Category Archives: Boston Massacre

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I gotta wonder exactly who the Children of Liberty’s quartermaster is? ‘Cause I want to hire her for running our homeless shelters.

First there was the Valentine’s Day pink marshmallow fluff stunt. Brilliant! Now, giant styrofoam snowballs rolling across the Common on the anniversary of the (first, real) Boston Massacre. If nothing else, I have to admire their logistical genius. Where the hell do you get that many four-foot spheres? Never mind smuggling them into the Common at zero-dark-early hours.

Which is not to diss their PR sense or their politics. You have to admit, the combination of historical parallels and absurdism made it perfect fodder for TV networks struggling to fill in the blanks imposed by Bush’s new “information control” initiative. The fact that there was one snowball for each day Bush has delayed the election made it a pointed protest. Very pointed, indeed.

And apparently that sharp jab hit a nerve. There have been black SUVs with tinted windows all over the city for two days. You can’t go outside without hearing a helicopter hovering overhead. And a bunch of men with crew cuts, all wearing skin-tight brand-new blue jeans, with their polo shirts tucked in, are walking around the city and looking studiously casual. I wanted, desperately, to point out to whomever is doing the FBI’s undercover wardrobe buying that no male in Boston would be caught dead in acid-washed Levis with a bomber jacket on over them. Not since Top Gun was in the theaters, anyway.

Though, now that I think about it, with the 1984-era jeans and jackets, it’s not FBI but that intelligence branch of BackWater Thugs TM. North Carolina ain’t a hot-bed of fashion.

We didn’t write yesterday because Paul was kept at work very late by a variety of “casual” visitors who just happened to “know your dad from back in the day” and wanted to talk about Gil’s current activities, “was he hip to” the Children of Liberty? Their lingo is as out of date as their clothes. Yeah, it’s gota be BackWater Thugs. Even the Feebs are better than that!

The good thing, I guess, is that no one mentioned anything about our blog. At least, we’re still only getting a handful of hits each day, mostly from recognizable sources. Friends, mostly. For the first time, I worry about what’s going to happen if anyone Googles Paul’s name and finds this blog and my rantings. Hi NSA! Loved your work on Purple! Please don’t fire Paul just because I’m a bitch!

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009

Paul’s post yesterday was a bit deceptive. Not in fact, but in tone. He’s being modest, I think.

He talks about dropping out of the suit fairly matter-of-fact-ly. As if it was just the simple equation that feeding April is more important than getting justice. In fact, we talked about this for hours, days, exhausted it verbally. It was a momentous decision for us.

Because it means that we’ve given up.

Paul’s parents are still hippies and he’s still very idealistic in many ways. He is working at EPA for a fraction of what he could be making elsewhere, but he does it because he really wants to help the environment. We have made and continue to make serious sacrifices to be as green as possible. He believes in justice — which is very strange for a lawyer. While he’s the first to tell you that our legal system has problems, he has dedicated his life to working within the system to improve it because, “It’s not perfect, but it’s better than anything else anyone has come up with.” You’ve probably heard him say that at parties. More than once.

Standing up to bullies, doing what’s right, is part of his very soul. By not pursuing this lawsuit, he’s admitting that the Bush administration has crippled the legal system — possibly irrevocably. He’s dedicated his adult life to this system that Bush has, casually and with out any apparent remorse, completely hamstrung, gutted, and castrated. This bothers him, deeply, and we had a lot of late nights and heart-to-heart conversations for him to reach this point.

Now, I didn’t need very much persuasion. I’ve never been an idealist. I was willing to stand by him if he did decide to pursue the issue, though I’ll admit I was pretty ambivalent about it. On one hand, I’ve got a daughter to feed and we’re a one-salary household. April’s needs supersede ours. On the other hand — and it’s a pretty big hand — a well-populated lawsuit, with the right lawyers, publicity, and some sympathetic judges, could go a long way towards ending this despotic rule we’ve got going on right now. And growing up in a society in which rule of law is respected is really important for April’s well being.

The problem becomes that I don’t think one lawsuit — not even with everyone piling on board — would do it. Hell, I can’t think of anything that would do it, right now. Paul put it pretty succintly the other night, over crepes in Davis: “You’ve lost faith in the government.”

“Well, I never had a whole lot of faith to begin with,” I replied.

“I did,” said Paul, sadly. “At least, I used to.”

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009

I was planning on writing this yesterday, but we took some friends up on an offer of free baby sitting and went out to dinner instead. Priorities.

I’m officially out of the Boston Massacre lawsuit. The US Attorney has filed a motion to have the case dismissed on national security grounds. Essentially, revealing the contract (or lack there of) that the Backwater thugs were acting under would ‘reveal details of national preparedness and continuity plans that could be used by interests inimicable to the United States’. The part we were looking at specifically, command-and-control, who ordered who to do what, is ‘especially vulnerable to disruptive actions by outside forces.’

In other words, if people (both in the US and outside it) knew who was really in charge, they’d be pissed and try to do something about it.

I don’t have the time and money spend on this when it’s clearly going to be a kangaroo-court lost-cause. I have a life to live, and I get the feeling that even if I kept my job, I wouldn’t be seeing any merit bonuses for some time if I stayed involved in this case. Keeping my kid fed is more important than being a martyr, even a legal one.

Of course, also high on my list is not being shot again.

Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

So who here had a black cat cross their path today or walked under a ladder? It’s Friday the 13th and I got through the day pretty well (so far, knock on wood).

