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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,261

Journal Archives

This one's for you, Boston.

A Love Supreme.

See you soon.

This Year, Thousands of Men Will Die From Stubbornness

Speed Checked By Radar

So so so so so so stupid, but I need a cheap laugh today.

"WTF Bombs?": Taking Back the Boston Marathon

Remembering the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in Copley Square of Boston, Massachusetts.
(Photo: Ingfbruno / Wikimedia Commons)

"WTF Bombs?": Taking Back the Boston Marathon
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 15 April 2014

One year from now, when the new spring sunlight shines down upon Boston's best day, we will be in the streets to cheer the runners and remember the lost. We will never forget, but we will not cower or crouch. We will be there with family and friends to celebrate the place and the time and the event that is uniquely and completely ours. It will not be taken from us by anyone, ever. This is Boston.

- "Climbing Heartbreak Hill," William Rivers Pitt, 17 April 2013

The first hint that something had gone terribly wrong came via a text message on my phone. My friend David, an endurance runner with several marathons under his belt was running his first Boston Marathon, and it was a very big deal, because he is a Boston boy born and bred, and had come home to do this incredible thing we had grown up watching and cheering together.

I was in my apartment in Brighton, in the process of missing the marathon for the first time in my life, because my daughter was only two weeks old and I wasn't going to be more than ten feet from her side. David's wife Michelle was down on Boylston Street waiting for him with their two young sons. She and I had been texting back and forth on his progress. I couldn't be there, but I wanted to know the minute he crossed the line, so I could share in his achievement in some small way.

At 2:45 p.m., Michelle texted me that he had just crossed the finish line.

Four minutes later, at 2:49 p.m., I received another text from her. It read, "wtf bombs?"

I turned on NECN, the New England version of CNN, more out of curiosity than concern, because Boston is a very old city with very old utilities, and stuff goes "Boom" all the time. A transformer could have shorted out, a water main could have burst, or a couple of cars could have collided - very common events, all, that Michelle may have mistaken for explosions. In the space of five minutes, NECN's coverage transformed from happy, lighthearted reporting on the doings of the day to confusion, and then to darkness.

Because she was not mistaken. She was, in fact, right in between the two bomb sites when the first went off, and then the second, and she was caught in the tidal surge of panic with her two children as some ran away from, and others toward, the sound and the smoke and the screaming. Michelle and her boys took shelter in a storefront, and spent the rest of the day trying to find David, which they eventually did, unharmed.


"wtf bombs?"

I still have that text on my phone. I can't bring myself to delete it. Even in its 21st-century garbled American online-ese, it sums up perfectly the astonishment of the day. The Boston Marathon is the singular event of the city, a party from pillar to post heralding spring and athletic achievement and the deepest sense of community, and one year ago today, two people chose to tear it up. Beyond the death and agony those two caused is the sorrow-freighted fact that such a wonderful, unique event will never, ever be the same.

Martin Richard, Lu Lingzi, Sean Collier and Krystle Campbell have no stories to tell. They are the story, they and those who survived and now live lives permanently changed. I have tried over this last year to honor them with my words, to remember them, and I have shed tears for them more times than I can count. Even now, a year later, my hands shake when I try to explain all this.

I can think of only one way to honor them properly. On Sunday, I will climb into my car and navigate the springtime-muddy dirt road that leads to Route 101. I will turn east, cross the border from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, and find Route 2. As I pass the Belmont exit, where the road rises, I will see the skyline of Boston laid out before me. I will slip through Cambridge, pass through Watertown, park my car at Murph's house in Brighton, and on Monday morning, I will go to the marathon.

That day will not belong to the bombers. It will belong to us. I will honor the lost and the scarred and the city entire as best I can by reclaiming that day with my simple presence.

If you're looking for me on Monday, you'll find me on Boylston Street.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23099-william-rivers-pitt-wtf-bombs-taking-back-the-boston-marathon

Full Moon in New Hampshire Night

My back yard:

A favor to ask.

I endured Scott Brown's successful campaign against Martha Coakley in 2010, and his existence as a Senator from Massachusetts.

