Hanging out on Martha’s Vineyard with Barack & Michelle

As all six of my regular readers know, I live on Martha’s Vineyard, where, among other things, I’m a volunteer firefighter. So today, on facebook, I put up a tweet about the Tisbury Firefighter’s Association Dinner last night.

Almost immediately I got a private message from my pen pal the Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam, who distilled the hard-won wisdom of his decades in the journalistic trenches into two pithy sentences:

Be posting on Obama, bro!

that’s what the people want

Well that made me laugh. What the hell do I have to say about Obama? That my wife saw three helicopters flying over our house on the day the “First Family” arrived? That I know where Blue Heron Farm is, where Nancy’s is? Other than that I got nuttin, Honey, I wrote back to Mr. Beam. I suggested that maybe I should go interview Cindy Sheehan instead. But Beam was having none of it.

let me rpt: all obama, all the time.

Well, it’s not every day that a distinguished professional curmudgeon like Alex Beam swoops into my life to give me free wisdom bits, and upon reflection I realized that Beam was right: since I have been hanging out with Barack & Michelle I do have a story to tell, and The People not only want to hear it, The People have a Right to hear it. They are, after all, The People.

And so, below the fold, the true story of my recent time with Mr. & Mrs. President on the little bit of Paradise that I call home: Martha’s Vineyard.

Continue reading

Democratic People's Republic of Massachusettsistan

From yesterday’s Boston Globe, this depressing story about how the Massachusetts legislature does everything behind closed doors & under control of the Party Leaders. This is the way things inevitably turn out in a one-party state.

It’s almost enough to make one think of voting Republican (and maybe that’s why we seem to elect Republican governors like Romney pretty regularly). But the Republicans who run for state office here are generally even more abhorent than the Democratic hacks who run the show now, so we’ll probably stick with what we have. The Democrats may practice machine politics, but at least they’re not obsessively homophobic & insanely jingoistic warmongering anticonstitutionalists, which is the Republican trope here in Massachusetts as it is elsewhere across this great nation of ours.

Link your brain to the brain of megacorporation, inc

Via Slashdot, more happy news about neuromarketing (kissing cousin of neuroeconomics), that is, reading your brain to see how you respond to advertising and what you’re thinking about when you decide to buy or not buy any old thing.

Yesterday in the Boston Globe (too lazy to find link) there was a story about law enforcement passively collecting DNA without a warrant by following around suspects and, for example, picking up discarded cigarette butts.

Not hard to imagine marrying these two trends. On the other hand I’m just a technoparanoid.

expressing things that matter; an old story

I was touched by this story in today’s Boston Globe.

I liked the human crafstmanship in the telling, and deeply moved by the dramatic yet universal tale of the failure to live up to our potential.

So I gave it to my 11 year old daughter to read. I asked her why she thought I wanted her to read it. “So I won’t take drugs. Duh.”

I said, “something like that, but there’s something else….” But she had already left the room, singing Avril Lavigne.