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Left In Lowell » Free Speech

Left In Lowell

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October 15, 2013

Mary Burns Is Not A Shrinking Violet

by at 10:32 pm.

After the Kabuki blitz by C.Elliott and his crooked sidekick C. Ditto, we got some aftermath on Facebook:

Fact checking? Hmmmm … I can do that, too!

Mary Says:
August 12th, 2011 at 5:44 pm e
I tried to respond to Gerry on his blog but unfortunately he told me in an email that he will not post my response. Because this issue was brought up here as well I felt I could not leave it hanging without a response. Gerry explained that he had a bad day at work and took it out on me. I’m pretty sure an apology followed by an excuse is not actually an apology.

I initially was going to post the actual emails but that would make me no better than Gerry. Here is what I tried to post to his blog. It may be slightly different because I edited it further after I had copied it and sent it to my email. But it’s 99% the same. I tried to keep it somewhat light hearted in spite of the vitriol he spewed.

I hope this will put an end to it. I know some will comment that I am too hard on Gerry. Go back and read his comment to me and consider again if this isn’t well deserved. I will not be back to his site again. He can take comfort in that.

I have been extremely busy with my business and have not really had time to read over all the contents in the blogs in over a week. Just a cursory look here and there. Only to return and find out I’m a whore. Who knew? I must say truly unbelievable. Luckily no-one has started emailing me asking for sexual favors. Although now that I’m connected with an STD I guess that’s most likely out of the question. There goes my chance at becoming a successful prostitute. And I was this close to making a career move.

You are truly not cut out for this type of banter. I guess it is all true what they say on the other blogs. You are intellectually weak. And here I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Alas, Mary is now proven wrong. Although I have no plans to resort to a full fledged melt down because I was wrong like you managed to accomplish.

Of all the things I’ve written this simple statement is the one that sends you over the edge? Really? Too funny. Had I only known I would have mentioned you were wrong so much sooner to expose you for the type of person you really are. Your complete disdain for woman is now etched in cyberspace for all to see through eternity. You are officially part of the “he man woman haters club” (see Little Rascals for context…Gerry, that means explaining of a word, meaning, or event) All I can say is… my work here is done.


(bold mine)

In the diary referenced above, I did note a follow up discussion I had with Gerry:

I talked with Gerry today. We where both on City Life. He sincerely regretted losing his cool. To err is human…..

I don’t know the pain of Mary Burns. Was it more than the pain she regularly inflicts?

July 28, 2013

Dave Daly and an Ambulance Chaser

by at 1:22 pm.

Didn’t Dave Daly used to drive an ambulance? If anyone knows Gary Sepe or John Chemaly, would you please verify and report back, here?

I know Daly owns an ambulance, bunches, actually. And, on the side, he builds McMansions.

Seems, now, Daly wants to hang out with ambulance chasers (bold mine):

David Daly, the Lowell developer and business owner who was an outspo­ken opponent of the clinic’s move, said he felt like he was one of Murphy’s targets.

“I’m extremely upset and insulted, and I feel slan­dered,” said Daly. “He is painting the ZBA, developers and a lot of other people with a broad brush and implying people were taking payoffs. He is completely off-base and his comments were reckless.”

Daly is president and CEO of PrideSTAR EMS and Daly General Contracting, which are based across Stedman Street from Habit OpCo’s proposed location. He plans to consult a lawyer about Murphy’s comments and consider legal action.

Some of you are scratching your head, right now. “Jack, You talk inside baseball.” Mea culpa. Context and continuance is below the fold.

July 21, 2013

Good Civics and Bad Civics

by at 5:08 pm.

I seemed to have struck a nerve.

As the head of the LHNG, I try keep my personal feelings out of the discussion, however, a post by a Lowell blogger today just went to far. Suggesting that neighborhood groups in Lowell are the Taliban is offensive. Bringing issues to the forefront in this city is not a power grab, it is my right as a citizen. We are volunteers trying to improve our neighborhoods. If you don’t know that, you don’t know what my neighborhood group really does.

It is very possible I could end up with egg on my face, after this. But. I’ll stick to my guns, if it drives the dialogue.

As Lowellians, we should bond together at the grassroots level. We should exercise all of our Rights, as afforded to us by Lowell’s Charter and by America’s Founders. This cannot be stressed enough.

But, what we should not do is make a handshake with the City Manager to do an end run around the City Council. We should NOT go into meetings in the Mayor’s Reception Room and present ourselves as speaking on behalf of one sixth of Lowell ,over raising taxes to fund putting more cops on the street. Further, we should not shut down debate over proposed ordinances or proposed amendments to ordinances.

There is a difference between being a grassroots lobbyist and a strong arming special interest.