I endured Scott Brown's unsuccessful campaign against Elizabeth Warren in 2012, and believed I was shut of him.

I moved my family from Boston to to New Hampshire in August of 2013.

Scott Brown did, too.

So, listen, I know you're busy. We're all busy; it is a Monday, after all.

But I have a favor to ask.

If it isn't too much trouble, I was wondering if you could pop on over real quick and kill me.

Just fucking kill me.

I can't tell you how much I'll appreciate it.

Scott Brown's Campaign Mocks His Opponent As A 'Senator From Massachusetts'

Eager to shed his identity as a former senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown's campaign is now apparently deriding his opponent as the "third senator from Massachusetts."

As he kicked off his Senate campaign in New Hampshire last week, Brown received assistance from the state's former Republican governor, John H. Sununu.

Sununu didn't steer clear of Brown's biggest impediment as a candidate in the Granite State. Instead, the former White House chief of staff who served as one of Mitt Romney's most confrontational surrogates in 2012 projected that weakness right onto Brown's Democratic opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“(Shaheen) votes with Elizabeth Warren. She votes with Markey. She is the third senator from Massachusetts,” Sunnunu said at Brown's Portsmouth, N.H. rally, according to Yahoo's Chris Moody. “Scott’s happiest days as a young man were in New Hampshire. … So it’s going to be great to have a senator that was born virtually in the state of New Hampshire. Jean Shaheen, by the way, was born in Missouri!”

The rest: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-brown-jeanne-shaheen-senator-from-massachusetts-john-sununu

...every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

Chag Sameach

"The alleged gunman reportedly yelled 'Heil Hitler' as he was detained near Kansas City."

Three Dead After Shootings at Kansas City-Area Jewish Sites

To my brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith: Chag Sameach. Know you well on this Passover eve that there are far, far more of us than them. Blessings upon your home, and pardon me for being blunt, but fuck these people and their guns.

I am floored. Flattened. Utterly astonished. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

Watch this. Trust me.

Alive Inside: Behold the POWER of Music

Social worker Dan Cohen creates personalized iPod playlists for the residents of a nursing home in an attempt to bring some joy to them. The reaction of an elderly resident, Henry, was filmed as a part of the documentary, Alive Inside.

Bound to a wheelchair, Henry is unresponsive and depressed. But something magical happens when he listens to music from his era (Cab Calloway!). His eyes glisten with joy and he gently rocks his frail body as he enjoys the music. People at the nursing home were amazed at the changes in him. After just a few minutes of listening to his favorite songs, Henry is restored in some ways to the fun-loving man he once was.

Just watch.

Holy hot damn.

100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL

100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL
By The National Resources Defense Council

More than 100 leading scientists and economists are calling on the Obama Administration to deny the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline because it will trigger massive development of the world’s dirtiest oil, and escalate climate change. They include Nobel Prize winners in physics and economics, and lead authors of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

“We urge you to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline as a project that will contribute to climate change at a time when we should be doing all we can to put clean energy alternatives in place,” the scientists and economists write in a letter sent today to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. “The Keystone XL pipeline will drive expansion of the energy-intensive strip-mining and drilling of tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest, increasing global carbon emissions. Keystone XL is a step in the wrong direction.”

The letter’s timing is critical. In January, the U.S. State Department released a final Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL. Now the administration is formally considering whether the pipeline, aiming to pump tar sands oil from Canada mainly for export through the Gulf of Mexico, is in America’s national interest. A decision could be made in the next couple of months.

In their letter, the scientists and economists commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry for making strong commitments to fighting climate change. They call on them to turn down the proposed Keystone XL project because the incremental emissions alone could boost annual carbon pollution emissions by more than the output of seven coal-fired power plants. That would worsen climate change, making the project clearly not in the national interest, they write. The total emissions are far greater, and, as they write, are “emissions that can and should be avoided with a transition to clean energy.”

The rest: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/100-scientists-urge-obama-kerry-reject-keystone-xl/

Explain to me why the Keystone XL pipeline is a good thing. I'll wait.
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