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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#internetslowdown

I couldn't figure out how to upload the icon, so here is the general idea. For more information on net neutrality, go to https://www.battleforthenet.com/sept10th/ 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Massachusetts gubernatorial primaries: Democrat style

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I have a very pronounced liberal bias in all of my writings on this blog. Alas, that's what the blog is for; I can hardly write these things when I'm putting together the student paper I write for.

(A little self promotion check us out at http://observer.necc.mass.edu)

Ahem so yeah the Mass. primaries are tomorrow, and I've done zero research on the candidates, so I'm getting my ass in gear and giving you the rundown so that I can decide who I'm voting for.

I'm pretty unfamiliar with state elections, so I'm going to do my best here. Also, at the moment I only have time to review the gubernatorial candidates. This is the ballot I am basing my research off of, and I think it's the right one for those voting democrat this election cycle: http://wheredoivotema.com/bal/BallotOut.aspx?btcode=D&ctcode=180&wno=0&prno=1

Governor:

     Don Berwick: He was Obama's chief of medicare, and he seems to be down with some environmental reforms for energy specifically. He's the dark horse of the Democrats, and he's been stirring up stuff with his single payer health plan (still trying to figure out what that is; check the bottom of the post for more info), and he spent a lot of the last gubernatorial debate stating that the other two candidates were all bark and no bite. Credit to my friend Katie for sending me this info.

   Martha Coakley: Now of course I'm immediately thrilled at the idea of having a woman run Mass., being a woman myself, but let's look at this more closely. She was the first female Attorney General for Mass., and she went against the Defense of Marriage Act while she held the office. Okay, so far so good. She's an advocate of gun control, worker's rights and women's rights.

  Steve Grossman: Grossman was the treasurer for Mass., runs (ran?) a small business and union shop for 35 years. He's been the chairman of the Mass. Democratic primary and was a national part chair under Clinton. He's got a cool section on empowering the creative economy and helping artists afford to be artists, and his issues are similar to those of Berwick and Coakley: energy, women, veterans and education. 

Of course I'm pulling all of this information off of the candidates sites, so it's inherently biased to favor them. Let's see if I can pull at least one piece of dirt on each candidate for the sake of balance.

  Berwick: The Boston Herald Reports that he called the death of a man run over by an illegal immigrant to be an anecdote (I'm assuming the point is that the man didn't have a license). The story was brought up by WBZ's Dan Rea, and Berwick called the mention of the story an anecdote to dismiss it. Full story here.

   Coakley: In 2013 Coakley was investigated by the FEC over political fund management. The complaint was filed by a state Republican. She had a similar inquiry in 2010. The question was whether she had been using state election funds for a federal election and also reconciled balance sheets that made it difficult to find out whether the funds were properly used or not. Full story here.

   Grossman: The Boston Herald ratted on him for getting around 100,000 dollars of help from his mom for his campaign, but other than that I couldn't find anything. Poorly written and completely biased story bite on that here.

So, friends, I don't know who I'm going to vote for yet. But I'll know by tomorrow. Good luck to you all, and don't forget to vote!





Monday, August 11, 2014

Mental illness and being aware

Robin Williams died today, and the cause is likely to be suicide. It's not confirmed, but because the cause of death was asphyxiation, it's likely.

I suppose I'm a little more torn up about it than I thought I would be. Williams played a substantial role in my childhood, and he voiced a character named Batty in one of my favorite movies of all time, Ferngully

I think the movie of his that stuck with me the most was probably What Dreams May Come. It's a film about mental illness and about dealing with grief and loss. I remember thinking it was an odd few, but it's popped into my head a lot throughout the years.

What I think is important to take from this is to use it as a reminder that mental illness happens to everyone, and that it's important to take care of the ones you love and never condemn someone for having one. Mental illness is surprisingly common. And it doesn't always manifest in obvious ways.

Historically, mental illness has been regarded as a taboo, as something that is discussed, but perhaps not often enough and not in the correct way. Harmful words that I have also been guilty of using, such as "crazy" and "insane" should not be used, and it's important to regard everyone's state of mind, even when your own isn't the best.

Anyways, I don't feel like going into detail much, let's just not turn this into another actor tragedy. Let's look upon this as a reminder that life is short, but every life is precious and incredibly important.

Please, everyone, appreciate your loved ones for everything in their soul, dark and light, and never lose hope.