Monday, June 15, 2009

Beacon Hill Roll Call and M-16's

As you all know, the Stimulus money coming to Mass is ready and Obama wants it spent wisely. He also has demanded transparency with guidelines on how to accept the funds. The House passed 150 - 0 a bill to change several state laws to make sure we could meet the "use it or loose it" guidelines. They are:

extending from 18 to 26 weeks unemployment benefits if enrolled in training programs.

Expediting some state procedures that must be followed by companies who bid on contracts and requiring all jobs being created using the stimulus money be abolished when the federal money stops.

Mass is getting 8.7 billion in funds and as we all know, unless we are watching every dam dime, fraud and waste will take more than 20%. The change voted on would allow notices soliciting bids from companies to do work for the State be posted on a state owned and operated web sites, instead of the newspapers, which have done this for years. The Senate has already approved a similar version and the House measure goes back to the Senate for consideration.

Any bidding for contracts that has anything to do with public money, must be in full view of us all. We all are old enough to know how bad the insider bidding process has not worked for us here in Mass over the years. But this Deval approved change in the laws, which will allegedly speed up projects, will, if history is any indication, will be fraught with waste, fraud, shoddy and incomplete work and used as a political advantage for Deval.

Those of us who live closer to Wayland can rest easy tonight knowing that the Town is ordering 3 M-16's. Along with many other Towns and cities across the State who are getting free, retired military weapons, which include grenade launchers. Since 1994 over 1000 of these weapons have gone to police departments around the State. This information was initially withheld from by the State Police but later provided by the Defense Re utilization and Marketing Service.

While there are rules governing how many of these guns are allowed per 10 full time officers, many police chiefs have either mothballed them, used them in ceremonies or just buried them away. Framingham has 16 M-16's but the public has not the right to ask why. May we NEVER see a reason for those weapons to be deployed.


At June 15, 2009 at 3:09 PM , Blogger Michael said...

How do we stop them from making this bid process not something available through newspapers? What about people who don’t have access to the internet? Lines at librarys to use free computers now are often hours long. That limits people from being able to see things posted on the web. Is this change in the process really a good idea? Jim, your thoughts?

At June 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

I'm guessing we in Mass didn't have the procedures in place to take custody of the funds... so they hurried a bill that would comply with Obama's request to get things moving.

If the Senate has a better idea, which is doubtful, we will be chasing our tails to figure out where the money is going.

And to your point Michael, not everyone has a computer... many parts of this state don't even have cable yet... or high speed access.

Let's see how this unfolds... but I'll bet, the media will be all over this when it comes out.

There's no stopping these guys until 2010.

At June 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM , Blogger SoxFan said...

M-16’s? Are you kidding me? Why in gods name does any community in MA need assault weapons? If we have civil unrest, we call up the National Guard, who are trained in when to use these weapons. Police? The go to the firing range once in a great while to be certified, and do they even get certified on these M-16’s? In a time of drastic budget cuts, how can we justify spending money on something like this? God help us if we ever are in a position to need them in the town of Framingham. If things are that bad, a few M-16’s are not going to save us. I can not believe these are in the hands of anyone in the state of MA legally, whether you are a law enforcement officer or not. Have any of you visited England? The police there carry NO weapons. And their crime rate is better than ours. What does that tell you?

At June 15, 2009 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Junior said...

I am sitting here speechless thinking that there are M-16’s in communities around here. Why didn’t I know about this? And how could we in our society thing these are a necessary item? Who approved the funds to pay for these assault weapons? Can anyone reading this blog say they think this is a good thing? Something is very, very, very wrong with this.

At June 15, 2009 at 4:50 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Junior.... we paid for them during war times, pick a war. These weapons were deployed years ago... now we get them for free.. sort of. And for me, it's the safety/security issue. How many times have we read that a lawman's guns were stolen, or even picked up by relatives or car break ins in a parking lot? Would they really allow any of the local boys carry such in the trunks of cruisers? Do they take them home? or are they stowed away in a secure locker at the station? I'd ask, but would never get an honest answer.
Old Soldier could advise us when M-14's and 16's were used, and the training that is needed to effectively use them. They were fully automatic when used in war and have been modified to single shot or three bullet burst for civilian use from what the article says.

At June 15, 2009 at 5:25 PM , Blogger John said...

Stimulus money and M-16’s in the same posting. Lets hope that is not a snapshot of the future. We need to set up rules in order to qualify for the stimulus money? Seems to me that if you are honest, ethical, and transparent, then you can qualify for the money, right? So be admitting they had to do things in order to qualify, isn’t that an admission that they were not being above board? Come on boys and girls, this is MA, home of Bulger, DeMassi, Finneran, and Honey Fitz. And we are talking about putting machine guns in the hands of the people who helped elect this bunch. I say run for cover, you are going to need it.

At June 15, 2009 at 5:34 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

Thanks for the nod to me Jim. M-14 and M-16 are meant for wartime deployment. Troops spend 8 weeks in basic training and a lot of that time is spent on weapons, how to clean them how to store them how to fire them. I doubt that local police are getting that training. A few things come to mind for me. First our country is still fighting wars. If the armed forces don’t want these weapons it is for a reason. Could be there are better weapons available but could also be that these are no longer in optimum condition. If the later is the case do you really want them in the hands of someone not thoroughly trained in their use? Second question Jim says they have been modified to single shot or three shot bursts. There are other weapons designed to do exactly that. Why modify something meant to be a fast firing machine gun to do what can be done with something else? Last thought is I fought a war to prevent my kids from having to live someplace where they have to be afraid of assault weapons on the streets they call home. A government that needs assault weapons to control their residents is a government that is not doing its job. That is the biggest red flag if you ask me.

At June 16, 2009 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Thanks Old Soldier for the honest explanation.

We learn from the Globe today that Deval has stopped the program and is looking for ways to get a handle on it.

If it were not for the Globe, most of us would have never known a thing about it.


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