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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

MGM “Speaks From the Heart”

As a Main Street business owner in the South End, I have seen too many companies come and go in the city of Springfield. Watching local businesses be torn down by hard times and forces of nature, I realize that rebuilding would take work, not just in the South End, but in the entire city.

I was against a Springfield casino in the beginning. However, once I had the opportunity to speak with the folks at MGM Springfield, I realized that their plan to revitalize downtown is just what we need. The MGM folks are real, straightforward people. I truly believe that when they talk about helping our community and doing great things for the city, they are speaking from the heart.

Our city has a 375-year history and a strong local community that is hard to find elsewhere. The MGM Springfield project will revitalize that vision we hold of our city booming with people and business and families. That is our chance to do something right.

 

Rico Daniele

Mom and Rico’s

Springfield

 

Why Rag on Amanda Palmer?

I’m finding it very interesting that people who take issue with Amanda Palmer and who say they don’t like her, hate her even, and say that she doesn’t deserve their attention, keep giving her their attention. Yes, she loves attention, is profane and an exhibitionist, and her poem, frankly, is doggerel [“Palmer’s Pop-Tart,” May 2, 2013].

But it was her blog she was writing on, and is it impossible that what she wrote, clumsy as it was, exhibitionist that she is, could not have had some genuine feeling of trying to cope with the horrific events happening in her neighborhood, her city?

Everybody, please: she didn’t publish it in the papers, or go on TV. If one doesn’t like what she says, don’t read the blog and remain unoffended. As to her being a public figure—with responsibilities—once you step outside of the hipster/music world, there aren’t that many people who have even heard her name, much less care what she says. Of all the people I know, only one had heard of her before I mentioned her.

Her only mistake was to attempt an explanation. It just gave people determined to be offended more to work with.

The real story here, and one that journalists miss, or perhaps avoid, is about the amount of hate which was spewed about what people perceived as compassion for a person who committed a despicable act [the Boston Marathan bombing]. Some of the comments were quite vile, the “c” word was used, and many people seemed to feel that she was a monster for admitting any empathy for a monster. Any criticism of the poem came later on in the comment section, after the denunciations of her feelings and obligatory accusations of her trying to “cash in” in some way on the tragedy. Why do people act like this? Can we do anything about it?

There is more to Amanda Palmer than notoriety.

In January she discovered a video of a teenager named Amanda Todd, who killed herself after being bullied. Her blog brought forth many comments from people who had been bullied, who then started talking to each other for support. Amanda Todd’s mother wrote an appreciation.

Some time ago, a teenager accosted her on the street and begged her to listen to his piano playing. She invited him and his friends home and was so amazed at his talent that she started a Kickstarter for him to make CDs to use in college applications and to sell. She raised eight grand in a week—for someone else.

And I have been introduced to several excellent bands through Palmer—the Ditty Bops, Bitter Ruin, and von Grey, to name a few.

An exhibitionist attention hog, yes, but she often shows more generosity of spirit than many other more famous musicians.

Finally, it is disingenuous of Heflin to be hoping for the spotlight of attention to be turned on the other poets and musicians who better deserve the attention when he is the one holding the spotlight.

John Maruskin

Cummington

 

Revamping Taxes

The 113th Congress has tax reform as one of its priorities this year. The criteria set for any new system, or for keeping the old system, are transparency, simplicity and fairness.

The FairTax, HR25, is a national sales tax proposal that is 133 pages long and satisfies all the criteria.

The key elements are:

1. Eliminate all personal and business income taxes, payroll,

estate and capital gains taxes.

2. Repeal the 16th amendment.

3. Tax only purchases of new goods and services.

4. Provide monthly “prebate” payments to all legal

American households to offset taxes on necessities.

5. Raise real wages over 10 percent in the first year.

6. Capture taxes from the underground economy.

7. End the sale of tax favors to the rich, politically

connected and special interest lobbying groups.

8. Lower product costs by removing business taxes and

avoidance and compliance expenses now hidden.

9. Secure funding for Social Security and Medicare with a

larger, more stable base.

A complete analysis of the FairTax can be found at www.fairtax.org.

Please contact your District 1 U.S. Representative, Richard E. Neal, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and tell him to support a yes vote on HR25 to send it to the floor for a vote.

Bob Buckley II

Anderson, Calif.

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