Monday, March 10, 2008

The Blog is a Harsh Mistress

For the record, I don’t just write a blog. I’ve also written countless letters and editorials. Held a sign on sidewalks and at the Statehouse. Stood in the sun for hours collecting signatures. Created factsheets and handouts. Done my share of data entry. Traveled from town to town and down to DC. I put out an electronic newsletter. I’ve researched, rallied, fundraised, and strategized. And I go to a hell of a lot of meetings.

But to most people lately, I'm a blogger.

I became a blogger because the Brockton Enterprise kept editing the editorials I sent them, or wouldn’t print them at all. And I became a blogger so that I could tell people what was really going on in Middleboro. I became a blogger because the media wasn’t telling the whole story.

But I kept blogging because I saw how it made a difference.

I've been blogging on countless issues in the casino debate since last June. And since then, I’d like to think I made some people laugh, and maybe offered some hope along the way, too. Maybe I’ve given folks something to chew on or maybe even told them something interesting that they didn’t know before.

Middleboro Selectman Adam Bond however, blogging less than a month, has (surprise)insinuated that anti-casino folks have a lot in common with the Third Reich.

And now Adam, who has been causing jaws to drop since last summer with his offensive remarks, is suddenly making a plea for ‘ civility in the debate.’

And who is standing in the way of civil debate? Well, apparently it’s me.

You see, one of the best things about being a blogger, or a late night talk show host for that matter, is the ability to hold elected officials accountable for the things they do.

My blog doesn’t pick on the little guy. I think it’s fair to say that through the magic of PhotoShop, I could have easily ridiculed any number of non-elected pro-casino advocates. In fact, I’ve been asked to do just that many times. But I’ve chosen not to, despite the fact that I haven’t always received the same courtesy. Because ultimately, they, like me, are just citizens speaking out about issues that are important to them.

We can’t make policy or sign multi-million dollar agreements, or bring gambling to the Bay State. We can't personallly usher in giant mega casinos which could potentially harm our environment and permanently alter our quality of life.

So we do what we can.

But apparently, according to Adam, it’s Gladys who crosses the line.

Because, one day not long ago, I’d stumbled upon Adam’s web site for his law practice, which made it clear that not only does Mr. Bond mingle his responsibilities as an elected official and his legal career and his tireless crusade for a casino, he actually throws them all into a blender and hits the “liquefy” button.

And I felt then, and still do, that this isn't merely inappropriate, it's probably unethical.

Subsequently, I wrote a blog called Adam’s New Tool. The blog was accompanied by a little graphic of an office door imprinted with the name of an Adam Bond law firm, followed by a comma, followed by the old lawyer joke: “Dewy, Cheatum, and Howe”.

Adam hates this graphic about as much as I hate the idea of living near a casino. And he wants the graphic to go away as much as I’d like to see the casino evaporate.

But do I think Adam “Cheats ‘em?”

I think the agreement Adam helped draft, and which he campaigned for, took professional credit for on his site, and eagerly signed on July 28th with a smile on his face does cheat the people of Middleboro. I think it cheats them out of their rights to be fairly represented by the folks they elected to do just that. I think Adam’s headlong rush into the agreement cheated many people of the opportunity to become better educated about what a mega resort casino could do to their town, and it cheated the Casino Advisory Committee of the adequate time they needed to assess potential impacts. And I think agreeing to an annual payment of only $20,00 to combat gambling addiction clearly cheats those future gambling addicts and their families a mega casino will generate.

And if he’d just left it at that, it would have been bad enough. But then he went and took credit for all of it on his day job web site. Of all the offensive things Bond has said or done in the course of this debate, that's the one that did it for me.

I had a front row seat to the events that transpired this summer. And it was clear to me that Adam enjoyed being the selectman with the law degree. Because he could stand up and do the PowerPoint presentation. He could negotiate behind closed doors, hobnob with the other lawyers, understand all the latin words, and contribute in ways the other selectmen couldn’t. He was in his element. And I don’t blame him for any of that.

But why the rush? And why wasn't it enough to help a casino come to town, and for the Tribe to pay the town for that privilege. Why add Section 22, Undertakings of the Town, to the agreement? Because section 22 makes it clear who’s the boss, and guess what – unless you’re a casino, it ain’t you.

So, what happens if a casino doesn’t turn out to be a good neighbor?

And what happens if, in the future, Middleboro voters elect an individual running on an anti-casino platform? Is that person still obligated, by virtue of the agreement, Section 22 D, to support it anyway, despite obvious obligations to represent the desires of his or her constituents? Does that sound fair to you? It doesn’t even sound American to me.