I did have the joy today of another meeting with my section chief and the union rep. These things are becoming entirely too common. The section chief wanted to know whether I was going to continue on with the lawsuit over being…what’s the word I’m looking for here? Shot!

The man actually wouldn’t say the word. He kept referring to it as an ‘unfortunate incident’ and ‘being caught in a security action.’ I really was thinking of letting the whole thing go (insurance covered the medical bills and PT is going remarkably well), but I really couldn’t bring myself to tell this guy. Some folks continue to damage the reputation of government bureaucrats, which is a feat seeing how we are held in such high esteem already.

So, no decision today. I’ll deal with it next week.

This weekend is Valentine’s Day and a three-day weekend. One of the (ever competitive) grandmas is coming up tomorrow and Neve and I are off for a romantic trip…the first since April was born. I’m not giving you-all details because she doesn’t know them yet either.

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

Governor Patrick submitted a law to the General Assembly today that I whole-heartedly endorse. Assuming the Security Force Registration Act of 2009 passes, any private entity that allows or requires its employees to carry firearms on the job-site will have to be registered with the Massachusetts State Police and take an additional firearms safety course. As part of this registration, full copies of any contracts for security-related business will need to be filed with the state, and company facilities and those facilities being guarded will be subject to inspection by the Staties.

Clearly, this is a reaction to the Boston Massacre and the complete lack of accountability. Good.

A lot people are attacking the law as being too broad. Every mall renta-cop and college ‘police’ officer will need to be registered. All the Pinkertons and private investigators get looped in too. Even the pilots on domestic airlines flying out of Logan will need to be registered and trained since the TSA allows them to carry pistols in the cockpit.

But more importantly, the State of Massachusetts will finally have an idea of how large the private security forces of businesses and (especially) the Federal Government are within its borders. Those who argue that it puts vital facilities or infrastructure at risk don’t have their priorities straight in my mind. What facilities are you willing to let a contractor guard, but unwilling to let the state police inspect? If security is so important, then why isn’t it considered a ‘inherently governmental‘ duty, to quote the contracting regs?

If Bush insists on putting armed thugs in our state, let them at least be directly representing our government and have sworn to protect the Constitution, not some corporate bottom-line.

Monday, Feb. 9, 2009

I got a call from the lawyers involved in the Boston Massacre lawsuit today.  The first set of cases, for the folks who were killed, have been thrown out of court in an initial hearing.  The rationale is that the plaintiffs had named the wrong defendents, in this case, the Backwater folks and the local FPS (Federal Protective Service) commander.  It looks like follow-ups are moving to the Federal Anti-Terror courts and the lawyers wanted to know if I was up for filing in that system.

They did manage to get some information.  FPS claims they never called in Backwater or even any back-up, they just kept their incident center at Homeland Security up-to-date on the situation.  Instead, FPS claims, Backwater acted after being informed of the event through the InfraGard secure web-feed.

These InfraGard people seem to be private industry folks with some kind of back-door into the FBI and DHS.  I guess Backwater is pretty deep in the program.  When the lawyers tried to get the postings about the Boston Massacre, they got stonewalled saying that “all correspondence between InfraGard and the government is confidential under the Trade Secrets exemption.”

Meanwhile Backwater says (and the judge bought it) that their agents’ actions were within the acceptable SOPs under their contract with the DHS.   Nobody is allowed to see said contract, again because of Trade Secrets and National Security.  At the minimum, they were able to confirm that the contract isn’t specific to Boston (or even the Northeast) or to the Inauguration Day time period.

Ye gods.  It’s not just that the government is outsourcing their police duties to a bunch of mercenary thugs; it looks like these guys have the ability to write their own orders and ignore any law they want!

Now I get to decide if we should push our luck when the deck is already stacked against us or just walk away.

Friday, Jan. 30, 2009

I saw the oddest graffiti today.

It was on the subway, of all places. The T doesn’t usually suffer from an excess of tagging — at least the Red Line, which runs through the wealthier parts of the city. I can’t speak to the other lines — I don’t take them very often. Paul might. I’ll ask him when he gets home.

Anyway, it was a quick spray job of a flag — red with a white square in the upper left-hand corner and then a stylized pine tree in the center of that. And under that it said “Children of Liberty!”

April and I were on our way to Harvard to pick up some things and I pondered it the whole time I was there. There was something familiar but I couldn’t summon it to mind. On the way back, I saw another one — this time green, but clearly the same stencil — on a sidewalk in Davis. Somehow, the image struck me as very warm and boring and smelling of chalk.

Took about half an hour of googling to figure it out. That was the New England flag! And if you update “Sons of Liberty”, which you have to admit is sexist as hell, it would be “Children of Liberty!” Suddenly, my 11th grade history class came flooding back, complete with Ms. Hausman’s nasal, droning voice and her lipsticked teeth. God, I hated that class.

The flag doesn’t look a whole lot like the image I just slapped into the post. It was much more stylized — frankly bloxy, nearly pixelated. Kinda looked like a quilt, actually.

I mentioned it to one of my mom friends at playgroup this afternoon and she said she’d seen a few, too. Clearly it’s some sort of memetic campaign, like that time the woman spray painted “Santa is Real!” all over the city. Apparently they started showing up after the Boston Massacre. A quick search on “children of liberty” brings up a freaky church out in fly-over country, a Starcraft novel (!?), mention of an old devotional song, and several other, random things. Nothing New England-centric.

The thing is, I can almost see what they are hinting at. And I get why they are hinting at it, instead of saying it outright. Treason is still a capital crime in the U.S. and the last time this was tried, it didn’t go so well. Though, legally, you can still fly the Confederate Flag.