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Gaffney says “there are consequences” to reporting on him; affirms “Turtleboy” connection

consequences

In a chillingly authoritarian turn of events, Michael Gaffney, the city council member and Republican City Committee chair, responded to an article in Worcester Magazine by harassing a journalist and smearing its editor,* alleging that the the latter is a sexual predator. Gaffney wrote on social media that “there are consequences” to reporting stories critical of him, and then released screenshots of conversations purportedly between the newspaper’s editor and young women. Their veracity cannot be determined, and Turtleboy Sports has a well documented history of using fake profiles to smear opponents. Background In the “Worcesteria” column of the current issue of Worcester Magazine, journalist Bill Shaner reported on what at first seemed to be an amusing piece: Gaffney found a quote he liked and posted it…

Antifa or anti-fascism?

antia or antifascism

Since the Aug. 12 Nazi terror attack in Virginia, there has been an ongoing discussion about the role of the so-called “Antifa” (a portmanteau of “anti-fascist) grouping on the left, which has been described alternately as heroic (by many on the left) and as bad as the Nazis (by those on the extreme right, including the hopefully-soon-to-be-ex president). Unfortunately, the voices at either of these two poles seem to be the loudest, drowning out alternate perspectives, of which there are many. The question The question that keeps coming to the fore is best simplified as: Is Antifa good or bad? Many answer the question “yes” or “no,” without actually describing what “good” and “bad’ mean. Those on the right have it easier, though: there is…

Worcester rallies against alt-right terrorism

crowd shot

WORCESTER, Mass – “Over 400,000 people from the United States died fighting the Nazis, over 400,000 people sticking up for our rights,” Worcester Mayor Joe Petty said today, speaking in front of City Hall to a group of hundreds who showed up to protest the rise of the alt-right’s hatred and extremism across the U.S. The 1,000 or so people who came out in Worcester joined a national outpouring of sympathy and solidarity for those injured yesterday protesting the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, including Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car driven by a right-wing extremist plowed into a crowd of anti-extremist protesters. Two Virginia state police officers, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, died…

Gaffney, Turtleboy, and the politics of hate

Recently, people have questioned why there are so few candidates in the city’s upcoming municipal elections. Scott O’Connell at the Telegram and Gazette wrote about it in relation to the school committee race. Nick Kotsopoulos, writing in the same publication, asked in May, “Election time nears, but does anyone care?” There are several possible reasons so few people chose to run this year, but recent smear campaigns by city council member and Republican Party chair Michael Gaffney offer up evidence for the most compelling reason. The atmosphere has become poisonous, and anyone engaging in public life is likely to fall victim to a torrent of lies, slander, and online abuse. A happy point Worth noting is the other of the two most compelling reasons more…

Gaffney’s lies reach new low – and this time it’s personal

Michael Gaffney

Michael Gaffney, currently a city council member and chair of the Worcester Republican City Committee, must be getting desperate. That’s the only explanation for his increasingly desperate – and sleazy – attacks on his political opponents. He also wants and needs to divert attention away from the sleaze that he sponsors on the increasingly-under-fire Turtleboy Sports website. Yours truly was the most recent recipient of Gaffney’s dishonest venom. A few days ago, I was honored to be elected by the city council to the Worcester Public Library’s board of directors. Gaffney is now taking the opportunity on Facebook (in a sponsored advertisement no less) to rail against the council members who voted for me. According to Worcester’s sleaziest council member, I’m a communist who hates…

The Dante Comparetto I Know

Dante Comparetto with neighbor and child

If you read Turtleboy Sports, you’ve most likely seen a couple of hit pieces about a friend of mine, Dante Comparetto. As is usual, Turtleboy gets it wrong. This time, though, they’ve actually stumbled upon something: the reason Worcester residents should vote for Dante for school committee. In the Holden, Mass.-based blog, which operates as a propaganda outlet for Worcester Republican city committee chair Michael Gaffney, Aidan Kearney (the blog’s owner and main author) called a Dante a “junkie” and loser. After a Turleboy reader stuffed a racist note in Dante’s mailbox, Aidan posted yet another story to his Turtleboy site, this time claiming that Dante created the flier himself, just like he claimed that no one could possible use the N-word at Fenway Park….

After Trump fires Comey, time for a real “anti-fascism”

The political events of the past few days have been downright frightening. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey puts on full display the fact that the current president has no intention of abiding by the rules of democracy. The New York Times noted in the wake of Comey’s abrupt dismissal that the FBI director “was fired because he was leading an active investigation that could bring down a president,” referring to the Russia scandal, and “whether the presidency was effectively stolen by a hostile foreign power.”  The Times, continued that “this is a tense and uncertain time in the nation’s history,” and that the Russian situation could be “one of the biggest political scandals in the nation’s history.” Much like the famous frog in…

Thoughts on the North Korea situation

Watching the current situation unfold on the Korean peninsula, it’s hard not to think, “We’ve been here before,” or “Been there, done that..” While it’s always a dangerous idea on anyone’s behalf to ratchet up tensions in that corner of Asia, this seems particularly the case now, with Donald Trump in the White House. However qualified Mattis is, Trump has the final say on what happens, and he is dangerously inexperienced. With that said, here are a few thoughts on the Korean situation. 1. As evil as the regime is, its collapse might be worse than its existence, at least currently. Reports of gulags that make Stalin’s look like Disney World, concentration camps, mind control practiced by the state, the mass rape of women and…

Trump and the unthinkable: Reichstag USA?

America has entered a new age of extremes. The extreme right has become more powerful than it has been in modern American history with the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. At the same time, a monumental outpouring of dissent against his nascent administration has begun to take shape, as anyone who saw the Jan. 21 women’s marches across the nation can see. As much as it is exhilarating to see a huge, grassroots fightback against the darkness that Trump represents take shape, the unstable power dynamic between the protesters and Trump, and the weakening of democratic institutions marks a grave danger. The Trump administration is in both a position of strength and weakness. Trump is the president and wields enormous power, especially given that…

Burning the flag is not going to help save the world from Trump. It’s also stupid.

It’s right to be mad. An authoritarian who openly embraces a rising fascist movement has taken the White House. On top of that, hate crimes have spiked dramatically across the country. I cannot purport to know what it’s like to be a member of one of the targeted groups (though I do have a Jewish last name), but I can understand why people from any of the groups Trump mentioned in his hate-filled rhetoric would be mad or, more likely, terrified about what the future holds for them. Just like you, I feel enraged that so many people (though not a majority) voted for the monster Trump. I feel scared for my friends who are undocumented, or Muslim, or who are better at being Jewish…

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