people remain most intolerant to the idea of their own intolerance.
â€œAs politics have become more about identity than policy, partisan leanings have become more about how we grew up and where we feel like we belong,â€ the Atlantic, which commissioned the survey, points out. â€œPolitics are acting more like religion, in other words.â€
HT: Bird Dog.
04 Apr 2018
Something attacked my son while he was sledding in the woods. But what?
My child went sledding alone and emerged from the trees bloody and dazed. He still canâ€™t remember what happened. …
The doctorsâ€™ conclusion, shared with us the next day, is that Beckett was attacked by a large bird of prey, probably a great horned owl. He likely encroached, unknowingly, on the birdâ€™s nest and was blindsided with such force that he was knocked unconscious. The image of our son alone, face down in the snow, is haunting. We wonder what might have happened if he hadnâ€™t managed to stagger to his feet and find his way home.
DO A LITTLE GOOGLING and youâ€™ll discover that violent attacks of this sort arenâ€™t common, but they do happen, usually in places where raptors and humans are forced to coexist, such as ski areas, golf courses, and suburban parks. Some victims compare the blitzkrieg to being hit in the head with a baseball bat.
The Fells includes hiking trails, meadows, and reservoirs, and over the years, weâ€™ve encountered a lot of wildlife, including deer, foxes, coyotes, turkeys, hawks, and, once or twice, an owl with tufted ears and a storybook scowl, perched in a tree.
Andrew Vitz, the state ornithologist, tells me the Fells is home to raptors, including several types of hawks. But because hawks nest in the late spring and summer, they typically donâ€™t behave aggressively in winter. If they do strike, Vitz says, hawks donâ€™t inflict the sort of damage that was done to Beckett.
But great horned owls, which also reside in the Fells, are another matter. They nest in the winter and theyâ€™re bigger, more powerful birds, weighing about 4 pounds and capable of flying 40 miles per hour. Great horned owls are notorious for their stealth and strength. They strike without warning â€” their feathers are adapted to minimize noise during flight â€” and their long, needle-sharp talons can apply sufficient pressure to snap the spine of their prey.
â€œThe great horned owl is a large, very strong bird, and when it strikes, itâ€™s almost always at the head,â€ Vitz tells me. â€œWhat happened to your son is consistent with an owl attack.â€
HT: Althouse via Bird Dog.
19 Oct 2017
A Massachusetts elementary school has canceled its Halloween events and is celebrating ‘black and orange spirit day’ instead.
Boyden Elementary School’s principal sent a letter to parents this week saying that it had decided to cancel its traditional Halloween parade on October 31 because it was ‘not inclusive of all students’ and was ‘difficult’ for many.
Without specifying which students the parade excluded, Principal Brendan Dearborn said the school would instead hold a ‘black and orange spirit day’.
Children are allowed to dress in those colors but cannot come to school in costume.
07 Jul 2017
Vintage News says that the Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts is the oldest:
The west wing of the house was built around 1654, and the east wing was added in the 18th century. After its construction, a chimney was built at its top, and around 1800 expansion of the parlor was made on this side. At the same time, a new wing with two rooms was added to the west side, and behind this side, a toilet was made as the last addition to the house.
The early inhabitants of the house carved hex signs into the mantle in order to protect themselves from witches. Also, shoes have been found in the attic to chase away evil spirits. In 1895, one of the heirs, Rebecca Fairbanks, was in a difficult financial situation, so she sold the house to John Crowley who after the selling allowed her to live there.
Later, Rebecca sold many of the family items including a unique wooden chest which was made by John Houghton in 1658. This item was purchased back by the family in 2003.
When Crowley wanted to tear down the house in 1897, it was immediately purchased by Mrs. J. A. Codman and her daughter. In 1904, the newly established Fairbanks Family took the house over, and in 1905 it became a museum. In 1960, it was declared a National Historic Landmark and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Two buildings, the La Maison Puisseaux and La maison des JÃ©suites in Quebec City, date from 1637, but it unclear if they were wood-frame houses.
22 May 2014
ARKHAM, MA -â€” Arguing that students should return to the fundamentals taught in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon in order to develop the skills they need to be driven to the very edge of sanity, Arkham school board member Charles West continued to advance his pro-madness agenda at the district’s monthly meeting Tuesday.
“Fools!” said West, his clenched fist striking the lectern before him. “We must prepare today’s youth for a world whose terrors are etched upon ancient clay tablets recounting the fever-dreams of the other godsâ€”not fill their heads with such trivia as math and English. Our graduates need to know about those who lie beneath the earth, waiting until the stars align so they can return to their rightful place as our masters and wage war against the Elder Things and the shoggoths!”
