EppsNet Archive: Massachusetts

Feb. 5, 1631: Roger Williams Arrives in America

5 Feb 2016 /
Roger Williams

Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, meeting with the Narragansett Indians

It’s hard to imagine the sense of infinite potential accompanying the arrival on the North American continent in the 1600s . . .

Roger Williams came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston from England. Four years later, in 1635, he was banished from the colony for, among other things, speaking out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension.

After leaving Massachusetts, Williams, with the assistance of the Narragansett tribe, established a settlement near Narragansett Bay, located in present-day Rhode Island. He declared the settlement open to all those seeking freedom of conscience and the removal of the church from civil matters.

Williams named the community “Providence.”

Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne

29 Aug 2009 /

The most fitting eulogy I’ve read for Senator Kennedy . . .

A Senator from Massachusetts has left office in the only manner possible for an incumbent Democrat, i.e., in a coffin. The New York Times leads off their story on Ted Kennedy’s death with “his sometimes-stormy personal life.” When I think of Ted Kennedy, though, my first thought is always sadness at the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a promising young woman killed by Kennedy, who waited more than eight hours before seeking help for her rescue. One expects politicians to impoverish constituents with reckless spending; one does not expect them to kill constituents. . . .

[Some friends asked today how I would have summarized Ted Kennedy’s biography, if not the way the New York Times did. I observed that he had spent his entire life either as the child of a wealthy family or as a government employee. Never having held a job in the private sector and never having been exposed to the risk of losing a job or a paycheck (either as a child or an adult), he created many new laws and regulations on private businesses (most of the laws that apply to private employers do not apply to Senators themselves in their relations with staff). In his personal life, rather than donating to charity (source) or working directly with the unfortunate, he enjoyed drinking and partying. He drove a car off a bridge, trapping a young woman inside, managed to save his own skin, left her to die, and did not attempt to summon help that could have saved her.]

Update: I just noticed that Barack Obama gave a televised speech from Martha’s Vineyard in praise of Ted Kennedy. Though he was speaking just a few miles from where Mary Jo Kopechne died, President Obama did not mention her. Barack Obama did note that there was nobody in the Senate who had earned more “respect” and that he was one of “the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.” I guess if all of our government workers were similarly accomplished we would no longer have to worry about overpopulation.

The Forgotten Man, Ted Kennedy and Warren Buffett

16 Jul 2008 /

As Ted Kennedy has spent virtually all of his personal wealth on personal consumption of mansions, private jets, women, booze, etc., any help that he has provided to Americans has come at the expense of the “forgotten man” paying taxes. Ted’s own contributions to charity have been minimal (source).

Let’s compare to Warren Buffett. . . . Buffett has spent a negligible portion of his $60+ billion in personal wealth on personal consumption, giving almost all of it away to charity.

Perhaps Buffet is “the forgotten man.” He creates jobs by the thousands. He pays taxes by the $billions. He consumes very modestly considering his means. Yet Buffett is not considered a hero here in Massachusetts, at least.