State resistance to Olympics bid was right move

Let there be no mistake about it, Massachusetts’ putting the kibosh on the Olympics was the right thing to do for the state.

It’s ridiculous. You build a bunch of stuff and then, after promising that the operation will be financially self-sufficient, you almost always get hit with a bill for cost overruns and the like. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh got it right when he said he wouldn’t put the city on the hook to pay the bill if the private group that was running things messed up in the economics department.

Also to be praised are the pollsters who showed that there were many people, myself among them, who just didn’t like the whole idea. It simply doesn’t pass the smell test.

Apparently Los Angeles and a few other American cities are preparing bids. Good. Let them pay for it and for those who like this stuff, they will have big wall-mounted televisions where you can see the athletes’ pores.

Congressman Richie Neal told me weeks ago that he was opposed to funding the Olympics if nothing would be left for the rest of the state after the bands, bells and whistles stopped. He cited the Big Dig as the kind of project that soaked up so much state funding that little was left for the rest of the state, including Western Massachusetts.

He spoke specifically of better high speed rail across the state. Frankly, the whole concept of a present day Olympics just doesn’t make sense. The days of the Romans and Greeks putting on huge spectacles to divert the people from concentrating on their real miseries are long past. Every once in a while I am really proud to be a citizen of this state.

The very pollsters who are showing people against the Olympics in Massachusetts are also showing that Donald Trump is still leading the pack of Republicans who want the presidential nomination.

Hillary Clinton may have substantial “negatives” in the polls but I am reasonably sure that if she is a religious woman, she and Bill kneel down next to their bed every night and pray that Trump will get the nomination. Of course, people call him a clown but then again, people called Hitler a clown, not that I’m making comparisons.

We have a lot of very angry people in this country, many of whom know nothing. Trump knows what he is doing. It’s all about the acquisition of power and he is eating all of his competitors’ lunch.

In so doing, he is creating a style of politics in which he is angry and forcing his competitors to react likewise. It keeps getting worse and worse and more and more strident. But while this is good for a presidential primary strategy, it won’t help the man for the big show.

Yes, it is true that this country has a lot of people who couldn’t tell you who the name of the vice president of the United States. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see the outrage and revulsion when people see something like the killing of a lion by a dentist who spends a fortune to kill the animal with a bow and arrow.

Who could possibly condone this kind of an action when the much-admired animal was lured out of the protection of the park where he lived so that a man who makes this much money putting crowns in people’s mouths could kill him for kicks. There are surely a lot of people who will take some time to let this jerk know what they think of him. It really is a new portrait of the ugly American.

Finally, Jonathan Pollard will be paroled. Turns out that the guy was a spy who sold secrets to Israel. I’m sure that the United States has never done that to an ally. Tell that to Angela Merkel.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 8/1/15

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