The controversial school board member reportedly interrupted a heated discussion about adding fresh fruit to school lunches in order to bring his motion to the table. With the aid of a flip chart, West laid out his six-point plan for increased madness, which included field trips to the medieval metaphysics department at Miskatonic University, instruction in the incantations of Yog-Sothoth, and a walkathon sponsored by local businesses to raise money for the freshman basketball program.
Artist’s rendering of the Cthulhu, a hideous demon borne of pure malice that fewer than 3 percent of high school sophomores can identify.
“Our schools are orderly, sanitary places where students dwell in blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaits,” West said. “Should our facilities be repaired? No, they must be razed to the ground and rebuilt in the image of the Cyclopean dwellings of the Elder Gods, the very geometry of which will drive them to be possessed by visions of the realms beyond.”
19 Jun 2013
Martial Law Underway in Watertown
National guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed on April 19th by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement. Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the group’s organizers as “criminals,” issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government’s efforts to secure law and order. The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed wide-spread refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault weapons.
Gage issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting in early this month between government and military leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms.
One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that “none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily.” Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington met with resistance from heavily-armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding the government’s plans. During a tense standoff in Lexington ‘s town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists. Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange.
Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, armed citizens from surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units.
Colonel Smith, finding his forces over matched by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.
Governor Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in its effort to restore law and order. The governor also demanded the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government troops. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as “ringleaders” of the extremist faction, remain at large.
. . . And this, people, is how the American Revolution began .
April 20, 1775
Hat tip to James Harberson.
21 Apr 2013
The Mercedes SUV hijacked by the Chechen bombers bore this bumper sticker.
08 Oct 2012
Walter Russell Mead, in a typically witty and insightful essay, compares and contrasts the legacy of Massachusetts Bay and Harvard on this year’s two candidates.
When Wilsonians turn their gaze toward the United States, they become what I think of as the Bostonian school in domestic politics. Like the New England Puritans to whom they owe so much, todayâ€™s Bostonians believe that a strong state led by the righteous should use its power to make America a more moral and ethical country. This, I believe, is the tradition in American domestic politics that most profoundly shapes President Obamaâ€™s worldview; it inspired many of the abolitionists and prohibitionists who played such large roles in 19th century reform politics, and it continues to influence the country wherever the spirit of Old New England survives. (Not all domestic Bostonians are international Wilsonians, by the way; some believe that America should lead by example rather than by imposing its views on others.)
Bostonians over the years have changed their ideas about morality; few today would agree with Increase Mather and John Winthrop that the state should punish any deviation from Biblical morality as understood by 17th century puritan divines. But when it comes to punishing offenses against righteousness as defined by a congress of humanities professors, multiculturalist activists and foundation grants officers, the liberal morality police are ready to march â€” and to smite. Todayâ€™s neo-puritans would certainly agree that once morality has been re-defined in a suitably feminist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-tobacco and anti-obesity way, it is the clear duty of the Civil Magistrate to enforce the moral lawâ€”and that our governing constitutions and laws must be interpretedâ€”by the godly who alone ought to be seated on the judicial tribunalsâ€”to give said magistrates all the power they require for their immense and unending task of moral regulation and uplift.
Read the whole thing.
24 Sep 2011
The same Supreme Judicial Court that concluded a few years ago that the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 mandated Gay Marriage has recently concluded that the Bay State can enhance its revenues by charging drivers for contesting traffic tickets.
Motorists issued a traffic ticket in Massachusetts will have to pay money to the state whether or not they committed the alleged crime. According to a state supreme court ruling handed down yesterday, fees are to be imposed even on those found completely innocent. The high court saw no injustice in collecting $70 from Ralph C. Sullivan after he successfully fought a $100 ticket for failure to stay within a marked lane.
Bay State drivers given speeding tickets and other moving violations have twenty days either to pay up or make a non-refundable $20 payment to appeal to a clerk-magistrate. After that, further challenge to a district court judge can be had for a non-refundable payment of $50. Sullivan argued that motorists were being forced to pay “fees” not assessed on other types of violations, including drug possession. He argued this was a violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause, but the high court justices found this to be reasonable.
“We conclude that there is a rational basis for requiring those cited for a noncriminal motor vehicle infraction alone to pay a filing fee and not requiring a filing fee for those contesting other types of civil violations,” Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote for the court. “Where the legislature provides greater process that imposes greater demands on the resources of the District Court, it is rational for the legislature to impose filing fees, waivable where a litigant is indigent, to offset part of the additional cost of these judicial proceedings.”
The court insisted that allowing a hearing before a clerk-magistrate instead of an assistant clerk, as well as allowing a de novo hearing before a judge constituted benefits that justified the cost. Last year, the fees for the clerk-magistrate hearings generated $3,678,620 in revenue for the courts. Although Sullivan raised the issue of due process during oral argument, the court would not rule on the merits of that issue.
It’s easy to see why Elizabeth Warren is a viable candidate in that state.
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