508 #54: Two questions

posted by Mike on September 26th, 2008

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is Bruce Russell, Brendan Melican, and “Diamond Dave” Maciewski.

We discuss Question One, which would eliminate the Massachusetts state income tax, and conclude it’s a bad idea. Question Two would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, and the panel supports it. (Here’s the study Brendan mentioned on “marijuana as a gateway drug.”)

We don’t know much about Question Three.

Next topic: How much can Bruce bench?

Bruce and Mike attempt to share an anecdote about Tom Lewis.

Despite his focus on serious issues, Tom was also known for a fine sense of humor. Just after his codefendant Father Phil Berrigan was sentenced to six years in jail for his part in the Baltimore Four, the judge asked Tom if he had anything to say before sentencing. Tom said, “No, your honor.” The judge pressed him, “These are serious charges, Mr. Lewis. Don’t you have anything to say?” Tom said, “No, I’ve said all I want to in my testimony.” But, when the judge persisted, “You could be sent to jail for years Mr. Lewis, are you absolutely sure there’s nothing you want to add?” Tom began to suspect that the judge wanted to scapegoat Phil as the priest mastermind of the protest and hoped Tom would make a last minute appeal for mercy, so Tom said, “Since you press me your honor, there is one quote which is important to me.” The judge leaned forward and said, “Yes, yes.” Tom straightened up and said soberly, “You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead. That’s from Laurel and Hardy, your honor.” The furious judge gave Tom six years too.

Mike talks about his federal trial and WCCA’s funding situation.

Brendan says the new wind turbine is worth checking out.

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4 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On September 26, 2008 at 16:54 Tracy said:

    Question 3 is dog racing, right? I will say that is the only question I’ve seen a sign for.

  2. On September 26, 2008 at 17:16 Mike said:

    And of course Steve Baer has written long articles on this issue a number of times in the InCity Times. I’m hoping to have him on a future show.

  3. On September 26, 2008 at 18:17 filterofsyntax said:

    Mike, I know you are a friend/fan of Bruce Russell, but he is really detrimental to the podcast…his comments are not helpful/insightful, and bring the podcast to a screeching halt!

  4. On September 30, 2008 at 15:35 Cha-Cha said:

    No way, man. Bruce adds diversity, insightfulness, and a level of cool that frankly we other regular / occasional panelists could never aspire to. Long live the SnowGhost!

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