The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


about a blogger who doesn't blog for.....six months?

Many things, but keep them to yourselves.

I was debating between writing about silly/funny things and serious/political things, and then I watched the news tonight.

Hillary Clinton MADE A MISTAKE in a debate last night.

And, apparently, that fact alone, PROBABLY DOOMS HER CAMPAIGN FROM NOW ON.


what you need to know is that I have gone from being a Mark Warner for President person to a Draft Al Gore person to a Barack Obama person to a Hillary person. SO it's not like I had a knee jerk opinion.

Many things brought me to supporting Clinton and I won't go into all of them now -- I'm too tired -- but a small part of it was how much the Republicans demonized her and how people would say "I'd support Hillary, one else will...." or words to that effect. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

The media look at one stumble and it's a FREE FOR ALL! Why do we put up with this stuff?

It's Halloween....maybe the entire political process is just plain frightening.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I'm not even sure if the title of this post is grammatical or not. What the hell -- it's 4 in the morning.

Now certain things go without saying. I do not care that baby Dannielynn (or however the hell you spell the poor kid's name) is "home" in the U.S. Apparently we're supposed to have one hour specials on that so we can be sure to peer over her shoulder for the rest of her life.

No, I'm going to talk about something even more politically uncorrect. And I apologize in advance if someone who reads this is offended (which sort of goes against the principles of being "P.U." but then why not.)

Almost every day before, during and after the VT shootings, 32 people died in some city in Iraq. We don't even notice any more.

And then of course, there's Darfur.

When I pointed this out, someone said "Well, if you send your kid into the army, you expect that s/he will be in harm's way. but not when you send them to college."

True enough. But Iraqi parents send their kids to school, their spouses to work, their cousins to the grocery store. And they never come home.

In Darfur it's worse than that.

We won't get into a discussion of whether people who blow other people up in Iraq are patriots or madmen. It defies description. I don't understand it. We come from a people who started a revolution. Would we have blown up the British if we'd had the means? I don't know. The best we did was the Swamp Fox.

On a slightly less gruesome, but still puzzling note, we have now had two weeks of discussion of FDA oversight of tainted animal feed.

Tens of thousands of kids go hungry in this country alone every day, not to mention the millions around the world. Are we outraged?

What proportion of pets have health insurance? Hey, don't go all PEDA on me -- we ran in the Berkshire Humane Race with Moe and Duncan on Saturday. But the reality is that we watch kids living in conditions that would make a PEDA activist blanch and we don't do a darn thing. Maybe we should adopt some of their tactics and chain ourselves to schools and daycare centers until there's adequate funding and oversight.

We've now seen at least two if not three generations of kids stumble through failing inner city schools where violence competes with learning on a daily basis. Where's the outrage?

Just a thought.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I don't think you can HAVE a blog and not comment on Don Imus.

I guess I'm proud to say that I don't listen. Lots of my good friends are now telling me their reasons for listening. They don't wash.

He's been spewing this stuff for a while and everyone just went "wink, wink, nod, nod." It ain't OK.

The people at work in the lunchroom will tell you that I have been ranting about stuff like this for a long time. People will complain about how there's nothing on TV except stuff about Anna Nicole Smith's baby. I said, yes there is if you watch the Jim Lehrer show. So please don't tell me that you can't get away from Anna Nicole or OJ or Don. As Nancy Reagan would say "Just say NO!"

Every time we give this trash currency by discussing it at work, or not turning off the radio or TV, we give the media what it wants. An excuse to say "We're not responsible for this. It's what our readers/listeners/viewers want. We're just responding to public demand." We will leave the issue of whether they have any moral responsibility not to cater to this crud to another day. Today we're looking at our own responsibility for the ccntinuing stream of blather, innuendo and out and out racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, Muslim-bashing and everything else that passes for "news/entertainment" (we can't seem to distinguish between the two....) in this country.

IF we wonder why the tenor of civil discourse has become so degraded, we have only to look at the covers of People, Us Weekly and the tabloids. It's so much easier to worry about who's broken up with whom than whether we should be in Iraq or whether we're killing the planet. I know that stuff's boring, but trust me, you won't be bored when you have to stand in line at the Washington Zoo to see the last polar bear on the planet.

There are lots of ways to relax and enjoy life. But listening to trash talk and lowering the overall intelligence quotient of the American public don't qualify.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Frankly, I can't believe that one of the "real" pundits out there didn't use this as a headline. Because doesn't that say it ALL?

