Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome to Western New England: Fascachusetts

The reigning regional champion.


"SJC OK’s secret use of GPS devices; Rules set for police to plant tracking devices in suspect’s vehicle" by John R. Ellement, Globe Staff | September 18, 2009

For the first time, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that the state constitution allows police to break into a suspect’s car to secretly install tracking devices using a global positioning system, provided that authorities have a warrant before they do so....

And you thought we were "liberal,' America!

The court said that using GPS devices as an investigative tool, which can require police to secretly break into a vehicle to install the device, does not violate the ban on unreasonable search and seizure in the state’s Declaration of Rights....

What's next, a phart chip??

The SJC said the devices can be installed for up to 15 days before police must show why the devices need to remain in place. Generally, search warrants expire after seven days. William Leahy, chief counsel for the Committee on Public Counsel Service, said the SJC clearly built a new wall of protection for individuals when it comes to government use of electronic monitoring devices.

They are actually calling this "protection?"


Leahy said the SJC ruling also means that police must persuade a judge they have probable cause before the GPS devices can be installed. He said that will be a barrier to widespread use by law enforcement. “It’s good for the public, and it’s good for the rule of law,’’ Leahy said. “I don’t think it is currently a frequent law enforcement tactic. But the important point now is that it is much less likely to become a frequent tactic.’’

Prosecutors agreed with Leahy and welcomed the SJC decision. They said the court spelled out what rules police must follow when they target a suspect, something that had been lacking.

“Police want to follow the rules,’’ said Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association. “They just want to know what the rules are and that they are clear. This is clear.’’

Yeah, it sure is, sig heil.


Massachusetts' state motto: "Every step you take, I'll be watching you...."

And guess whose actions are SHIELDED from PUBLIC VIEW, folks:

"High costs can make open records seem closed" by Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff | September 24, 2009

.... Average citizens and professional reporters say public agencies have shown an increasing propensity to flout the state’s public records law by engaging in long delays or by charging exorbitant fees.

This is LIBERAL, TOLERANT, OPEN Massachusetts, right?

The tendency of government agencies to charge sky-high prices for public information came into play earlier this year when the Globe asked Boston officials for the e-mails of six city officials, and the city said it would cost $30,000....


Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s office, which is responsible for enforcing the public records law, said most complaints about violations are made by ordinary individuals with little hope of raising the money government agencies often charge.

See, that is why they do it: to STOP YOU and ME from FINDING OUT what is GOING ON with OUR MONEY!!!

And aren't these guys SUPPOSED to be PUBLIC SERVANTS?

Then WHY the SECRECY?!!!!!!

Some agencies attribute those charges to the cost of paying staff - including government attorneys - to find, review, and produce documents during difficult economic times when positions are being cut.

Really? Need $$$$?

The State Budget Swindle

Governor Guts State Services

Pigs at the State Trough

A Slow Saturday Special: Statehouse Slush Fund

Biotech Giveaway Was Borrowed Money

Massachusetts Residents Taken For a Ride

Slow Saturday Special: Day at the Movies

UBS Picks Up Pike

How many more times I gotta post 'em?

On the other hand, some agencies have responded to even detailed requests by providing information at no charge....

“Many of the initial complaints are from average citizens,’’ Galvin said. “A lot of it is town politics, but that doesn’t matter. If someone wants to know who got the doughnut contract with the local schools, they should be able to find out.’’

Yeah, because it is THEIR TAX MONEY!!

The crux of the problem, according to Galvin and others, is that the secretary of state’s office has virtually no power to enforce the open records law. While the law, in many respects, is sweeping, there are no civil penalties to levy against government officials or agencies that violate it....

Sounds like Massachusetts needs a FREEDOM of INFORMATION ACT, huh?


Tom Fiedler, dean of the College of Communication at Boston University and a former executive editor at The Miami Herald, said reporters and citizens in Florida enjoy much broader access to government records than their counterparts in Massachusetts.


“What I have seen here strikes me as so contrary to my experience in Florida that I’m actually startled by it,’’ Fiedler said. “I don’t know why the citizens of Massachusetts tolerate it.’’

I DO NOT, either!

Only thing I can think of is they have that smug skull stuck up their s***ter!!!!

Massachusetts reporters believe that the delays and high fees they encounter when requesting public records are an attempt by some government officials to discourage requests for public records by exploiting the fiscal hard times besetting the news media....


