Governor Zinged by Champions of Freedom, i.e., the Freedom to Die in a White-Out

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

At least one member of the state legislature is on record saying the governor’s travel ban during the recent blizzard infringed on our rights.
That would be our right to risk our lives for trivial reasons, or no reasons at all, during weather disasters, I guess.
And our right to put the lives of emergency medical technicians at risk when they have to extricate us from vehicles that have plunged into ditches, splintered utility poles, and rammed snow plows during white-outs.
And our right to lose control of our cars on icy roads, jump sidewalks and crush hapless pedestrians -- hardworking folks, most likely, who are walking to their jobs in deference to the prohibition on driving.
“Restricting our rights based on a weather forecast.  Only in Massachusetts,” tweeted Rep. Jim Lyons, Republican of Andover, according to a State House News Service article published earlier this week.
A former legislator, Steven Levy, Republican of Marlborough, went Lyons one better. Levy, the State House News Service discovered, had posted the following on Facebook:
“Just heard about this ban…We have an idiot for a Governor…Jawohl mein Fuhrer!  Last time I looked, I still lived in America.  Only in Massachusetts would they threaten up to a year in prison for driving, but go rape a child and you won’t see a day behind bars.  Truly sad what’s happening to our country.”
Levy served one term in the House before his defeat this past November at the hands of the young Democrat he had defeated two years before, Danielle Gregoire.  Messages like the one above may help explain why he’s now referred to as Former Rep. Levy.  He lacks a certain touch in expressing himself, you might say.  Probably can’t tell a joke either.
I would put opponents of storm-induced travel bans in the same category as motorcyclists who campaign for the abolition of the Massachusetts law requiring them to wear helmets.  You know, the guys who can get all outraged because the state won’t allow them the freedom of having the wind blow through their hair as they pass you doing 80 on the interstate, but who have no qualms about accepting Medicaid for life after they’re paralyzed in a crash.
By the way, a bill repealing the requirement that motorcycle riders wear helmets has once again been filed in Massachusetts.  Rep. Marc T. Lombardo, a two-term Republican from Billerica, is sponsoring House Bill 3095, An Act Relative to Motorcycle Helmet Choice.  If it were to pass, riders over 18 would no longer have to protect their heads.  In many sessions past, similar bills have failed to gain traction.
GIFT FOR GLOBE READERS:  My spirits rose upon hearing the other day that the Boston Globe has hired former State House News Service (SHNS) scribe Jim O’Sullivan to write its Political Intelligence column.  In the days he toiled in the cramped SHNS clubhouse at the State House before decamping to Washington, D.C., a few years ago, O’Sullivan was the most incisive, most original, flat-out funniest political reporter in the Commonwealth.  Anything that had his byline on it I always read first.  For a taste of the O’Sullivan wit, try this excerpt from his Weekly Roundup column of July 23, 2010:
“The East Boston Times-Free Press is not a word-wasting outfit, an admirable quality evinced thoroughly in Tuesday’s editorial predicting agreement and signage of the (casino) gambling bill.  ‘After all, it can’t be any other way,’ the paper decided.  ‘Everyone has to walk away from the negotiating table feeling that the right thing was done and that all parties were treated fairly.  What Speaker DeLeo cannot afford is to become the guy who buried the expanded gaming bill because he was unwilling to alter his position like President Woodrow Wilson did with the U.S. Senate over ratification of the Treaty that ended World War I and kept America from participating in the League of Nations that many considered sowed the seeds for World War II.’  Well.  That is what’s known within the industry as ‘muscular prose.’  The League of Nations tie-in is applicable in only a few state legislative situations, and expanded gambling is most certainly one of them.  Equally relevant historical links include the Battle of Jericho, the Reformation, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.  It was unclear at press time whether the Eastie paper was seeking to take the whole Woodrow Wilson thing a step further and imply that DeLeo was a far-seeing bespectacled leader who let a strong woman run the show.”

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