I am one of those people old enough to remember when you were brought up to respect your country and even believe that George Washington threw a dollar across the Potomac. The cherry tree we were a little sketchy about but we got the point.

So if there's SOMETHING that defines the "American Way" it's JUSTICE. Rule of law. All those things that make us go teary when we see the Stars and Stripes. And the role of the Justice Department and the Attorney General is to help us get to the TRUTH on a national level. S/He is the lawyer for the country. When you hire an attorney, you expect to be told the truth. That's what you're paying them for.

So now we have this bozo who either is totally disconnected from what's going on (I don't think so...they guy has a degree from Harvard. He didn't just fall off the turnip truck) or is trying to make us all believe that the business of choosing US Attorneys is totally outside his purview. GIVE ME A BREAK.

During Watergate, one of the things we learned was that a working, functional Justice Department is one of the last bulwarks of liberty. Remember the Saturday Night Massacre? They eventually knocked off the good guys, but not before the good guys made sure that everyone knew what was going on. And Judge Sirica and the grand jury that named RMN an "unindicted coconspirator" was the beginning of the end.

So where will we get a Judge Sirica this time? How long will we have to let this travesty play out in the courts before someone admits that the emperor is buck naked?
Where is Martha Mitchell when you need her?

Saturday, March 17, 2007


have I been? This blog only has about three readers, five on a good day, but 2/3 of the regulars have pointed out to me that it's been almost a month since I posted. Excuses, excuses, but here are some....

a. I was away two weekends. Once in CA to celebrate Betsy's birthday (oh yeah, I already told you about that....) and then to Madeira Beach to spend time with the Abuisis and the Bakers. Missed one storm while we were in FL so that was good and also had a roaring good time, but...

b. that is all of the good news.

c. One of my best friends, Marge McPherson, died suddenly at the end of February. She was only 60 and we are all shocked. What do you say about a 25 year friendship that managed to survive across a 1500 mile divide for almost half the time? Our kids were the exact same age, and we spent literally thousands of hours together as families, as moms with kids, as friends. She was the shoulder I would cry on. I can't imagine a world without her. I am so glad that she and Mike were at David and Jenny's wedding, because even though I had very little time with any individual person, lots of my friends met her and spent time with her that weekend and so it helps them understand how wonderful she was. My sister in law Hilary remembered that she had been at Betsy's graduation from Wesleyan.....

d. The state of politics in the State has made me so sad that I just want to crawl into a hole. I know the vernal equinox period is bad for the "blues" but the press treatment of our wonderful governor has been the most atrocious thing I have ever seen. And, having caused great harm, not only is no one sorry, but they ask the most UNBELIEVABLE questions about sensitive personal information. Yes, he's the governor, but every family deserves a "zone of privacy" I think we all decided to call it? The Boston Globe and their brothers and sisters have no respect for that zone and it makes me ill. Congratulations to Liz Morningstar who I think is just one of the best things going in MA politics. When God closes a window, She opens a door. So I am glad that I got to meet Liz last week at the Kitchen Cabinet meeting and hope that I will be able to work with her in the coming months.

And there's a foot of snow outside. And it's March. Now is everyone happy?

e. Supposedly 70% of the registered voters in this country are paying some attention to the race already. I see this as a sign that everyone wishes we had a parliamentary form of government and could call for new elections. I suppose another part is that this race has more "star power" in it than traditional races. Even though I am a Barack person, many of us secretly hope for a "GOBAMA" ticket...Al and Barack. Twenty months is a lifetime in politics. who knows?

f. The Worcester Telegram didn't endorse my candidate in the State Rep. race. They do say that the person they endorsed will be independent of the "usual suspects" however. We'll see.

g. I am also thinking of my new friend Mary Pat Akers. She is an incredible human being. Talk about profiles in courage.

h. Russ Carpenter turned 75 last week! Unbelievable. We had a very intimate dinner party for him last night (four of us!) which was great fun and proved that you can whip up a gourmet meal in 90 minutes. OK, so I had to use Duncan Hines cake mix. But the frosting was put on with love.....

i. Take time today to tell someone that's important to you that you think they're special. The opportunities are NOT unlimited.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


In four weeks, there's going to be a special election for an open seat in the State House of Representatives.

No, I'm not hallucinating, remembering the good ole days....In fact maybe these ARE the good ole days. But there have been two resignations from the House by people who joined the Patrick Administration and one of those elections will be held March 20th. No Republicans even FILED for the seat (which is a whole other discussion....) so March 20th is the deciding vote.