So, as we go forward, and always keeping an eye on November; let’s bear in mind what a proper balance of civic engagement is. It’s good to shout, sometimes. Just don’t prattle.

April 27, 2013

Blogs? It’s not “… how many, but who.”

by at 9:53 am.

I started blogging in the late Summer of 2007 during the NH Democratic Primary season. For the entire Primary, I blogged under a pseudonym, Sleeping Giant Stirs, as it was common to do so. By November, my face and name was well known in the circle of activists that participate with the various campaigns, but I didn’t openly blog as Jack Mitchell, until after the January 2008 primary election.

By 2009, I was active locally. Many of the campaigning tools I learned, as a volunteer in NH, I tried to apply to the local elections. It went well, in 2009; but even better in 2011.

Locally, there are two areas where I tend to dabble: ground game & communications. By ‘ground game,’ I mean contacting a specific subset of residents and encouraging them to vote. In the area of ‘communications,’ my principle focus has been undermining the slanted narratives of the Blog of Record and challenging the yarns they spin around the few politicians that Campi, et al, wish to fluff.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard those cowed by, what some call, the “Legacy Media;” endeavor to diminish the import and influence of Lowell’s vibrant blogscape. Frequently, I hear pols say, “I don’t read the blogs.” Others will down play by blurting, “How many people even read those blogs?”

The answer is … enough.

“… a consensus has formed that blogging is increasing in influence. Farrell and Drezner acknowledge that “A key reason they are important is that journalists and opinion leaders are readers of blogs.” …

… the appeal of blogs to media and political elites has had an impact much larger than the modest size of blog readership might suggest. In fact, “the important question in terms of political communication may not be how many, but who.” She writes that political blogs may “have effects that are quite disproportionate to the absolute numbers of participants because journalists, elected officials, and other influential elites are consuming them. …”

Just recently, a friendly member of the local ‘legacy media’ keenly noted that ‘certain news’ just won’t make it out into the light, because influential people will punish ‘professional’ news outlets by withholding ad revenue and access to their ‘realm.’ If ‘Legacy Media’ is beholden to these folks to put bread on the table, you can bet certain things are kept, intentionally, on the down low.

Or, as is glaringly obvious with the Lowell Sun, what is eventually reported is rigged to cast a kind spin for their allies, while conjuring hassles for their foes.

I won’t lie. I do the same thing, for free. I’ll have an ‘objectivity arm wrestle’ with the Blog of Record, anytime, anywhere.

November 25, 2012

Open Thread: The Log In Your Own Eye Edition

by at 4:19 pm.

Lowell City Councilor Rita Mercier crticizing those who post anonymous comments on local political blogs in Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell City Council meeting - July 21, 2009

Please don’t hate this Open Thread.

April 18, 2012

Wanna Screw With Enel & Their Bladder Dam?

by at 12:43 pm.

Do what these folks did:


I’ve heard a few “important” Lowellians opine that the desecration of the Pawtucket Falls Dam is a done deal. Really? Well, for sure, if Lowellians roll over.

January 30, 2012

Par for Caulfield

by at 11:36 pm.

Update: JfL hits it out of the park.

joe from Lowell Says:
Bud Caulfield is playing with fire. The LPD has spent a decade and a half building up solid relationships with the Cambodian community, as part of its innovative and successful community policing strategy. What’s despicable here is an effort to polarize the city between supporters of Nuon and supporters of the police for cheap political reasons.

So, I’m listening to the replay of City Life, this afternoon, when I heard former Mayor Caulfield describe current Councilor Vesna Nuon, as “despicable.” Maybe he meant that C.Nuon’s actions, standing up for his civil rights, was despicable. I can’t parse that closely, the word was shocking.

I texted a buddy of mine: “Bud called Vesna despicable on City Life” The answer was one word, “Par

Ensure you watch the whole thing. It’s 5:36 of civic trainwreck.

It amazes me how a former Mayor can speak with such faux authority on a subject that he clearly knows so little about. He speaks with utter disregard for the office from which he came. It was sad to watch. You have to consider this mindset was voting on our City’s business, just over a month ago. *exhale*

As it would happen, Councilor Nuon appeared last week on City Life. His approach to the issue was very conciliatory, looking forward with respect for Lowell’s Police. Don’t believe me. See for yourself, here.

Caulfield finished by summizing that C.Nuon was, “suing the taxpayer.” It just blows my mind that Caulfield could have it so wrong!

Worse yet, he speaks, somehow, for a “raw nerve” that is throbbing in Lowell. Clearly, the remedy is Preparation H.

January 23, 2012

A Conversation on Money in Politics

by at 4:42 pm.

