By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A stupid idea withdrawn

I thought this would take about three days. Instead, it took less than one. Good. And good for Gov. Patrick.

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Outsourcing the nasty stuff


Buenos días, Mitt!


  1. Steve

    Time for the Freeway Blogger to test whether free speech only extends to pro-military and pro-administration demonstrations.

  2. Rick in Duxbury

    Simple. Master lease overpasses for a dollar each to Gold Star Mothers, who would no doubt arrange for appropriate, safe memorials to their children who paid the ultimate price. Similar arrangements could be made with the USO for returning veterans. Both groups know how to navigate the bureaucracy and are pretty much immune from political demagogues. Steve, do YOU want to tell a Gold Star Mother that Michael Moore trumps her pain?

  3. Steve

    Rick, if you want a response from me, you’ll have to expand on your comments. I have no earthly idea what you mean.

  4. man who's an anti-war fan

    Hey Rick, I’ll gladly tell her that to her face. There are precious few Americans who have “pain” anything like most of the world has.So what if your kid died in Iraq? You wanna tell an Iraqi mother who’s lost five children to a US bombing run that you have more pain than she does? How about a Sudanese mother in Darfur who’s seen her entire family killed while she was raped and beaten for years.As far as I’m concerned, the US military has done precious, precious little besides perpetuate itself at the cost of trillions of taxpayer dollars for the last forty years. I personally am no fan of having reminders of that shoved in my face while half-awake and dealing with rush hour traffic in the morning…and sooner or later one of those damn memorials is going to come loose and cause a crash.Take the damn signs down. Any other person did it, we’d call it graffiti and bitch about the person who did it…why should these folks get any special exemption?

  5. jamesgarnerisgod

    Right. We don’t want to disturb the natural beauty of highway overpasses.

  6. Rick in Duxbury

    “man who’s an anti-war fan” brings to mind what “fan” is short for. You probably WOULD “gladly tell it to her face”. If you’re as guilty as you sound about the U.S. in the last 40 years, take public transportation during the rush hour traffic that so troubles you and send the savings to those mothers in Sudan and Iraq. If you were interested in anything but rhetoric, you would not have ignored the words “appropriate and safe”, i.e. smaller, less distracting, DIFFERENT from what now exists. Steve, this isn’t the forum to explain to you who the USO and Gold Star Mothers are. Try Google for that and what a “master lease” is. If we can let fast food companies sponsor toll booths, we can say thanks to people who gave better than they got from America.While free speech demonstrations are laudable, people like the “Westboro Baptist Church” (who demonstrate at military funerals), show me that America still has a lot of ingrates along for a free ride. (Including a lot of the “chicken hawks” in Washington and at least one angry guy stuck in traffic).

  7. Steve Stein

    Rick, I know quite well what a Gold Star mother is and what a master lease is. I also know that a master lease such as you describe does not exist, nor is it likely to.

  8. Rick in Duxbury

    Steve,If we don’t want them to exist, they won’t. Yacht and rowing clubs have been enjoying the Charles River courtesy of these things for a hundred years, to mention only two of the entities less deserving than the Gold Star Mothers. I will defer to you on I.T. matters but if these leases don’t exist, I must have hallucinated the last 30 years of negotiating them. I still think we can come up with an unobtrusive way to honor the troops.

  9. Steve

    I’ve got no problem at all with the current practice of using overpasses to honor troops, welcome them home, displaying flags, etc without the courtesy of leasing the space. I’ve never seen that space used for memorials, though. Frankly, I hope we could do better than a sign on an overpass to honor people killed in service to our country.But by the same token, I hope the same courtesy would be extended for anti-war messages like the Freeway Blogger displays.I never thought of the Charles River as a leaseable resource. I thought if you have a boat, you could use the river free of charge. Are you saying the rowing clubs have to pay someone for use of the river?

  10. Rick in Duxbury

    Nope, just the banks thereof if they don’t already own them. Became controversial a while back when it turned out that some organizations were not paying fair lease rates to the Commonwealth. If a low-key memorial prevents accidents while allowing the bereaved/returnees’ families to make their statement, so be it, IMHO. We can agree to disagree on the relative merits of competing voices. Increased funding for the V.A., for example, is no threat to the constitutional rights of the Freeway Bloggers and is probably a more sincere way to thanks to the troops.

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