Sacred Cods and Holy Mackerals


Stop wasting the Legislature’s time!
December 31, 2008, 7:41 am
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South Shore Pragmatist is not opposed to cynicism. In fact, cynicism is an important part of who I am, as the following equation demonstrates:  Pragmatism – cynicism = idealism.

Cynicism is also a crucial ingredient found in snark, my favorite type of humor. I believe the official recipe for snark involves equal parts sarcasm and cynicism, with a dash of irreverence for flavoring.

Anyway, cynicism is a useful tool for anyone who works in or follows politics. It keeps you on your toes, and keeps your BS detector working. A healthy dose of cynicism should allow you to sniff out, for example, if you’ve invested millions of dollars into a giant Ponzi scheme. (Here’s a helpful hint, when your investment manager refuses to disclose exactly wht he’s investing your money in, there may be a problem.)

 But there is such a thing as being too cynical. Case in point: the Boston Herald’s Dave Wedge in this past Sunday’s Pols & Politics column.

Now no one would blame the public for being cynical when it comes to the dealings of the Legislature, especially considering the FBI has spent so much time in the State House in recent months they should just set up a temporary field office in Sen. Wilkerson’s old office.  And God knows the Boston Herald is not afraid to hire cynics. But Wedge’s cynicism is so deep he is unable to see what a yahoo he sounds like suggesting that a bill protecting nursing mothers from being charged with indecent exposure is a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

Since the link will come down soon, here’s the full text:   

Among the hot topics lawmakers will take up: a bill to protect mothers breastfeeding in public from being charged with indecent exposure or lewd acts, a bill that would create a panel that would designate the 1,000 greatest places in Massachusetts and a bill based on a months-long study commission led by former House Speaker George Keverian that would require all public and private K-12 schools to sterilize musical wind instruments passed on from one student to another. Your tax dollars at work in ’09, ladies and gentlemen….Meanwhile, the old session went out not with a bang, but with a whimper. With just two senators on hand, the Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to, among others, a bill affecting discrimination against physical therapists, a bill on cemeteries and burials, and one regarding the always controversy-free matter of additional alcoholic beverage licenses. No doubt all this was entirely in the public’s best interest.

You got that parents of children who got sick because their schools are too lazy to properly steralize musical instruments in between classes? Or local officials trying to resolve a municipal issue? Or nursing mothers who want to be able to feed their baby without fear of being kicked out of a store, or even arrested? Stop wasting our taxdollars! Come back when you’ve got something that’s important!

Seriously, I could understand Wedge’s point if the only bills on the legislative calendar involved something as mundane as declaringthe official state polka. But then again, I’m apparently not appropriately cynical.

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