While Colbert and Stewart lambaste our Citizen United world with hilarious satire and extreme tactics, the Senate race in Massachusetts is having a quiet discussion all its own, with a pact between Brown and Warren (both sort of take credit, though it does appear Warren is the one to suggest something more binding). The pact, in case you live under a rock, is that any money spent for or against a candidate in the race by outside groups will be matched 50% from the candidate it benefited towards a charity of the other candidate’s choosing (thereby hurting the candidate it was supposed to help).

Even though this whole back-and-forth seemed a little gimmicky, and I felt at first that all we really needed was a strong, unequivocal condemnation from both sides, this pact does have some pretty interesting implications. For one thing, it’s an unprecedented candidate-driven pushback against the CU ruling, an acknowledgement of the damage of unregulated, unknown spending. We expect there to be a legislative pushback (so far, unsuccessful) or maybe eventually a constitutional one, but to be coming from two major candidates, that says something particular - a “we don’t want your help, your money, get out” from the parties involved.

There are concerns about whether or not certain deep pockets could get sneaky, create a SuperPAC that pretends to be for, say, Warren that runs ads against Brown, thereby costing the Warren campaign 50% of that ad buy - but I don’t think this will happen. For one thing, that SPAC has to spend double what it’d cost the candidate to make ads in support of them, and even if you make it kind of heavy-handed hoping it will backfire (look totally Rovian, for instance), you’d still be taking a risk of making a big ad buy that hurts the candidate you truly support.

Even more interesting, is will this stop the outside money? The Globe ran an interesting comparison of this pact to the 1996 Kerry-Weld agreement to not spend more than $5M on TV ads. Kerry broke that pact, claiming Weld already broke it by having an unfair low cost to his ad buys. Whoever did break actually it, it got broken.

Leaving us to wonder, is this really going to work?

[Weld’s communication director] Gray projected outside groups will spend up to $20 million in what is being pegged as a $60 million race - $20 million apiece by Brown and Warren, assuming she wins the Democratic nomination, and another $20 million from groups interested in their candidacies.
The League of Women Voters and the League of Conservation voters have already aired over $3 million worth of ads attacking Brown’s record, while a conservative group, Crossroads GPS, has aired over $1 million in ads attacking Warren’s.

If we’re already $4M into possibly $20M or more in ad buys for or against candidates from outside groups, can a pact like this stem the tide?

I think it will, at least for a little while. I’m certain the pact will get tested, though, so the question remains, will both sides stick to it to the detriment of their campaign, since the numbers here are not small? I’m less cynical about this, because the backlash from breaking this one is not one either campaign can afford. Warren, because she banks her campaign on her commitment to the middle and working class and to fairness, openness, and transparency - a break from her would undermine that. And Brown, whose poll numbers are not where they should be for an incumbent, can ill afford to look like the schmuck in all this.

I doubt Warren, at least, entered into this lightly. Brown either, for that matter. It’s a test of resolve against the tide of insanity that is the money flow in campaigns these days. In the end, I think I’m just glad someone’s willing to appear to put up or shut up. So, kudos to both sides. Now, let’s have the real, substantive debate from the candidates that Massachusetts deserves. Something that might well be possible when we’re not drowning in ads from outside groups.

There’s a good discussion at BMG, and also, what do YOU think? Gimmick, unenforceable, brave move, or something in between?

December 21, 2011

The Sun Takes Some Heat

by at 11:41 am.

There is no doubt that the Dan Phelps column discussed in Lynne’s diary below was utterly tasteless and decidedly tone deaf.

It should be noted that Lowell is, politically, much closer to Manchester, NH than say Cambridge, MA. Where this picture:

was snapped in May of 2004, then run on the front page of The Sun.

Suffice to say, those that habitually digest The Sun’s editorial slant were not so happy with the above picture. At the time, there was pushback, as there is today. I refuse to defend Phelps’ phuck up. But, it is not insignificant that the paper was caught trying in May 2004.

It shows, that we are winning the debate and that time is on our side.

Phelps’ column is a step back. It is not surprising, as this dead tree rag tries to claw for survival. Having a front row seat, I smirk watching the Sun try to become Lowell’s ‘Blog of Record.’ What the folks at the helm have not figured out, is how to straddle the line between providing the dead tree, Limbaugh slant, that its old world readers consume, like so much junk food and providing a center-left diet to those of us that read the news with a mouse and not a magnifying glass.

October 25, 2011

Top Notch Grousing

by at 7:16 am.

Media is a fascinating beast. Ya gotta figure, most of what you know about what is going on around you comes from a third party. It might be fair to say that each of us have assigned “tiers of trust” to those we listen to. I trust certain friends version of things over others. I trust certain blogs over others. And, so on. This network of third party input is filtered by my own mental machinations, filters and biases.

Oh, and I am an optimist.

Not everyone is.

(Campi & City Life)

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