What you need to know about that Boston operator-less subway train joyride.

This is when I particularly miss my dad: he would have had a memorable response to this story about a Boston subway train that went on a joyride without the operator. A lot of people freaked out about the report of ‘tampering,’ but speaking as the son and grandson of railroad men, let me explain: there was tampering, but it wasn’t malicious.  Specifically, the operator tied down the deadman’s switch so that he wouldn’t have to keep holding on to the damned thing all day.  And, yes, I’m guessing – but the operator in question was a twenty-five-year man, so it’s informed guessing. A guy like that probably figures that he knows when to break the safety rules… and, to be honest? Most of the time, he’d probably have been right.

So… probably no terrorism and probably no elaborate plot. The guy just didn’t unhook the cord before he checked out the tracks, that’s all.  That’s also pretty dumba*s, to evoke my late, sincerely lamented father – but at least it wasn’t evil.

Massachusetts state legislature starts up process for the 2019 Democratic corruption scandal season.

I do not see how this could possibly end badly: “House leaders are preparing a set of new internal rules for floor debate Thursday that would abolish term limits for the speakership, unfettering House Speaker Robert DeLeo of the current restrictions that require him to step down in 2017, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.”  According to the Boston Globe, Speaker DeLeo was both a) behind the establishment of term limits (the previous Speaker was, shockingly, convicted for corruption charges) and b) unavailable for comment.  …Imagine my surprise.

No, really, my ability to cope with the universe is now in question.


…and note his expectations, as well. Ryan and I have seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. Entertainingly, if you don’t live in the state in question…

I can respect somebody being against the death penalty.

I can think of at least three arguable, intellectually coherent reasons for being against the death penalty; I do not share that position, but I can do a death penalty opponent the elementary courtesy of treating his or her opinion with respect. So I don’t get upset when somebody says No death penalty, even for scumbags – and means it.

I do get upset when a politician abandons principle for raw political expediency. Like, say, Boston mayor (and Democrat) Tom Menino.

…Mayor Tom Menino, in an uncharacteristic turn, called for the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“I have never supported the death penalty but I will say in this one I might think it’s time this individual serves his time with the death penalty,” Menino said.

Via AoSHQ.  That’s just obscene: if you don’t believe in the death penalty, then don’t believe in the death penalty.  But don’t switch your beliefs just because it’s suddenly politically expedient.  It’s cowardly (in a tough-guy way), hypocritical, cynical, and – depending on how you read Article I, Section 10’s prohibition of ex post facto laws – actually unconstitutional, to boot.

QotD, Sing It, Brother Cullen edition.

Kevin Cullen, of the Boston Globe:

I don’t want to listen to how innocent people bear some responsibility for creating the twisted minds of the Tsarnaev brothers.

Let us first bury our dead, heal our wounded, tend to our damaged first responders. Then maybe I’ll listen to that “what did we do to make them hate us” claptrap. Then maybe I’ll go to some soul-searching debate about how our foreign policy is creating too many enemies and too few allies.

But then, maybe I won’t.

Works for me. While I appreciate Alfred Pennyworth’s ability to turn a phrase, I didn’t need him to tell me that some people just want to watch the world burn.

Via The Washington Free Beacon.

QotD, A NSFW One That You Might Be Able To Skate On Anyway edition.

It’s about the Westboro Baptist Church, after all – which is, well, you know what they’re going to do. It’s rare that I see something in HuffPo’s political section that I can’t disagree with, but this is one of those times.

I hate to break from family-friendliness here, but it should be said that it’s only natural to read about the people of the Westboro Baptist Church and think, “Wow, these people are assholes.” But that is unfair to assholes, which serve a useful purpose.


As a (rather bad) Roman Catholic I feel that I should point out at this moment that it is unkind, unjust, and profoundly un-Christian to go up to people still staggered by a sudden grief and tell them that your own ‘god’ rejoices at their suffering.  And I, of course, deplore any… unfortunate consequences… that might result from such behavior.

#rsrh Mayor Tom Menino helpfully opens up City of Boston to a lawsuit.

I say this as a same-sex marriage supporter: this is dumb, Menino.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston — possibly to a popular tourist spot just steps from the Freedom Trail — after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

…because if Chick-fil-A actually does decide to try to expand into Boston and the Mayor’s office does block the applications then I imagine that the first thing that Chick-fil-A’s lawyers are going to check is whether there’s any, say, Southern Baptist and/or Roman Catholic-affiliated organizations with a business on the Freedom Trail – or applying for business permits in the City of Boston.  And then, when those lawyers find those examples, the next step is to ask why the City of Boston is discriminating against a private company for taking the same position on same-sex marriage as, to reiterate the point, the Archdiocese of Boston. Continue reading #rsrh Mayor Tom Menino helpfully opens up City of Boston to a lawsuit.