The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Friday, January 4, 2008

First Scalp!

The Valley blogosphere takes down Mazza-Moriarty.

No one has said so officially, but the controversial nomination of Springfield City Councilor Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty to a position that she appeared to be the least qualified candidate for seems to be dead. In no small measure she lost the job, which had once seemed a certainty, due to pressure from citizen-based media.

In the past, there were few barriers to placing undeserving hacks in high-paying taxpayer financed jobs. When Francis Keough was made the homeless shelter director, a position for which he had no known qualifications, the cries of outrage from homeless activists were censored. When Gerry Phillips was made director of a city job training center, a position for which he had no known qualifications, the cries of outrage from educators was censored. When Brian Santaniello was made Election Commissioner, a position for which he had no known qualifications, the cries of outrage from good government activists were censored.

In those days, if you didn't own a printing press or a TV or radio broadcasting tower, and the powers that be that controlled those presses and broadcasting towers decided not to report your point of view, then you were just plain out of luck. Oh, you could do like I did and print your own little zine and pass it out on the streets, but then the power players would point at you and say "If he had any credibility, wouldn't he be working for the newspaper or broadcasting stations?"

Well guess what? We don't need your fuckin presses or broadcasting towers anymore!

Today every individual with access to the internet is a printing press. And a TV Show. And a Radio Program.


The day of their monopoly control over the dissemination of information is over.


The revolution is already underway and the revolution will be blogged.

When it was announced that Councilor Mazza-Moriarty was being recommended for the 65 to 70 thousand dollar job as administrator of the International Baccalaureate middle years program at Van Sickle Middle School, it was reported at first like a done deal, despite the fact that as reported in the Springfield Republican yesterday these were Mazza-Moriarty's qualifications:

A homemaker, Mazza Moriarty taught algebra from 1998 to 2000 at the High School of Commerce and has a master's degree in business administration from Western New England College.

However, the supposedly less qualified competitors for the job brought these credentials to the table:

Officials said the other two finalists were Catherine Luke, of Chicopee, and Donald A. Lacharite, of Warren.

Luke has a doctorate in education, is a consultant and has experience in the International Baccalaureate Organization programs, officials said.

Lacharite has 15 years of experience as a principal in Leominster and at Brookfield Elementary School and White Brook Middle School in Easthampton, officials said.

No sane person could compare those contenders and conclude that Mazza-Moriarty was the most qualified. But no one could have said so about Keough, or Phillips or Santaniello or so many others who in the past simply waltzed into their positions past far more worthy contenders. So what' the difference?

Citizen's media. No longer can those in political control determine what the public knows. No longer can it control how much coverage critics can receive, if any. Today a sleazy deal can have a public spotlight cast on it by any member of the public that cares to cast it. Today politicians must justify themselves to the blogosphere.

It doesn't really matter much whether the blogosphere even covers a certain story, the very fact that it exists and could cover it makes it something that all political people must take into account before taking any action. No one wanted to have to defend the Mazza-Moriarty appointment to the army of bloggers that would have descended like an angry media mob had she been appointed. Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty was the Valley blogosphere's first scalp.

Trust me, she will not be the last.

Here's the latest on my brave brother:

We are back at the hospital this afternoon -- It is a special room where the air is controlled so that we don't share with the rest of the hospital. Since nobody is sure what the rash is yet, we cannot put other patients at risk. So, this time I not only have to gown up and mask up, I also have to glove up. Have you ever keyboarded with gloves on?

Mr. Tough Guy just about did himself in this time. His temp was spiking last night and we have orders to call at a certain temp, but he didn't want to. I said "I'm calling the hospital" He said,"No!" He was sure it would go back down and be OK. I chose to not call, but just kept monitoring it every half hour. So, when we arrived at the Infusion Center this morning, it was still up and everyone was scurrying around to get antibiotics and antivirals started. The nurse just looked at us and said, "Like was your phone broken last night?" We felt pretty stupid.

It has been a tough day for sure. Lots of temperature fluctuations and chills. They just checked his temp and it was 103.4. So some more meds are on the way. We are set to stay until his white cell count goes back up -- probably 5 days. I am feeling relieved and I think he is too. It is a lot to manage on our own and a lot of important decision making involved. Life and death decisions. That will all be done by the professionals now.

God is good and we know that He is in our corner. We continue to pray for a great outcome from this transplant. Sometimes it seems like the treatment is worse than the disease, though. Thanks for being there for us.

We love you all,
C & J

This morning it was only five degrees out! However, that did not prevent me from catching the dawn express from Northampton to Amherst.

The mist was rising on the Connecticut River as we crossed the Calvin Coolidge bridge.

Slowly the sun rose over the farmfields of Hadley.

The church next to the Hadley Town Hall was bathed in twilight.

Finally, here's my new year's resolution.

A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him. She says hello.

He's rather taken aback because he can't place where he knows her from. So he says, "Do you know me?"

To which she replied, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."

Now his mind travels back as he looks with panic into her eyes, "My God, are you the stripper from my brother's bachelor party that I made love to on the pool table in the basement, while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery?"

She looked into his eyes and stated calmly, "No . . . I'm your son's teacher."


LarryK4 said...

Nice photos!

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom, I haven't checked out your site for awhile, but just did. I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles-- but glad to know you've come out on the other side. And my sympathy for the loss of your father.

Coincidentally, I too had a long lost brother. He was my only sibling and we were very close as children. He left home as a teenager and became lost to me. As an adult, I looked for him via a family services agency but sadly, it was too late for us to be reunited. He'd died 10 years earlier by his own hand, in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. He had a very hard life from beginning to end. Today would have been his birthday.

Anyway, I'm wishing you all the best in 2008. And you still have one of the best gosh-darned websites I've ever seen.