The March for our Lives

Hundreds of thousands of students and others marched and rallied today for sensible gun control. I went to the one in Boston, where there were at least 50 thousand:

Thousands marched in many cities around the country and the world. The estimates are as high as 800,000 in DC, 150,000 in NY, 30000 in Atlanta, 20000 in Parkland Florida, 15000 in Houston, 6000 in Kansas City, and on and on.

President Trump was, of course, not in DC but golfing. Maybe that’s because the estimated crowd size was bigger than at his inauguration.

Trump displayed his usual cowardice:

Trump, for one, was nowhere within earshot of the march and student speeches, having spent Saturday at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Scores of people had lined his motorcade’s usual path, which has been well-traveled by the president as he shuttles between his Mar-a-Lago estate and the Trump International Golf Club during weekend visits. They held signs excoriating the NRA and supporting an assault weapons ban.

But returning to Mar-a-Lago from the golf club on Saturday afternoon, Trump’s motorcade took a longer route than usual, crossing a different bridge into Palm Beach and then driving down Ocean Boulevard. There were striking views of the blue water and palatial estates, but no protesters could be spotted.

You can show your support for gun control by going to the March for Our Lives website.


Quite a while ago, I looked at my walkscore and found that my score in Waltham was 92 while my score in the Fenway was 88.

I look again and find the scores are:

Malden: 77

Waltham: 87

Fenway: 92

I also noticed it’s very volatile, if I move to the next building in the Fenway (either way) the score is 96. So, although the relative scores are reasonable, I don’t especially trust the scores completely.

Yay Boston

Boston dealt with right-wing speech the right way:

“I think it’s clear today that Boston stood for peace and love, not bigotry and hate,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at a late afternoon news conference.

Walsh also thanked the Boston Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, including the MBTA Transit Police and the State Police.

“They carried themselves with dignity, and I’m proud of that work, and I’m proud of the fact that here in Boston we were able to have a very successful day,” the mayor said.

Police Commissioner William B. Evans said at the news conference, “We probably had 40,000 people out here standing tall against hatred and bigotry in our city and that’s a good feeling.”

Nearly all the demonstrators “were here for the right reason,” Evans said, though “we did have people who came here to cause problems.”

By early evening Saturday, police had made 33 arrests on disorderly conduct and other charges.

Violence is part of the whole Nazi existence. They thrive on victimhood and need an enemy to fight.  If you ridicule and whenever they rally, hold one that is much, much bigger–in Boston there were an estimated 40,000 counter-protestors to the, at most, a couple hundred ‘free speechers’. Mission accomplished.

Are they racists or trolls?

It seems there will be a Boston ‘Free Speech’ rally assuming they can get anyone to speak:

Organizers of the Boston Free Speech Coalition, which also identifies as the New Free Speech Movement, garnered attention for the rally by inviting speakers with known ties to white nationalism, white supremacists, and racist views.

Medlar said his group supports free speech for everyone, including those who are the most vile. He said his group denounces violence.

Here is part of their statement on their Facebook page:

While we maintain that every individual is entitled to their freedom of speech and defend that basic human right, we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry. We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence. We denounce the actions, activities, and tactics of the so-called Antifa movement. We denounce the normalization of political violence.

We are a coalition of libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and independents and we welcome all individuals and organizations from any political affiliations that are willing to peaceably engage in open dialogue about the threats to, and importance of, free speech and civil liberties. Join us at the Parkman Bandstand where we will be holding our event. We look forward to this tide-changing peaceful event that has the potential to be a shining example of how we, in the city of Boston, can come together for the common goal of preserving freedom of speech for all and respectfully discussing our differences of opinion without engaging in violence.

It’s just a complete coincidence that all of their originally planned speakers (Gavin McInnes, Kyle Chapman, Augustus Invictus, Joe Biggs, and Brandon Navom) are conservative and, at least partially, part of the alt-right. So, please don’t claim that they’re ok with racism even though some of their original speakers are outright racists.

Here’s the thing, there are only two reasons that you invite these type of abhorrent people to speak at your rally (notice it’s very different to support a person’s right to speak and giving them a forum to speak at; the first is something all free speech advocates should do, the second is not). First, because you have similar views. Second, you’re a troll just trying to stir up trouble for fun or profit. I’m not sure which fits the organizers of this event, but both reasons mark them as pretty bad people.

I deserve it, you don’t

The Boston Globe notes that the leaders of the Boston charter schools make a fair amount (the second compares to 13 charter school executives who make $160,000 or more):

The median pay package for the top leaders of the 16 charter schools in Boston was $170,000 last year, making most of them among the highest-paid public school officials in Boston, according to a Globe review of payroll data.

By contrast, three members of Chang’s Cabinet made more than $160,000 in 2016, according to a Globe review.

and their employees make a bit less:

The average earnings for charter-school teachers, guidance counselors, and other educators who work directly with students were roughly $55,000, according to the Globe review. Average pay for teachers in the Boston school system is about $90,000.

Now look at how the leaders talk about the pay of the leaders:

Charter school officials say the large compensation packages reflect the competitive market for top school leaders and the need for special talent.

Harris, in a brief phone interview, said his compensation package was well-earned and reflected the 42 years he spent in public education.

During her tenure, Lam oversaw the school’s relocation from Brighton to Dorchester, its expansion from an elementary school into a K-8 program, and the addition of high-profile programs like EL Sistema, a popular Venezuelan music education program.

“Diana’s unique talents and experience as an accomplished visionary were essential to establishing the school and were reflected in her compensation,” Gary F. Gut, chairman of the school’s trustees, said.

Benjamin Howe, chairman of the trustees at Excel Academy, said the salary the board set for its CEO, Owen Stearns, the third-highest earner, was fair and reasonable and in the best interests of Excel, which operates four campuses in East Boston and Chelsea.

And how they talk about the pay of the teachers:

Charter school leaders say they would like to pay teachers more but the state does not provide them enough money to cover facility costs, forcing them to make up the difference in their operating budgets. The teachers in the independent charters are not unionized.

“Everyone I know wants to hire great teachers and pay them as much as possible,” said Shannah Varon, executive director of Boston Collegiate Charter School, who also leads the Boston Charter School Alliance. “I don’t know of any executive director who is trying to pad their paychecks and in doing so is hiring teachers who are green or paying them less.”

Somehow they are able to find the extra money to pay the leaders but it’s impossible to find it for the teachers. You might be surprised to learn that the teachers aren’t unionized.

For fun, let’s look at the school Shannah Varon works for, Boston Collegiate Charter School. It has, according to its website, nearly 700 students and has 7 executives on the list of people who make more than $100,000 per year. The top 7 executives earnrd a total of $849, 298 with Shannah topping the list at $166,496. I’m curious why paying  the executives a lot doesn’t reduce the amount that could go towards the pay of the teachers.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

I went to the Gardner Museum, so here are some pictures:

It’s an impressive little house in the Fenway. The building is also nice but they’re fixing it up right now so you can mostly only see construction.

Boston welcomes immigrants

Boston telling Trump they support immigrants:


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