And as bad as I originally thought the agreement was last summer, the more I learn as time goes by, the more I think Adam Bond represented Glenn Marshall and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe far better than he did the people who elected him to do the best thing for his town.

Do I think Adam did his due diligence for the people of Middleboro? If so, then why was it so necessary to rush a town meeting that by very virtue of its timing shut out many Middleboro voters? And why on earth was the Tribe’s timeline running the show and not the people of Middleboro? Because the Tribe would leave and go to New Bedford? They were never going to go to New Bedford. The Tribe still doesn’t want to go to New Bedford. If tomorrow the Governor told them to take their casino to New Bedford, Scott Fearson would probably file a lawsuit and claim he was a racist.

So why didn’t Adam hold any informational forums for the public that presented viewpoints other than that of Glenn Marshall and a bunch of Lawyers? Or have taken the time, like some people did, to look into whether Indian Casinos really are a done deal? (Because they’re NOT!)

If, in Adam’s mind, he is a conquering hero for the ”political marketing of the casino concept” and because he “participated in the logistical set up and execution of the largest Town Meeting ever held in Massachusetts”( which a lot of people couldn’t go to and caused some of those who did to require emergency medical treatment), well that is all just fine and dandy.

But that’s not what happened. He parlayed the whole thing into an advertisement for his law practice.

So, who's crossing the line?

I ask myself, why didn’t Adam ever make the effort to present a balanced debate to the public? And why did he flinch and come up with a much better contract for the Tribe the first time they threatened to bolt? I mean, it's a negotiation, right? Isn't there is an expectation of a certain amount of back and forth in high level negotiations? And what was the real need for the rush to get that agreement signed?

Mr. Bond may be a great lawyer for all I know. He's argued before the Supreme Court for heaven's sake! And I think he probably started out wanting to be a good selectman. But I also believe, at a certain point, his ego became more important than the people he was elected to represent. And after that, I don’t think he wanted the casino to go away, and nothing that anyone could have done or said would have made a difference.

And maybe that doesn't trouble him. But that little office door on my blog does.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
You can't please everybody. Your Blog is a big part of my day, because I trust what you print and respect you for being here. You have been here from the start and you'll be here to the bitter end.
Maybe Bond's a little jealous because his blogs are crap, I apologize Adam, I never read one. God gave us Casinofacts.org and a little angel called Gladys Kravitz.

Lucy said...

In the midst of all that has transpired, that Mr. Bond still feels no need to apologize for ANY of his offensive comments and insults must be some amazing ego.
Will someone deflate that ego with a pin?
We've had enough.
Thanks for being there, Gladys!

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear anonymous 4:30 pm and Lucy - thank YOU!

I am happy to be here fighting this travesty in my own ways, right alongside the many good folks I've met along the way.

Your comments are a big part of MY day and give me the inspiration to continue blogging.

Please keep up the fight. I've got your back,

Gladys

Jacquie said...

Gladys,

Who crossed the line?????? Are you kidding me?...and our BOS (including Adam) didn't think they crossed the line this summer when they silenced us, were rude to us when we tried to speak at the mike and then rushed an agreement through without doing their due diligence prior to the vote? Are they for real???

This is an issue of a group of residents who felt compelled to stick up for themselves because our BOS were failing to do the job for us....and Gladys, thanks to you...you have been a leader in that fight. You didn't cross the line. Our BOS get all they deserve for how they treated us.

You have been invaluable in the NO CASINO cause and I am behind you all the way.

cdplakeville said...

Bravo, Gladys. Keep up the good work. We will not let up. Bond's mouth is fodder for our blogs. If can't handle his own words, it is no wonder he moved out here from New York. He couldn't make it there.

Anonymous said...

Blogging has provided a voice that no one wanted to hear. To all who have commented, keep it up!
They thought you would go away. You fooled them.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear Jacquie,

I thank YOU.

You have always been the inspiration. I only followed by example.

I never would have had the courage to become 'Gladys' had it not been for the unflinching courage of that small group of residents who never backed down in the face of condescension, derision, apathy and the ever swinging gavel on the part of the Middleboro BOS.

Who keeps the checks and balances in local government? It's us!

It's you. It's me. It's everyone. Don't blink. Don't stay seated.

Get the hell up and say NO! This is WRONG!

Because if we don't, if you don't, the egos, the apathy, the agendas... they'll take apart our world.

