Friday, September 24, 2010

Harvest Moon, GOP Star

Moon Cartoon, originally uploaded by rbtenorio.

Maybe you had a chance to see the beautiful harvest moon in the evening sky this week. Satan and Sarah Palin talk a little astronomy -- and a little political science -- under the moonlight in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Charlie Baker's Constructive Criticism

Mass Construction Cartoon, originally uploaded by rbtenorio.

If you've driven in Massachusetts lately, you've noticed there's an awful lot of construction projects going on. Charlie Baker, the GOP candidate for governor here, says we've got to rein them in, while Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick wants to give them free rein. Satan praises Baker's constructive criticism to Frank Faust in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cahill: Andrew Jackson from Quincy

The four candidates for governor of Massachusetts tangled on Tuesday night in a televised debate. Independent Tim Cahill looked the best in this quartet.
Cahill distanced himself from both Democrat incumbent Deval Patrick and Republican challenger Charlie Baker. "Charlie blames the governor, and the governor blames Charlie," Cahill noted at one point. Later, he said, "Ten years (from now), in another subsequent debate, someone will be blaming (someone) for something else." Comments like these, plus his Boston accent, helped Cahill portray himself as a sort of Andrew Jackson from Quincy, the plain-spoken common man telling it like it is.
And he did tell it like it is. Cahill came out against public binge spending -- "No more $200 million high schools" -- in the wake of the extravaganza in Newton. When Baker brought up patronage, Cahill provided historical perspective. "The GOP loaded up Massport on the eve of 9-11," he said. "They stuck up for patronage."
All of this would come off better if Cahill hadn't dumped his own party after serving as treasurer to run against his former boss Patrick as well as Baker and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein. Still, Cahill scored some successes in the debate. Even if he doesn't win, the Andrew Jackson from Quincy has made a good impression in this race.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cop vs. cyclist in Cambridge

When a cop and cyclist tussle, I'm siding with the cop.
Seems there was a bit of a bicycle brouhaha in Central Square, Cambridge, last Friday night, between policeman Raymond Pina and cyclist Yonatan Kurland, who was participating in an irresponsible event called Critical Mass -- a form of not-so-civil cyclist disobedience. The two became involved in an altercation near a CVS on Massachusetts Avenue. Kurland wound up on the ground. Let's just say their accounts differ. From

Pina stated in his report that Kurland was traveling swiftly, weaving through other cyclists on the street, and would have clipped him if he hadn’t grabbed the handle bars on Kurland’s bike. The officer said the momentum dragged him.

Kurland’s account differs drastically from Pina’s. Kurland said he was traveling slowly in the bicycle lane, about 30 feet from the intersection, when Pina approached, grabbed the front of his bike, and pushed him to the ground, leaving Kurland with minor road rash.

I feel bad that Kurland was hurt. Yet I also feel that bicyclists are bringing bad karma upon themselves through events like Critical Mass -- an event designed to show how oh-so-superior they are to motorists.

Created in San Francisco, Critical Mass has spread to other metropolitan areas like greater Boston and foists disobedient cyclists upon streets already clogged with cars. The event seems designed for cyclists to waggle their fingers at the rules of the road with which everyone else has to comply.

"The pace of the ride was leisurely, about 5 miles per hour, and unencumbered because they didn’t wait for red lights," Globe writer Brian Ballou recounts. Later, Ballou notes that "Ride participants acknowledge that they use a tactic known as 'corking' to seal intersections from traffic, allowing cyclists to pass." One wonders whether he would be so cavalier about this if it were SUVs or Scott Brown-style pickup trucks doing the same thing.
A "me-first" attitude is ugly whether it's displayed by a cyclist or motorist. But lately the cyclists are cornering the market. If they hold up traffic, it makes it harder for ambulances, fire trucks or police vehicles to get through. If they are so concerned about environmental standards, they should care more about all that exhaust being released by motorists waiting for them to pass. And if they're participating in a form of social protest demanding more rights for cyclists in Cambridge ... a city that closes off Memorial Drive to motorists and has plenty of bike paths ... well, that just proves the adage, "Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile."
I hope Kurland is OK ... but I also hope cyclists stop the selfishness and start using the bike paths more often.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Will Palin Mess With Medical Malpractice?

Palin Malpractice Cartoon, originally uploaded by rbtenorio.

This fall, one of Republicans' top priorities will be to deep-six Obamacare ... and one way to do it might be to point out that the Dems weren't willing to compromise with them on medical malpractice reform. Join beach bums Satan and Sarah Palin for a day of scheming and sunshine in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It!"