This district was represented by Jim Leary, who is now chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Tim Murray. It encompasses part of Worcester and West Boylston. Jim O'Day is a DSS Social Worker who has never run for elected office before. But he's being supported by the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts. He was a delegate for Deval Patrick and Tim Murray at the last convention.

So why is this important?

Because Governor Patrick hasn't been in office more than about six weeks and already the wags are sharpening their knives. "Gotcha Politics" is rearing it's ugly head. I'd like to support someone who is willing to give the Governor's ideas an honest hearing and an intelligent debate. I think Jim O'Day is someone who can do that.

I've offered to make voter ID calls for Jim, and go to Worcester (work schedule permitting) on March 20th. I'm also trying to encourage people out in my neck of the woods to consider sending him a small donation ($25 or whatever people can afford.) I'll be collecting checks for "Committee to Elect Jim O'Day" in a mailbox that's now just called Margie Ware P O Box 976 North Adams MA 01247 and sending them to Jim as soon as possible. With only four weeks to go, resources are important. So I hope you'll join me in supporting someone who has been working in the vineyards of human services for a number of years and now wants to take that perspective to the Great and General Court.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Hey, things could be worse. We could live in New York State.

You see, they had this comptroller....Now, since I work in the Family Caregiver field, I should have felt sorry for Alan Hevesi. His wife was ill so he had state employees take her places.

Other family caregivers hire someone, take time off work or even take leaves of absence from their jobs. Alan had to do the third choice, but it wasn't HIS choice.

But what was really weird was that, because the Republicans didn't put up anyone decent to oppose him, when the feces hit the airconditioner, they didn't have a credible candidate to oppose him. Warning to MA Republicans. Not that we have any officeholders that would warrant abandonment....

So now, Alan H having been re-elected and then smartly resigned, they needed a new comptroller. Their new gov, like our new gov, came into office vowing to run state government another way. So he asked the legislature to promise that they'd pick a candidate from an independent screening panel.

Guess what? The panel DIDNT NAME ONE MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE AS A POTENTIAL COMPTROLLER. So what did the Legislature do? Name one of their own. He once balanced his own checkbook which I'm sure qualifies him to be Comptroller of NYState.

In the case of both MA and NY, there have been many years of R governors, and the Legislature has gotten used to giving the Gov the finger when they want to. Now there are new sheriffs in both towns, but there hasn't been any noticeable change in the attitude toward the collective corner offices.

But what do I know? Off to sunny CA where of course, there's a R governor and a Democratic Legislature. But I'm only staying for four days, so I doubt I'll be reforming their system over the weekend. But I will be sitting in the green room at the Jimmy Kimmel show and having high tea at the Biltmore.

Eat your hearts out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The rumor that I am hiding under the covers not speaking to anyone is simply not true. Sometimes you don't blog because you're globetrotting and getting used to a new computer program.

Took two trips to DC in almost as many weeks and in addition to learning lots about the state of US healthcare (don't ask.....although who would have known that an economist like Uwe Reinhardt could be such a stitch and still teach you so much???!!!) and seeing Barack Obama (would the newspapers and TV stations PUHLEEZE stop calling him Osama? And spell check doesn't catch it people!)got a few good nights sleeps in. No offense to my dogs but there sometimes is just not enough room in a kingsized bed for all four of us.

And after viruses pretty much ground my computer to a halt, Dan the Man wiped it clean and we're starting all over and not putting on AOL software and seeing if that makes a difference. And I run virus programs all the time now. Welcome to the 21st century MJW.

Of course along with the AOL went all my "bookmarks" to everyone else's blogs, so I'll have to reconstruct all that and see what the world is thinking and saying. And we're off to sunny (maybe...who knows?) CA next weekend to celebrate Ms. Ware's birthday. And I don't care what they say about Peyton Manning....I'm routing for DA BEARS.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The answer to the old joke is "Anything but that!" I am considering having a stiff upper lip surgically implanted so that it won't even have to become second nature.

For those of you who do not read the Statehouse news, Dan Bosley is staying in the Great and General Court. This is truly great news for North Berkshire because literally his shoes would have been impossible to fill. I couldn't even claim that I was as funny as he was, although I was going to run on the proposition that I was the funniest candidate (ok guys, no cheap shots.....I'm feeling fragile!)

So anyway, as I said to the people who were supposed to be meeting at 71 Main Street tomorrow at 10AM, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." The Lord also haveth an interesting sense of humor. I guess renting Jane Swift's old P.O. Box DIDNT bring me luck. She probably could have told me that!