Love,
Gladys

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
Thank you for keeping up the fight. We all need to get our letters written and get to the scoping session.

Mr. Bond has made his own bed and must now "lie" in it. His self promoting radio show and blog continue to fan the flames.

People like Jacquie, Mark, Jessie, Rich and you Gladys have given people a place to vent and learn about this project and casinos in general.

As life long resident of Middleboro THANK YOU!!

Anonymous said...

Mark, Jessie, Rich

Too funny there the only real town anti residents left.

Everyone else is from OUTSIDE the town.

I remember your circle of doom it was good.

Would it be Hypocritical of me, If I moved out of Middleboro to get away from the Casino stuff but I only moved 20 miles or so knowing the effects might be within 50 miles?

Just a question.

Mrlimo Raynham MA.

Jacquie said...

Dear anonymous #3,

You are so correct about the letter writing and attending the BIA meeting on March 25th. I am concerned that all this attention to Adam is a deliberate attempt to divert our attention to what we should be doing.... and it's writing those letters!

Anonymous said...

For the record, it is my understanding that Mr. Bond's partner argued before the Supreme Court and not Mr. Bond. When you look at his professional claims, they do appear inflated, but he can't co-mingle that horrible casino agreement and not expect the criticism.

Anonymous said...

I believe all citizens are the stewards of the land and the history of this area, and our obligation as citizens who use the natural recourses is to protect the legacy. The land. We are, after all, only here on a temporary basis. The history of how we got to where we are with the casino issue is not how democracy is supposed to work. Yet, here we are, fighting effectively.

I have been personally touched by the likes of Gladys, and all of the other bloggers who have done the research to provide the mailing address and information and encouragement for people to get involved. I appreciate their leadership and the tremendous amount of time they have donated to this cause. Gladys and others have provided the much needed balance for this issue. The letter writing campaign needs to continue, and I will write another one.

But the side story in all of this, is that I do not think we have seen the end of Mr. Bond in terms of the harm his ego has in store for us. I am very worried, not for what we know, but for what we haven't seen yet. For some reason i think he has tried to restrain his temper, but from time to time, his mouth has betrayed him and given us an idea of what he is capable of.
Have we only seen the tip of the iceberg?
What do we really know about him?
All of us must continue to ask questions in a way that will make the town think. I have hope that because bloggers like Gladys are not going away, but hanging in there, we will prevail.

Jacquie said...

Mr. Limo,

I heard your comment and I won't even dignify it beyond acknowledging that it is people like you that we have had to deal with....that should speak for itself.

carverchick said...

Dear Gladys,

You continue to be an inspiration to us all. What do we have if not our voices? Mr. Bond knows darned well that being a public offical means being scrutinized. Is it your fault that he gives you so much to write about? No...it is his own. If he or anyone else has a problem with what you say, then it is just that...their problem. What was done to the Town of Middleboro by its own elected officals is disgraceful...what they have done to our region is unforgivable. Mr. Bond being more concerned about your blog than the fact that people actually had to move because of all this speaks volumes. As far him as being a diversion from writing letters, I would hope not. It certainly has not been the case for me, or several others that I know. Keep up the good fight Gladys...you are watching and writing and we are reading and listening! The only ones who can take the blame for being in the way of civil debate is the BOS themselves....this civil debate that is so important to Adam now should have been important to all of them this summer, BEFORE an agreement was signed. If anything, you have lead the real debate in all of this...the only uncivil thing I have witnessed to date is by those who call us "antis" racist, ignorant, liars, and fear mongers. That is okay though, we know we are none of those things...as long as we stay true to ourselves and what we believe to be right, we will prevail.

We love and support you Gladys!

Carverchick

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XrL_F6tnT4

You have all worked so hard I admire you all.

Keep up the Good work. Theres much to be done.

MRlimo08
RAYNHAM

Anonymous said...

Quote!
Jacquie said...
Mr. Limo,
I heard your comment and I won't even dignify it beyond acknowledging that it is people like you that we have had to deal with....that should speak for itself.

Ah! Ok! The problem is you dont know how to deal with me.

All you ever had to do was put your kindness pants on and bring pockets full of respect to the table and stop trying to steam roll over everything and everybody who ever was Pro Casino.

I have shown nothing but respect to you people.

Now that you have lost the battle you are going to try and play the blame game.

Stop the nonsense Just be my friend and we will all get along.

your a woman of Dignity remember that.

Walk away with your heads held high you gave it all you had.

Its over its a done deal.

Make the best of it for you and your towns.

I know I will.