Look at the lying agenda-pushers cry poverty!!!!


"Strengthen open-records laws

EXCAVATING public records is an expensive proposition that makes Massachusetts a graveyard of public information. Absurdly high fees and numerous exemptions are making a mockery of freedom of information requests throughout the state.

Media outlets aren’t easily intimidated....

No, they usually just work with the looting oppressors of government.

The burden falls more heavily on private citizens, whose requests for public information have prompted demands for as much as $200,000 in attorney and other fees to review the requests....

You know, like a BLOGGER!!!


The public records laws in Massachusetts are overdue for serious reform. Inexplicable exemptions work against the public’s interest. The Legislature, for example, has exempted itself from the public records laws.

Related: The Perils of One-Party Politics: The Problem

The Perils of One-Party Politics: Speaker's Shoes

The Perils of One-Party Politics: The Ruling Party

The Perils of One-Party Politics: Massachusetts' Democracy

Massachusetts Democrats Keep Making the Same Mistakes

Why Massachusetts Needs Republicans

And despite knowing all that, the Globe continues to pimp for DemocraPs at every turn.

Even those agencies that are covered feel free to ignore requests because the secretary of state’s office, which oversees public records, has no power to enforce the open records law. Other states, including Florida, offer broader and more timely access to public information.

Yeah, that's a real kick in the Massachusetts testicles, isn't it, Bay Stater?

Speaking of Florida, ever hear back about the murder of the Massachusetts man, Globe?

Just another item DOWN the RABBIT HOLE, 'eh?

A good start here would be passage of a bill sponsored by Representative Antonio Cabral of New Bedford. It would increase the fines for violations of the public records law, give the secretary of state power to subpoena documents, and require agencies to provide computerized records to the public in electronic formats, thereby lowering costs. If sunshine is the best disinfectant, then Massachusetts is doomed to contagion without a dramatic reform of the public records laws.

I don't think even the sun could cut through the lake of s*** that is Massachushitts politics.


And just in case you think our "liberalness" excludes us from fascism (far from it), take a gander at the quintessential definition of fascism (marriage of state and corporate):

A federal judge postponed sentencing yesterday after prosecutors and lawyers for Modern Continental, the Big Dig contractor that pleaded guilty to 39 charges of overbilling and lying about construction defects, disagreed on the cost of the damages....

“I suppose it’s possible to say I’ll just impose a sentence and because no one is there to pay it, no harm, no foul,’’ Judge Douglas P. Woodlock said during the hearing at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston....

Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Cohen said federal prosecutors estimated that Modern Continental overbilled the federal government between $500,000 and $1 million. They estimated that faulty construction cost between $3 million and $8 million to repair.

Yup, those are YOUR TAX DOLLARS, America -- WASTED!!!!!

Related: The Ultimate Cost of the Big Pit

But Michael Connolly, a lawyer for now-bankrupt Modern Continental, said that, for the most part, the concrete worked as it was supposed to. And while acknowledging that Modern Continental did overbill the government, he said the total was closer to $100,000....

I don't want to hear your mealy-mouth excuses.

Thank the Lord they are out of business!

Modern Continental was paid about $295 million for its work on the Big Dig project. Of that, about $49 million funded work on concrete walls that routinely flooded highway tunnels.

Woodlock criticized both lawyers for producing damage estimates that were not backed up by expert testimony, which made his sentencing decision difficult, if not impossible.

“I have a view that I have to make the best findings I can,’’ Woodlock said. “And this is back-of-the-envelope kind of stuff, as far as I can see.’’

Prosecutors had previously dropped criminal charges against Modern Continental in connection with the 2006 ceiling collapse that killed Milena Del Valle, 38, of Jamaica Plain.

See: The Price of a Massachusetts Life

Pulling a Fast One on Big Dig Death

Modern Murder

And they GOT OFF, readers!

It is unlikely that Modern Continental, which has terminated its employees and completed or handed off its construction projects, will be able to pay anything, Woodlock said. He said he intended his sentence to serve as a “community denouncement’’ of wrongdoing....

So WHERE did the $1 MILLION go?

After the hearing, Connolly said that Modern Continental was not trying to evade punishment by questioning the prosecutor’s estimates, but instead wanted to ensure that the judge’s ruling matched the crimes committed. “The company accepts full responsibility,’’ Connolly said.


Oh, right, this guy is a corporate lawyer so you know he's lying.