I guess that means I have to move all that junk out of 71 Main Street and put it back in my front hall. And just as I was getting used to the lack of clutter (in the front hall, that is....) We're having a sale on old envelopes and stickers.

Anyone who has pull with Governor Patrick can let him know that I'm back in the job market again. Normally I wouldn't say that in public, but I guess it's pretty obvious to my employers now that I was looking for new opportunities. As I said to someone "I feel like the kid who keeps trying to run away from home and keeps being pulled back halfway up the sidewalk."

So tonight it's bourbon manhattans, leg of lamb and lots of laughs. I won't make Drinking Liberally, but I'll be drinking liberally.

Peace. And a reminder that when the last client you talked to was someone battling leukemia and looking at a bone marrow transplant, life is a bit more complicated that whether or not you get to run for office. My week in Florida is back on as is my trip to the South of France in June. YAHOO!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Actually, that's a play on words because I just noticed that my last post was number one hundred. But having attended the swearing in of Governor Deval Patrick, I feel like we ARE in a new century in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Thursday was a day to "keep hope alive" as the Almighty cooperated and gave us a mild day on which to stand outside and witness history. The best decision I made was to show up at the Old South Meeting House and get a seat at the prayer service that preceded the inauguration. The procession of clergy, highlighted by a Native American in full dress feathers, was spectacular, and included virtually every faith tradition you could imagine. Peter Gomes, Harvard chaplain, and recent Republican, gave the main remarks which were punctuated with humor, hope and inspiration. The music was nothing less than spectacular.

Getting to the Statehouse grounds one hour ahead of time proved to be timely enough to be within a few hundred feet of the podium. And it is not too much to say that while Deval was giving his Inaugural address, the clouds parted and the sun came out! I am NOT MAKING THIS UP! And inspirational he was. I will not go into detail about his speech -- you can read it on the internet -- but his announcement that he was changing state government, and that an 80+ year old frail elder had not walked down and back six flights of stairs for us to just give her same old, same old, was the highlight of the day.

Ben Downing was up on the platform in a blue shirt and red tie and looking every inch the Senator. When someone in the crowd (who must have been a State Government groupie and/or employee) said she couldn't remember the name of the new Senator from the Berkshires, I told her it was Ben Downing. "He's a great guy," I said. "He beat me in a primary." One of the people listening said "If his opponent says that, he must be a great guy!" (Note to pol-watchers: Chris Hodgkins and his lovely wife were seen at the Inaugural Ball. Rumors that he has left the state are obviously not true.)

We saw more of Dorchester Avenue than we had planned while trying to find Amrhein's in South Boston, but we had a great dinner with the O'Brien clan and ran into State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli and State Senator Jack Hart so it was obviously the place to see and be seen. Except for the big do, which was $100/person, but TO WHICH I WAS ACTUALLY INVITED. Next time, when I can take it as a business expense.

Yes, everything they said about it being too crowded and having to wait in lines to get upstairs (we'd been upstairs and went downstairs to get a seat -- bad move but necessary with aging backs....) but we did see Deval, Diane, Tim and Tammy up on stage dancing and the best line of the evening was "Someone told me that this was the most integrated event they'd ever attended." (Pause for effect) "Well, get used to it!" Hee Haw! The African-American community in the Commonwealth was out in force, celebrating an amazing experience that many probably didn't think that they would see in their lifetimes. It was a sight to behold and hopefully will lead to lots more dialogue, partying and collaborations on behalf of the Commonwealth over the next decades.

And so to bed. And while getting into town proved a bit elusive, your humble servant deserves some credit for navigating herself and her spouse back to Andrew Square from the Convention Center with nary a wrong turn. See, I AM learning.....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Housework reduces risk of breast cancer
Posted: Jan 1st 2007 10:14AM by Jonathon Morgan
Filed under: Alternative Therapies, General Health, Women's Health

A new study of more than 200,000 women suggests that doing household chores like dusting, mopping and vacuuming was significantly more cancer protective than playings sports, or having a physical job.

While it's long been known that physical exercise lowers the risk of breast cancer -- most likely due to the resultant hormonal and metabolic changes -- housework is the only physical activity that's been shown to have positive effects on both pre- and post-menopausal woman.

This isn't to say that there's something inherently cancer protective about the act of mopping itself, but rather that moderate physical activity, like housework, may be more effective in reducing a woman's risk of breast cancer than more rigorous, but less frequent exercise.