Mrlimo08 Raynham MA

Thank You Glady's for your time.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Mr. Limo, I seem to recall a contest you ran to solicit sexually suggestive photos of me which you then posted on your website.

This is respect?

Who is the hypocrite?

I could have done the same to you at any time but didn't.

You have no respect, and you don't fight with honor.

This is not a game to many people. Many people truly believe their homes, families, and future are on the line. Yet, you treat it like a joke. It's not.

Go away. No battle has been lost. Except for you, I see only winners here.
Gladys

Anonymous said...

Gladys, It should be noted that mrlimo is like a schoolyard bulley -- but worse.
Has anyone noticed that in his irrational rants, he goes after women? His personality characteristics are that of a batterer, but the guys let it slide. And what's even worse is his demeaning comments to those who are smarter and better educated than he is (not that it's that difficult).
At least his comments to you were rational this time, but it doesn't happen often. Respect? He needs to look up the word.

Gladys Kravitz said...

I should have known better than to let Mr. Limo post here again. I didn't have my coffee this morning when I hit the "publish" button.

I thought he was sincere with his admiration later, but was wrong again.

It is always someone else's fault. Always someone else not showing respect. Always someone else's lead he is following.

Yeah right.

I hadn't been accepting comments from him because of the very anger and hostility he incites.

Won't happen again.

carverchick said...

Gladys,

Mr Limo seems to forget that I am a frequent lurker to his site...have I seen respect for us? No, I haven't...perhaps not necessarily intentional disrespect, but certainly no respect. He is only trying to give us a shot of "inevitable". He thinks it is over because of a silly news report...yet I seem to resmember a certain news report about an endangered turtle that he got such a kick out of when it was debunked....ahhhh, how soon they forget. And to think he really expects us to just go away becasue of what WBZ says.....jeesh, I thought he knew us so well by now!!

Carverchick

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear vistors,

I have removed a post I did not find especially offensive considering it was made to Mr. Limo who enjoys offending all the time.

I was asked to remove the post, and was in the process of doing so when I recieved a comment from "anonymous" threatening me and my business if I did not take down the comment.

I think we've all said enough today.

Gladys

Anonymous said...

Gladys, Thanks, and keep up the good work. You are greatly appreciated by those whos voices were gaveled into silence. This whole casino deal has been shoved down our throats by the Middleborough BOS
(especially Mr. Bond) who has represented Mr. Marshall and the casino investors far better than he has represented the citizens of Middleborough. Now he is trying to blame the whole deal on Jack Healey, who is conveniently retired. What a shill......Duey, Cheatem and Howe is most appropriate.

Anonymous said...

If being nice and smart and even handed and willing to listen worked, then we wouldn't be in this fight.

What HAS worked for the casino proponents has been shrill, and strident, over bearing, insistent and self serving.

I will NOT, keep my nose to the paper and only write polite and informed letters and silence my public face to the whim of those who skirt the edges of intimidation. Once they win at intimidation, then they become bolder and take it to another level.

Gladys, do not fear the first amendment. Once a topic, sentence, interview, posting on a coffee talk blog, becomes public domain, then the door has been opened for criticism and debate.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear vistors,

The name of this blog pays homage to an old science fiction novel called "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", which is essentially about the first people to colonize the moon and all the trials and tribulations involved.

Blogging, like the Internet, and Youtube and other new media is relatively unknown territory. There will be trials and tribulations. There will be growing pains.

I just want to say that I really appreciate all of your kind comments. Blogging isn't an easy thing - it takes a lot of time and as you can see, it can create a lot of controversy and hard feelings - but I think it's important. And I believe it's been a valuable outlet for people who otherwise would not have been heard on this issue.

But what makes blogging worthwhile for me is thinking that maybe people who read my posts will write their own letters and editorials, make their own calls, inform their own friends and family, maybe show up at a rally, or hold a sign or make a donation.

Because this is an important cause. This is our home and our way of life. And if that isn't fighting for, what is?

Take care,
Gladys

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Gladys ! Your last post gave me goose pimples!

You and other bloggers are like the "Paul Revere" of this era.

By the way, has Coffee Not been silenced?

I worry about lawyerly intimidation, absent all merit, being successful.

alice said...

Gladys,
Few recognize how important you've been and that you periodically become a target, especially for the not very smart among us.
Your comments have been true and courageous for which we thank you.
That we seem to have a batterer in our midst that the guys among us willingly tolerate needs to be corrected.
Wake up, guys! Smell the coffee! Verbal abuse if just that and you are known by the company you keep.

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