Ah politics in Massachusetts. It's up there with our devotion to professional sports. Sports is entertainment, politics is serious. We are the bluest of the blue states. There is no balance around here anymore. Up until 4 years ago at least we elected a republican governor. When Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's seat it did set off the Tea Party movement. It looked like we set off another revolution across the country. It didn't last long around here. Of all the candidates running for state or federal office only one republican won. Everyone else was a democrat. There were two questions on the ballot. Recently (this passed summer) they put a tax on alcohol sales when there was already an excise (whatever that means) tax grouped in with the purchase price. They also raised the sales tax from 5% to 6.5%. The two questions on the ballot asked if you wanted to repeal the alcohol tax and cut the sales tax back to 3%. As an aside I remember back in 1962 when the sales tax began. It was then sold to us as "temporary". That was 48 years ago. The upshot is that we voted to repeal the alcohol tax but we voted to keep the higher sales tax. Why? What's wrong with having things cost a little less? What's wrong with having a little more money in your pocket? That's more money to spend. That can only help local business. Instead what it seems to be doing is sending people over the border to New Hampshire where there is no sales or alcohol tax. This really hurts all the businesses along the border. For me, I can be in New Hampshire in 20 minutes. Personally I enjoy an adult beverage every once and a while but I won't drive to New Hampshire for a six pack of beer when I can go 5 minutes from my house to any number of liquor stores but this is not about my drinking habits. This is questioning the people here and their reasoning. It seemed after Scott Brown things would change around here. The change has happened across the country, it started here but then 10 months later it's back to business as usual. In fact it's worse because the republican party here has all but disappeared. Now I have equal mistrust of both parties. As I have aged I have moved more to the center. I was more left leaning when I was younger. I don't like the extremes of either side. Don't get me wrong. As I have said many times I love where I live. It's a beautiful place steeped in tradition, history, innovation, education and many wonderful things to see and do. Few places can match what has happened in Massachusetts over the last 300 years or so but our politics are a different animal all together. It is full of corruption and patronage and the only people that we can blame are ourselves. Still the state is in better shape than most though there still is a buget deficit of a couple of billion dollars. I guess I'm just ticked off at the results of the elections. I wanted to see some change and all I got was more of the same. To quote the famous Pogo line again, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Ok rant over. Here are the rest of the pictures I took at the Mt. Auburn last week.
Alright I'm off today but I have much to do. I'm off again tomorrow and I believe I will schedule a whole lot of nothing. I need it. For now...
I'm outta here.